Minder, V., Maliuha, V., Yukhnovskyi, V., Brovko, F. and Khryk, V. 2022. The structure of root systems in young woody plants under the conditions of park areas with the composite topography. Baltic Forestry 28(1): 69–77.

   Vegetation growing on the slopes counteracts the development of erosion processes, directly affects the improvement of soil properties, which are largely determined by the morphological structure of the root system. We studied the development and distribution of the root systems of trees and shrubs on the slopes with different steepness in a forest park in the northern environs of Kyiv (Ukraine). The method of complete excavation of plants growing under the conditions of composite topography, in the park stands employed near ravines, where the plants were exposed due to erosion, was chosen for the research. The samples of root systems of 15 trees and 5 shrubs selected from different locations of growth places were examined: under the canopy, in canopy windows, in the open space, and at the slopes of different expositions with steepness from 6° to 39°. The plants aged up to 13 years, up to 3.5 m high, with crown diameter up to 130 cm and root neck thickness up to 80 mm were selected from undergrowth and understory. The depth of penetration of the root systems into the soil and the order of their branching were measured for further studying the anti-erosion properties of root systems. The area of horizontal projection of the root system to the crown diameter ratio, the soil saturation with roots and the intensity of root system branching were determined. Numerical indicators of the spatial structure of root systems are extremely important when assessing the studied trees and shrubs.

Keywords: park planting, undergrowth, understore, soil saturation with roots, depth of soil penetration, branching intensity