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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 75 No. 4, p. 712-714
    Received: July 12, 1982

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Device for Removing Mini-Rhizotrons from the Field1

  1. B. L. McMichael and
  2. A. D. Brashears2



Mini-rhizotrons (glass or acrylic tubes) are gaining widespread usage as an acceptable means for observing in situ plant root growth under field conditions. These transparent tubes are placed in the soil to various depths, and roots growing against the surface of the tube are observed throughout the season. It is difficult to remove intact mini-rhizotrons from the field for reuse to reduce cost because close contact between the soil and glass surface must be maintained. An inexpensive extraction device for the removal of mini-rhizotrons with minimum breakage or marring of the surface is described. The unit consists of a shaft to which an expandable, spring-loaded foot mechanism is attached. Foot plates expand and engage the bottom edge of the mini-rhizotron tube after the foot mechanism is lowered to the bottom of the tube. A tractor lift or other suitable hydraulic lifting apparatus is then attached to the other end of the rod and the tube is lifted out intact. Modifications of the device to accommodate tubes of different sizes and lengths and to assure that the inner surface of the tube is not scratched by the device are discussed.

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