The benefits and costs of varying container sizes have yet to be fully evaluated to determine which container size affords the most advantageous opportunity for consumers. To determine value of the tree following transplant, clonal replicates of Vitex agnus-castus
L. [Chaste Tree], Acer rubrum
L. var. drummondii
(Hook. & Arn. ex
Nutt.) Sarg. [Drummond Red Maple], and Taxodium distichum
(L.) Rich. [Baldcypress] were grown under common conditions in each of five container sizes 3.5, 11.7, 23.3, 97.8 or 175.0 L, respectively (#1, 3, 7, 25 or 45). In June 2013, six trees of each container size and species were transplanted to a sandy clay loam field in College Station, Texas. To determine the increase in value over a two-year post-transplant period, height and caliper measurements were taken at the end of nursery production and again at the end of the second growing season in the field, October 2014. Utilizing industry standards, initial costs of materials and labor were then compared with the size of trees after two years. Replacement cost analysis after two growing seasons indicated a greater increase in value for 11.7 and 23.3 L trees compared to losses in value for some 175.0 L trees. In comparison with trees from larger containers, trees from smaller size containers experienced shorter establishment times and increased growth rates, thus creating a quicker return on investment for trees transplanted from the smaller container sizes.
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