Grow Rootstock in Pot or In Ground

I received a bunch of persimmon seedlings as future rootstocks. Just wonder if it is better to plant them in 4" x 9" tall tree pots, or plant them in ground. I prefer the former, but concerned with how much they can grow this season. The roots fit the tree pots really well now, but can’t go any deeper.

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I’d put them in the tree pots. Prune back the taproot a bit to encourage lateral rooting. Not too much, though, as you want the resources stored in those roots to encourage top growth. I put almost all my persimmons in 14" deepots, and those are about 2/3 the volume of your treepots. I grafted them all last year and they grew well, but I think most of them could get away with a second year in those pots.

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The 16" pots are much taller. So I think my 9" pots may be good just for one year. Then have to be grafted this dormant season. Not sure about next year…

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I’d be more worried about soil volume than depth for pot longevity. When the roots hit the bottom holes, they’ll air prune if you keep them off the ground. You end up with a better branched root system than if you let the tap root grow. I have one persimmon in a 4x9.5" treepot (I ran out of the deepots) and I think it will be just as fine growing in that another year as the deepot ones. That being said, I’m planning on planting mine out and maybe giving away or selling the extras, so I may not get a definitive answer.

Similarly, mine in tall tree pots, 14" …pots are 75 cents each. Will hold till next spring. IMG_0535 .
Plus, thanks for Kasandra!