Soak trees/shrubs before planting: freshwater wetlands
Overall effectiveness category Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence)
Number of studies: 1
View assessment score
Hide assessment score
How is the evidence assessed?
Background information and definitions
Soaking vegetation before planting might increase tissue water content, promote root growth and increase survival after planting (Pezeshki et al. 2005). An abundance of roots might help the planted vegetation to take up enough water during dry periods. Adventitious roots may grow from the stem, near the water line, and help with oxygen uptake if the site is flooded or saturated (Havens 1996). Studies do not have to be in flooded/saturated soils, as long as they involve wetland-characteristic species.
To be summarized as evidence for this action, studies must have explicitly compared the performance of soaked and unsoaked plants. Studies that simply report the performance of pruned plants are not summarized here. Studies do not have to be in flooded/saturated soils, as long as they involve wetland-characteristic species.
Related actions: Soak seeds before sowing.
Havens K.J. (1996) Plant Adaptations to Saturated Soils and the Formation of Hypertrophied Lenticels and Adventitious Roots in Woody Species. Wetlands Program Technical Report No. 96-2. Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary.
Pezeshki S.R., Brown C.E., Elcan J.M. & Shields, F.D. Jr. (2005) Responses of nondormant black willow (Salix nigra) cuttings to preplanting soaking and soil moisture. Restoration Ecology, 13, 1–7.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A replicated, randomized, controlled study in a greenhouse in Tennessee, USA (Pezeshki et al. 2005) found that the effects of soaking black willow Salix nigra cuttings before planting depended on both the duration of soaking and soil moisture after planting. All cuttings soaked for 15 days died within 42 days of planting. Under permanently or intermittently flooded conditions, cuttings soaked for 7 days and unsoaked cuttings had statistically similar survival rates after 48 days (soaked: 100%; unsoaked: 86–100%) and shoot biomass over 48 days (soaked: 1.4–1.8 g/plant; unsoaked: 1.4–1.7 g/plant). Under well-watered conditions, cuttings soaked for 7 days had a higher survival rate than unsoaked cuttings after 48 days (soaked: 86%; unsoaked: 57%) but had statistically similar shoot biomass over 48 days (soaked: 1.0 g/plant; unsoaked: 0.5 g/plant). Methods: A total of 378 cuttings (30 cm long, 1 cm diameter) were taken from actively growing black willow trees and planted in pots in a greenhouse (dates not reported). Of these, 252 random cuttings had been soaked in aerated tap water before planting (for 7 or 15 days). The other 126 cuttings had not been soaked. After planting, cuttings were exposed to one of three soil moisture treatments (permanently flooded, flooded for 4 in every 14 days, or daily watering). Seven cuttings/treatment were harvested 0, 4, 10, 17, 42 and 48 days after planting, then dried and weighed.Study and other actions tested
Where has this evidence come from?
List of journals searched by synopsis
All the journals searched for all synopses
This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:Marsh and Swamp Conservation
Marsh and Swamp Conservation - Published 2021
Marsh and Swamp Synopsis