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in horticulture, the process of removing a plant from the place where it has been growing and replanting it in another. The major requirement in transplanting (especially of larger plants) is a sufficient water supply, since the roots are almost inevitably injured in the process. In most cases the roots should be pruned well before replanting, both to stimulate new and compact growth and to eliminate the injured portions. The "balling" of tree roots improves the chances of survival of the plant when transplanted. Topping (see pruningpruning,
the horticultural practice of cutting away an unwanted, unnecessary, or undesirable plant part, used most often on trees, shrubs, hedges, and woody vines. Man uses pruning to remove diseased or injured parts of the plant (see tree surgery), to influence vertical or
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) is usually also required to balance the amount of foliage with the reduced root surface, otherwise more moisture is lost in transpiration than can be absorbed by the roots. Transplanting at a time of minimal evaporation (e.g., an evening or a cloudy day) or of minimal growth (e.g., the dormant season) can help minimize the stress on the plant. Crop and garden plants as well as trees are often started in greenhouses or nurseries under conditions carefully controlled to ensure maximal sprouting and vigorous early growth; they are then transplanted as seedlings or young plants to their permanent environment.


See N. Taylor, ed., Encyclopedia of Gardening (4th ed. 1961); bulletins of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



in horticulture, the planting of young plants in a permanent place (field, orchard, garden); an important farming procedure in raising many agricultural crops, decorative plants, and trees. Transplanting is used in vegetable raising, fruit growing, forestry, tobacco farming, and flower raising. Seedlings are transferred from seedbeds, hotbeds, hothouses, and nurseries to permanent sites, where they continue to grow and to produce a crop. For potatoes, tubers are planted; for onions, small bulbs raised from seeds; for mint, rootstock cuttings; and for sugarcane, stemcuttings. To obtain the seeds of root crops, the root is planted.

In vegetable raising, transplanting is used most commonly for tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers, peppers, and eggplant. The seedlings are watered abundantly before transplantation, and the roots of unpotted plants are dipped in a pasty mixture of clay and liquid manure with phosphoamide (to prevent drying out). The seedlings are planted by a transplanting machine or manually. They are set in the soil to the first healthy leaf. The plants are watered during or after planting (0.3–1 1 per plant). After five to seven days, the transplants are inspected, and new seedlings are planted in place of those that have died. Transplanting is also used in raising tobacco, essential-oil crops (for example, East Indian basil), and flowering and other decorative plants.

In fruit growing, transplanting is the basic method of establishing commercial household orchards. Holes measuring 0.6 m in depth and 1 m in diameter are dug in the prepared plot for seed-bearing fruits (apple, pear); 0.4 m and 0.8 m, respectively, for stone fruits (cherry, plum); and 0.4 m and 0.6 m, respectively, for berries (currants, gooseberries, raspberries). Two-thirds of the hole is filled with fertile soil containing humus and mineral fertilizers. The root neck must be 4–10 cm above the surface of the ground. A hole for watering (20–30 l per plant) is made around transplanted trees or shrubs. Planting is done in the spring or autumn by machine or manually.

Transplanting is used in forestry to restore or develop a forest and to establish windbreaks. After plowing, transplants are set into the ground by tree-planting machines or by hand (with a clump of dirt or bare-rooted).


Tkachenko, M. E. Obshchee lesovodstvo, 2nd ed. Moscow-Leningrad, 1955.
Kiselev, G. E. Tsvetovodstvo, 3rd ed. 1964.
Rubtsov, M. I., and V. P. Matveev. Ovoshchevodstvo. Moscow, 1970. Rastenievodstvo, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1971.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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