To determine the root system of a mature B. trifoliolata bush I received permission from the Kopponen ranch in Dripping Springs to extract a larger bush. Previous owners of this ranch had employed buldozers to remove Berberis plants from rangeland, and Viktor Kopponen agreed to sacrifice a plant for my study. I have not extracted a comparably large specimen of B. swaseyi or a hybrid, not wanting to risk destroying them, but my overall impression is:
Next I removed the branches above c. 6 inches from the ground. This revealed 46 stems of various sizes/ages coming from the ground.
|Bush with stems numbered in red.||Distribution of the red numbers in the image to the left.|
|Detail of the area outlined in red above.|
Then I dug a 1 foot ditch at a distance of c. 1 foot around the stems and then cut in from the sides to remove the bush. The thick main root below the lignotuber went directly down into the soil, very deep I assume. The roots were torn in the process revealing a deep orange color. [Compare the yellow stem cuts above.]
|Roots covered with black clay.||As much dirt as possible removed.|
The remaining dirt was carefully washed away.
|View from the top.||View from the bottom.|