The best possible start
Better aeration means a healthier growing medium which allows for more even germination right across the tray. The tap root of the newly germinated plant is air pruned at the base, stimulating lateral root branching. Increased oxygenation also means healthy bacteria release more nutrient, which the seedling’s healthy root system can immediately absorb, leading to faster growth.
In a conventional seed tray the growing tap root is deformed when it meets the base of the tray. At the same time a lack of oxygen in the growing medium means less healthy bacteria to release nutrient to the plant.
Two thirty day old Sequoia seedlings. The one on the left from an Air-Pot seed tray the other grown in a standard tray. Already the Air-Pot grown one has had its tap root air pruned and is growing a mass of healthy lateral roots. The tap root on the other has hit the bottom of the tray and has developed a J root deformity.
Nine months after germination the Air-Pot grown sequoia has developed a mass of healthy fibrous roots while the roots of the one grown in a conventional pot have been deformed by circling.
When washed out the difference is clearly demonstrated. The superior root system of the Air-Pot grown tree has already led to stronger growth. The Air-Pot grown tree has 20% greater girth and is 12% taller, the top growth is denser and there are smaller gaps between nodes.
The extremely healthy root systems of Air-Pot® propagated plants mean it is possible to make big jumps in the size of pot. For example tree seedlings happily shift from the propagation tray to three litre containers and then on to containers as large as forty five litres.
A year after germination the Air-Pot grown Sequoias were potted on into 12.5 litre Air-Pot containers. After another nine months (21 months from germination) we again washed out the roots. The tree has put on good growth and now has a really dense mass of healthy fibrous roots.