Miscellany

Research note: A preliminary study of the root distribution of Commiphora pyracanthoides Engl. (BURSERACEAE) in the Sweet Bushveld of the Northern Province, South Africa

Published in: African Journal of Range & Forage Science
Volume 15, issue 1-2, 1998 , pages: 61–63
DOI: 10.1080/10220119.1998.9647941
Author(s): J.J. Jordaan, Republic of South Africa, J.S. Swart, Republic of South Africa, S. Venter, Republic of South Africa

Abstract

The root distribution of Commiphora pyracanthoides Engl., a potential encroaching woody species in the sweet bushveld areas of the Northern Province, South Africa, was studied at the Mara Agricultural Development Centre. The root system of ten C. pyracanthoides shrubs consisted of a taproot system supported by a well developed fleshy secondary root system. Minimum branching of secondary roots occurred, resulting in the absence of tertiary and feeder roots. Weak relationships existed between root distribution, plant height and canopy diameter, but subjectively estimated, secondary roots extended horizontally at an average depth of 15 ‐20 cm to a distance of more or less 1–1.5 times the canopy diameter and 1.5–2 times tree height. It is proposed that the correct placement of soil‐applied arboricides and/or absorption mechanisms may be critical for effective chemical control of C. pyracanthoides.

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