Double Transplant Shock?

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by gobo, Nov 27, 2004.

  1. gobo

    gobo Active Member

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    I haven't seen any studies or even discussion of this, but I'm wondering if others have experienced the same thing -- killing a plant with a second transplant. for me, at least, the survival rate plummets if a newly transplanted plant must be moved, even though the same care is provided to ensure the roots don't dry out, etc. i've seen it happen enough to wonder whether there's something going on during the plant's adjustment period (which can last months) that cannot be interrupted.

    anyone?
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    More soil falls off? Are we talking about woody plants or herbaceous, or both? You are thinking of instances when the plants was moved again soon (days, perhaps weeks) after the first disturbance, or months later?
     
  3. gobo

    gobo Active Member

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    i was thinking woody plants, trees in particular, but what made me write is sitting on my desk right now -- a small mimosa houseplant that did okay after the first transplant when i'd brought it home three weeks ago but has now cashed in its chips with the second.

    i've seen it happen more in the field, especially with trees and shrubs that seemed to have suffered from the first transplant yet survived (sometimes even putting on new growth) until then the second move (within no specific time-line but say the same season) wipes them out.

    perhaps fortunately it hasn't happened enough for me to draw conclusions -- i can usually put off moving a newly planted tree for a while -- but often enough to make me wonder if others have experienced anything similar.

    and to ask -- what is "transplant shock" anyway? it makes intuitive sense that removing any reasonably complex organism from its supporting environment even for a few seconds would have some effect, but in biological terms, what's going on?
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Transplant shock I think of as wilting due to root loss. Subsequent reduction in top growth due to reduction of the root system also seems to be considered transplant shock by some. Entering the phrase into a search engine would probably bring up hits.

    A plant that has been lifted and had its roots cut in the process, been replanted long enough to have delicate new roots grow out from the cut ends, only to be disturbed again while these are small and easily killed, might be one that is an example of what you are talking about. Woody plants, such as fruit trees, roses, small fruits, and deciduous flowering shrubs sent to retail outlets bareroot, potted on and sold in spring while still in the early phases of iniating young replacement roots from the cut ends of old roots are a commonly encountered example of this. Dumped out of the pot/pulled out of the sawdust bed while still just getting going, these may wilt quite badly.
     

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