Increase of planting depth

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Dimensions of the planting hole and seedling positioning depend on site conditions, species, and stocktype (Ivetić and Devetaković 2016[1]). Planting depth (i.e., distance between the root-collar and the groundline as defined by South 2005[2]) can effect seedling survival. Heat, often confused with drought, and shallow planting are probably the most over looked causes of death of planted bareroot seedlings (Stroempl 1990[3]) and shallow planting, regardless of taproot form, can promote seedling mortality (South 2005[2]). Without rain, deeply planted Pinus echinata Mill. seedlings (11 cm below ground line) survived significantly better than seedlings planted with the root-collar slightly below the groundline (South et al. 2012[4]). Deep-planting techniques promote seedling establishment by immediate exploitation of capillary fringe moisture (Dresen and Fenchel 2010[5]). Effect of planting depth is species specific and the native habitat of a species should be considered (Bryan et al. 2010[6]).


  1. Ivetić V, Devetaković J (2016) Reforestation challenges in Southeast Europe facing climate change. Reforesta 1: 178-220. DOI:
  2. 2.0 2.1 South DB (2005) A review of the pull up and leave down methods of planting Loblolly pine. Tree Planters’ Notes 51: 53-67.
  3. Stroempl G (1990) Deeper planting of seedlings and transplants increases plantation survival. Tree Planters’ Notes 41: 17-21.
  4. South DB, Jackson DP, Starkey TE, Enebak SA (2012) Planting deep increases early survival and growth of Pinus echinata seedlings. The Open Forest Science Journal 5: 33-41.
  5. Dreesen DR, Fenchel GA (2010) Deep planting techniques to establish riparian vegetation in arid and semiarid regions. Native Plants Journal 11(1): 15-22.
  6. Bryan DL, Arnold MA, Volder A, Watson WT, Lombardini L, Sloan JJ, Valdez-Aguilar LA, Cartmill AD (2010) Transplant season, irrigation, and planting depth effects on landscape establishment of bald cypress and sycamore. Arboriculture and Urban Forestry 36: 57-65.