View Full Version : Cedar tree root system

BC Buck
05-15-2011, 09:52 AM
I planted a visual scree this spring and over 1/2 where dead within three Weeks. I had concern about the root system while planting but needed to get 500 planted in two days so I did not take any pictures. I had never planted Eastern Red Cedar bare root seedlings but had read quite a lot on these forms. These plants roots where never dry and where planted with no air pockets or J rooted. Soils have been wet and temps cool.

About 80% of the trees had a main tap root 5 to 8" long with two to three hair size roots coming off the tap root under 1" long. Does this root system sound normal for this species of tree.

Thanks BC Buck.

05-15-2011, 10:16 AM
That sounds like a pretty weak root system for what I see in the photo above the ground.


05-15-2011, 10:31 AM
I planted Red Cedar from the MDC and had 100% survival. The roots were the size that could be planted with a dibble bar, but the tops were half the size of the tree in your picture. It appears you got nice sized trees but didn't get enough root.

05-15-2011, 11:49 AM
It appears you got nice sized trees but didn't get enough root.

That my friend is a common problem with transplants....sounds like that is exactly the problem with those red cedars.

05-16-2011, 09:32 AM
I transplant cedars in the dead of winter and I haven't lost a one and some are 4-6 ft tall dug up with a shovel.I have lost almost everyone I have moved at any other time of year.

05-16-2011, 10:01 AM
Bare rooting Red Cedar that size is WAY different than Transplanting a RC that size with the root ball intact;)

I have transplanted some absolute WHOPPERS with the soil attached to the roots, Biggest were 8' trees transplanted with a spade shovel. As long as the soil stays packed around the roots and doesn't fall apart when popping it out, You're good.

Bare rooting a bigger tree, you have to have a close root/tree ratio to ensure success.

That is why the bigger trees usually are sold potted, or balled and burlaped.

Sorry to see dead trees like that when you put that much time and effort into a planting, Hope they pull through, some good rains might bounce them back:)

05-17-2011, 08:41 AM
I agree but I dig mine up in the sand and 90% of the dirt falls off the roots before I get them back in the ground.I wrap to protect from drying.