The purpose of this research is to disentangle fact from fiction with regards to the physiological and practical impacts of soil amendments on tree health and response to stresses.
Many commercial products and “home remedies” make various claims as to their impact on tree health, growth, and responses to various abiotic and biotic stresses. The purpose of this ongoing research is to put these products to the test in order to truly understand and predict their utility in the field. For example, one commercially available product, paclobutrazol, has been shown to be a useful plant growth retardant, and this product may have non-growth retardant effects on woody plants. What are these? How might they be exploited? In what scenarios can we use this product to take advantage of these? These and more are all questions that we ask with such soil-applied products.