Five species of trees, Fraxinus velutina Torr., Pistacia chinensis Bunge, Platanus occidentalis L., Quercus virginiana Mill., and Ulmus parvifolia Jacq., were first grown in conventional black plastic liner containers (0.45 liter, 0.41 qt) then transplanted to black plastic containers filled with 25 liters (7 gal) of substrate and grown to marketable size. The same species were grown in Accelerator liners and then transplanted to open bottom, air-root pruning, cylindrical, aluminum (Accelerator) containers filled with equal volumes of substrate. Plant growth characteristics, root-zone temperatures, and substrate moisture status were measured. As with many container technologies, responses were species dependent. Growth of Q. virginiana was reduced in Accelerator liner containers compared to conventional black plastic liners. Root coverage on the periphery of the rootballs were reduced on U. parvifolia grown in 25 liter (7 gal) containers compared to those in black plastic containers. Growth of U. parvifolia, F. velutina, and Q. virginiana were similar in the larger black plastic and Accelerator containers. Growth of P. chinensis and P. occidentalis were greater in the larger Accelerator containers than in the larger conventional black plastic containers. Root-zone temperatures, particularly at the periphery of the rootball, were significantly reduced on warm days in Accelerator containers compared to those in black plastic containers. Substrate in Accelerator containers were slightly drier than that in black plastic containers.

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Author notes

The authors wish to thank the Accelerator Growers Association, Boca Raton, FL, for donation of Accelerator containers. The authors also wish to acknowledge the technical assistance of Mitchell W. Goyne and Patty Reedy.

2Associate Professor of Landscape Horticulture.

3Graduate Student and Research Associate.