The effect of root and shoot damage on the growth of tea plants.


  • T. Visser



Experiments were carried out under various conditions of elevation and climate, in which young vegetatively propagated plants of selected tea clones were subjected to pruning operations at or after transplanting. Generally the removal of a substantial portion of shoot, root or both caused a temporary set back in growth and, in many instances, increased mortality. The subsequent reduction in total growth depended on the amount initially removed, except when only the immature apical part of the shoot was cut off, in which case the plants grew as well as the untreated ones. Retarded root growth and mortality as a consequence of pruning were associated with a marked depletion of the carbohydrate reserves of the roots, which was more serious when the original level (in Ceylon primarily determined by altitude) was low. Bringing a young tea plant into bearing as soon as possible requires the induction of lateral branching while avoiding growth restriction as far as possible; the practice of bending was found to be less detrimental to growth than other methods involving repeated pinching of apical shoots, cutting across at about two-thirds of the height of the plant, centering and modifications of these methods.-Inst. hort. Plant Breed., Wageningen. (Abstract retrieved from CAB Abstracts by CABI’s permission)