Air Pruning Bed DIY Manual


Are you looking for a way to grow hundreds of healthy trees with highly-branched root systems from seed in a tiny footprint?

Then an Air Pruning Bed is just what you’re looking for!

This 35 page manual contains both full-color photos and precise Sketch Up models with detailed written instructions to guide you through the simple process of constructing your own air pruning bed(s).

Also includes a complete materials list with links to where the materials can be purchased.


Air prune beds create healthy, non-circling, highly-branched root systems by using air to prune tree roots. After the root tips are air-pruned, they go dormant and this generates a hormonal signal that back propagates to the stem-root junction and signals more roots to emerge heading out in new directions. This way you NEVER get circling or girdling roots as is so common with trees grown in pots!

You also don’t get stunted root systems with minimal water and nutrient absorbing capacity that results from root circling – instead you get many thousands of active root tips branching out in different directions – this increases not only tree survival rates upon planting, but also thrival rates! (Yes, we made that word up 🙂  Air pruned trees have been documented to do in 1 year what a typical, root-bound, pot-grown tree will do in three!

What Are The Benefits Of Air Pruning?

  • Air pruned root systems have a much higher survival and thrival rate in comparison with slick walled root systems (stunted root systems).
  • Air pruned root balls routinely exhibit growth in 1 year that will take slick walled root systems several years to attain.
  • Improved drainage (no anaerobic pooling as often happens in slick walled pots) = healthier soil.
  • Tap-root preservation (the tap root may air prune, but once planted the dormant root will resume growing downwards – this is important for tree and plant species that need strong tap roots to survive in harsh climates).
  • Highly-branched, fibrous root systems gather more moisture and nutrient and anchor the tree much more solidly, reducing the need for staking.
    Trees are protected from ground-dwelling vermin (growing in pots or elevated air prune beds).

Watch the video featuring Dr. Carl Whitcomb’s research on air pruning below!

Want to see our air pruning beds in action growing trees for Honey Badger Nursery?

Check out the two videos below – one shot in the middle of summer growth season and the other when yearling chestnut trees are being pulled from the bed and readied for sale.


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