Transplant Shock: Disease or Cultural Problem?

Autumn has arrived in Kentucky, and now is one of the best times to plant new trees. Cool-season planting allows trees to “focus” on root system development. Woody plants may take as long as 3 to 5 years to establish and recover from relocation, and cool-season planting may expedite establishment.

When trees and shrubs are moved from one growing site to another, they endure stress that results in poor root establishment. This stress may be the effect of improper installation and/or selection of poor planting material, resulting in a condition known as “transplant shock”. Plants that suffer from transplant shock may exhibit decline, dieback, reduced growth, and eventually death (Figure 1). In addition, plants experiencing transplant shock are more susceptible to secondary disease issues. There are also several diseases that cause symptoms similar to those resulting from transplant shock-related stresses.

Figure 1: Transplant shock results in decline, dieback and eventually plant death. (Photo: Jason Sharman, Vitalitree, Bugwood.org)

Figure 1: Transplant shock results in decline, dieback and eventually plant death. (Photo: Jason Sharman, Vitalitree, Bugwood.org)

For more information on transplant shock and related disease problems, including symptoms, causes, and prevention, review the publication Transplant Shock: Disease or Cultural Problem? (PPFS-OR-W-19).

Additional Information

  • Transplant Shock: Disease or Cultural Problem? (PPFS-OR-W-19)
  • Plant Pathology Publications (Website)

 

By Kimberly Leonberger, Extension Associate, and Nicole Ward Gauthier, Extension Plant Pathologist

 

Posted in Landscape Trees & Shrubs