Transplant Shock in Trees

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What can cause transplant failure in trees and shrubs?

Transplant Shock in Trees

Horticulture researchers estimate that 75% of the roots may be lost when digging field-grown nursery stock. In the nursery, practices, such as root pruning, irrigation, fertilization, root-ball configuration, and digging techniques, influence the percentage of harvested roots. Water-stress is due to the removal of most of the water-absorbing roots, and this is the primary cause of transplant failure. Most water absorption capability within a transplanted root-ball results from very small diameter roots. These fragile roots are the first to suffer from excess water loss in newly transplanted landscape plants.

   

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