Over three growing seasons (1994–1996), water loss of five recently transplanted, balled and burlaped (B&B) tree species was investigated using below-ground, electronic weighing lysimeters. For each species, actual tree water loss was correlated with reference evapotranspiration (ETO) to create a water loss multiplier. At the beginning of each growing season a single tree was planted into each lysimeter. Selected species were: London planetree (Platanus x acerifolia ‘Bloodgood’), corkscrew willow (Salix matsudana ‘Tortuosa’), littleleaf linden (Tilia cordata ‘Greenspire’), Norway maple (Acerplatanoides ‘Emerald Queen’), and green ash (Fraxinuspennsylvanica ‘Patmore’). Throughout each growing season, trees were well-watered and lysimeter mass and meteorological variables were collected on site. Water loss multipliers for each tree species were calculated as the ratio of water loss (based upon total leaf area) to total daily ETO. Results indicate corkscrew willow and littleleaf linden had the greatest daily mean water loss (5.6 and 4.8 mm, respectively) (0.22 and 0.18 in, respectively), while Norway maple had the least (1.1 mm) (0.04 in). Water loss multipliers were greatest for corkscrew willow and littleleaf linden (1.1 and 0.9, respectively) and least for Norway maple (0.2). Regression analysis indicated total daily ETO had limited influence on total daily tree water loss. This suggests factors other than ETO influence water loss of recently transplanted, B&B trees in a semi-arid climate.

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Author notes

This research was supported by the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322-4820. Approved as journal paper no. 7568. Mention of a trademark, proprietary product, or vendor does not constitute a guarantee or warranty of the product by Utah State University and does not imply its approval to the exclusion of other products or vendors that also may be suitable.

2Assistant Professor, Texas Tech University.

3Associate Professor, Dept. of Plants, Soils, and Biometeorology, Utah State University.

4Professor, Dept. of Biological and Agricultural Engineering University of Idaho.

5Professor, Dept. of Range, Wildlife, and Fisheries Management, Texas Tech University