Red oak (Quercus rubra L.) of 2 caliper sizes, 8.4 and 3.6 cm (3.3 and 1.4 in.), and 2 vigor classes (high and low) within the small-caliper trees, were transplanted to compare growth and establishment over a 4-year period. Possible confounding factors such as pre-transplant vigor, genetics, relative root-ball to backfill volume, and relative canopy to root-ball volume were controlled to determine whether small-caliper trees establish more rapidly than large-caliper trees. Large-caliper trees had high mortality, 58%, while no small-caliper trees died. Based on trunk caliper and height growth after transplanting, surviving large-caliper trees established faster than small-caliper trees-demonstrating that transplanted large-caliper red oaks can establish as rapidly as small-caliper red oaks.
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