trinda storey wrote:If you cut a branch does a corresponding root die or vis versa?
I have heard that some leguminous plants such as clover do what you are describing. I'm not sure if it's been proven, though I can see some reasons for it to be true and not.
if it were true then that means that certain roots feed certain branches. That seems to me to be a risk to the over all health of the plant. In trees, this would be catastrophic in the event of erosion or storm damage. Imagine losing a large amount of a tree top in a winter ice storm. Since the sap is stored in the roots over winter, the tree would have extra sugar resources in those roots to feed the damaged upper portion of the tree during the spring. This would include healing fractures and replacing lost branches. If those roots died instead, the stored evergy would be lost and the tree would have to heal with a diminished store of energy.
So I think that it might be true for some small annual or biennial species but probably not for long lived species.
The growth of a plant is an integrated phe- nomenon that depends on a proper balance
and functioning of all parts. If a large portion
of the root system is destroyed, a corresponding
portion of the leaves and branches will die.
Contrariwise, if a tree is repeatedly defoliated, some of its roots will die back.