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Author Topic: Mango Taproot  (Read 494 times)

Oncorhynchus

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Mango Taproot
« on: April 27, 2020, 01:22:46 AM »
I was watching a video on grafting mangoes and noticed the grafter cut the taproot off the seedling leaving only fibrous roots and when I planted a few new trees recently (3 gallons), they didnít seem to have taproots.  Is it preferable to cut the taproot off a rootstock? I thought part of the reason for using a seedling over something like air layering was for a strong taproot?

Cookie Monster

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Re: Mango Taproot
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2020, 10:27:02 AM »
In order to preserve the taproot, you'd really need to graft in situ (ie, plant the seed directly in the ground vs using a pot). Tree pots (long and narrow) can also help to preserve the taproot.

I'm not sure why they would have clipped the taproot. I know that neutering the taproot in mamey / canistel by flipping the seedling upside down and grafting onto the taproot can cause the tree to stay smaller. Perhaps encouraging surface roots could also help with nutrient uptake (by forcing more roots to stay in the nutrient rich top soil)?

However, I haven't found any reason to worry about the taproot one way or the other. The main thing you need to worry about is removing any circling roots (those that take the shape of the pot), as they will eventually strangle the tree, stunt growth, and compromise stability.
Jeff  :-)

simon_grow

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Re: Mango Taproot
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2020, 01:01:45 PM »
If you want more rapid growth, cutting the tap root will encourage more lateral roots and increase fibrous feeder roots which will speed up growth of the canopy if everything else is taken care of.

If you have an automatic watering system, or if you provide water to your plants as needed, a cut tap root which encourages an increase in root mass may be beneficial.

If you live in an area or grow a species that does not require supplemental irrigation, a longer taproot may be more beneficial. A longer taproot will be able to reach down deep to find the watertable or nearby available sources of moisture.

Simon

simon_grow

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Re: Mango Taproot
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2020, 01:12:08 PM »
In reality, even if you cut the tap root, the new fibrous root system will form and eventually one or several of the stronger roots will stretch out far like a smaller set of tap roots. This is similar to removing the apical dominance in the canopy.

The opposite is also true and a tap root that is left intact will still grow lateral and fibrous feeder roots but it will take longer for it to do this and the root system will reach out a farther distance.

For better root growth, it is best to let the root zone slightly dry out a bit before watering. This will allow air to reach the root zone and encourage the root system to spread out further in search of water and nutrients.

Simon

strom

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Re: Mango Taproot
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2020, 01:32:23 PM »
Does this work on other tropical fruit trees with taproots, such as cherimoya?

gnappi

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Re: Mango Taproot
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2020, 02:28:14 PM »
Does this work on other tropical fruit trees with taproots, such as cherimoya?

My Julie seedling had the taproot broken off by the PO when they yanked the pot out of the ground it's grown beautifully. The only other tree I have without a taproot is my lemon drop mangosteen and it too has not suffered at all.
Regards,

   Gary

simon_grow

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Re: Mango Taproot
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2020, 03:51:25 PM »
Does this work on other tropical fruit trees with taproots, such as cherimoya?

It works with other trees as well but keep in mind that every different species or even variety may react slightly differently. For varieties with lower vigor, one may want for the tap root to reach close to the bottom of the pot before cutting the tap root but for more vigorous rootstocks, one may want to cut the tap root earlier.

In my experiments, allowing seedlings/rootstocks to initially grow out in longer specially made root pots such as Stuewe tree pots, increased the vigor of the tree and and also increased the intermodal distance. This ultimately gives you a better tree like structure with higher branching. If you want lower branching, a shorter pot may work out better for you.

They were highly unscientific experiments I did so these are more speculative observations. N value was only around 50 per sample set.

Simon

pineislander

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Re: Mango Taproot
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2020, 07:36:09 PM »
Oncorhynchus I notice you are in SW FL. Depending on your exact soil type and location if you have a seasonally high water table tree tap roots may terminate at about the level where there is an impermeable layer seen as very dark or even black. You might see this at a road cut or excavation but this is typical of the most common soil in the State.
You can also see it where large trees have been dug out of the ground for land clearing.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myakka_(soil)

The seasonally high water table drowns roots and limits their growth.

Oncorhynchus

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Re: Mango Taproot
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2020, 01:08:29 PM »
Oncorhynchus I notice you are in SW FL. Depending on your exact soil type and location if you have a seasonally high water table tree tap roots may terminate at about the level where there is an impermeable layer seen as very dark or even black. You might see this at a road cut or excavation but this is typical of the most common soil in the State.
You can also see it where large trees have been dug out of the ground for land clearing.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myakka_(soil)

The seasonally high water table drowns roots and limits their growth.

The description of Myakka soil sounds a lot like what I have but I donít have a high water table. Iím next to a lake and all my trees are planted on the slope leading to the lake. Iíve dug down pretty deep (around 4 feet) during the wet season and have never been able to hit water, even near the edge of the lake. I do have a layer of clay that could inhibit root growth; itís really easy to dig through when itís wet but when itís dry itís hard as rock. I always try and dig through it to the dark black dirt underneath and break up the clay but Iíve had people tell me thatís the wrong thing to do because Iím effectively creating an in ground pot for my trees and that if I donít break up the clay Iíll get better lateral root growth.

 

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