Drought effect on Dunstan. 3 Gal vs. Nut planting


Two years ago I purchased tewelve 3 Gal. Dunstans from Chestnut Hill and also started my own Dunstan chestnuts in 18 cell rootmakers. Last summer the 3 Gal transplants did well and I thought I was out of the woods with babying them but, this summer we have been in drought. I noticed considerable dye back from the larger 3 Gal. trees but, the trees from nuts are thriving. Almost every 3 Gal has shown signs of stress & dye-back but, every seed planted tree is doing great, haven't lost one.


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That is an interesting observation. Maybe the roots growing in the pots somehow affected the tap root.
Are they planted in the same type soil? Was there significant root circling in the potted trees?
Maybe the air pruning, which produces a more fibrous root system has helped them through the dry weather.
Weed mats and keeping competition away from the tubes will also free up more available water for the trees.
They were planted in the same soil type about 20 yards away from each other. I used 4' Plantra tubes for all of them, no weed control. I think it may be that the air pruning from the RM's did play a factor. It would make sense, that's the idea of them.
The 3 Gal. planters were standard planters that Chestnut Hill sells them in. I did beat up the root ball last year when I planted them.
What I find interesting, is although the RM seedlings were smaller when transplanted, they seem to have been provided a significant growth advantage that is continuing two years after planting.
I would say that people sometimes focus on height when balance is more important than anything. If you have many large leaves you better have a good root system to drive them. If you don't then in drought the gas tank does not have enough energy to drive those leaves.

I read no weed control - which keeps the reduced moisture going to the weeds and to the roots.

I get stir crazy waiting for DCO to put on top growth but it develops it roots first and then puts on top growth at a snail's pace compared to a chestnut.

Get those weeds off those stressed trees ASAP is my suggestion. Hope they bounce back for you. :)
I think that is common. I always prefer smaller/younger as opposed to larger/older trees when transplanting.
Makes sense. It's kind of like the theory with planting cuttings deep and not having too much top growth. Most of the action needs to take place under ground. Some of them are still green down low in the tubes and we finally got some rain.
When I plant trees, especially bare root and even potted trees, I will prune them heavy removing at least a 1/3 of the top growth. I feel like this balances out the root to the top growth of the tree.

I also do not like to spring plant trees. I like late fall as I feel like this gives the roots a little more time to get going before the heat of the summer.