Appletons Tree Nursery Ltd, 1748 Main Road South, Wakefield, Nelson, Phone 03 541 8309, Fax 03 541 8007
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Healthy Vigorous Roots

The process of undercutting the seedling taproot has been standard practise in forestry nurseries for many years. Appletons have trialed and successfully implemented the use of undercutting of all tree species grown in our nursery. As the programme has expanded and been refined, we have built and modified equipment specifically for undercutting.

With careful evaluation, we have an understanding of how timing, blade, depth and frequency of undercutting all interact.

The benefits of the programme are numerous. Timely cutting of the dominant tap root between five to 10 centimeters causes the root system to branch and develop a well structured lateral root system. This is particularly important with species such as Quercus coccinea, which tend to naturally develop a hockey stick/bent root system.

Many customers have found that the undercut root system conforms better to their container potting programme. The more compact, fibrous root system closely resembles that of a traditional two-year-old 1/1 transplanted plant.

With the advantages of much greater root biomass in proportion to above ground growth, greater survival and stronger subsequent growth occurs in following seasons.

Appletons annually apply mycorrhizae inoculated pine bark to our seedbeds to produce an enriched high organic soil, which promotes a fibrous, wellbranched root system.