Lessons from trees

I meant to do more garden work today, but I started reading Catching Fire in the morning and just didn’t put it down. I finished in time for dinner. So, no gardening today. But I did find this passage from the New Encyclopedia of Gardening Techniques to be especially illuminating:

The life of a transplant

We often expect newly planted trees to romp away after planting, but newly planted bare-root transplants will take at least three years to grow vigorously.

When trees are lifted from the nursery field, they can lose up to 90 percent of their original root system, so in the first year of planting, do not expect too much of the tree, when shoots are likely to be shorter and leaves smaller than normal.

First year:
Roots gradually take hold, but as leaves and shoots are smaller and shorter in the first year, energy for root growth will be limited.

Second year:
Roots spread over a greater distance, so they will be able to take up more water and nutrients, promoting more top growth.

Third & subsequent years:
Vigorous growth results now that the root system is fully recovered from transplanting and the roots are well established.

New Encyclopedia of Gardening Techniques (Royal Horticultural Society), 91.

I think this can be said for more than just trees…

3 thoughts on “Lessons from trees

  1. Megan says:

    I suppose that the time line might differ a little between trees and from person to person, but this is why I think it can be argued that two years is too short to live in a place. By the end of the second year, you’ve just finally gotten rooted, and pulling them up again can be even tougher.


  2. Sarah says:

    Time for some vigorous growth, my friend! (Catching Fire must have been amazing! So jealous that you’ve read it and I haven’t…)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s