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Columella

 
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Location: Tennessee
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I've been reading Columella lately (ancient Roman historian who wrote about agricultural practices) and he mentions ablaqueation as a technique for improving the productivity of trees.  That technique involves exposing the upper roots of trees and pruning off the "summer rootlets."  It may be related to a phrase used in the bible... "dig around the fig tree and manure it."  That would be Luke 13:8 for you scholars out there.

Has anybody heard of this before or know anything about it?  It's the first I've heard about it.

 
pollinator
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Location: Oakland, CA
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Cato the Elder writes about that, too.

It doesn't make sense within my limited understanding of it, but people reasoned differently about these things back then. I'm curious what more experienced people think.
 
Allan. Sterbinsky
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Cato the Elder writes about that, too.

It doesn't make sense within my limited understanding of it, but people reasoned differently about these things back then. I'm curious what more experienced people think.

Thanks Joel,  I'll have to check out Cato and look for other sources.  I appreciate your input.
 
steward
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I think it has things in common with dwarfing rootstocks.  they're essentially weak roots and lead to less vegetative growth and more fruit more quickly.  root pruning is another way to achieve the same thing.  bark inversions have been used to achieve the same thing.  must have something to do with slowing the flow of nutrients to the above ground parts of the plant.  that's my theory, anyway.
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