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Establishing a relationship between soil aeration and fine root development of seven tree species using the steel rod technique



Establishing a relationship between soil aeration and fine root development of seven tree species using the steel rod technique



Arboricultural Journal 29(3): 161-171



Steel rods were driven into the soil in spring and summer within the root zone of seven different tree species: American Elm (Ulmus Americana L.), Green Column black maple (Acer nigrum Michx. 'Green Column'), Green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marsh.), honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos), tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera L.), pin oak (Quercus palustris Muenchh.), and white oak (Quercus alba L.). After three months, the rods were extracted and the rusting pattern, an indicator of soil aeration, was assessed and correlated with fine root development (FRD). The correlation between FRD and soil aeration was high, indicating that FRD can be estimated by rusting. The steel rod technique may be a useful, low cost tool to help arborists evaluate soil aeration and FRD in urban landscapes. In the field, rapid assessment of the rusting pattern would be possible. Predominantly rusted metal is a good indicator of soil suitable for good fine root development. Predominantly matt grey metal is an indicator of soil that may severely limit root development.

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Accession: 012786318

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DOI: 10.1080/03071375.2006.9747456


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