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Sugar helps tree roots?

I came across this article that said sugar sprinkled over the planting area helps root growth in the spring. Anyone heard of that?
I don't suppose it would do any harm?
Sunny Dundee


  • Given the article is from Barcham it's got to be worth a try! It sort of makes sense that it could tide them over until they've leafed out to make their own. My only worry would be attracting pests, but I suppose timing is key (once ants have slowed down?). 
  • I've just planted a few trees, so i'm tempted to give it a go at the end of October.
    The only worry i have is that it attracts the squirrels that visit the garden, and they start digging in amongst the roots.
    Sunny Dundee
  • Isnt there believed to be a relationship between some ants and micorrhizal fungi?  So attracting the right sort of ants could affect/enhance it in some way?  

    Wish our old pal the professor at John Innes was still alive … he’d have explained it. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,872
    One problem is the statement about the ground  temperature. It certainly isn't in double figures here in winter/spring - or even autumn. It's rarely been double figures during September here, and it's been a very, very mild September. 
    I noticed it was written 6 years ago, so I wonder how many folk have tried it  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • I've just a look around the internet, and there seems to be quite a few studies saying it works, but too much can have adverse effects.
    I think i'll give it a miss as i just know i would get it wrong!  :)
    Sunny Dundee
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,313
    Some while ago I wondered if sugar would help plants. After all, plants convert light into sugar via the wonders of photosynthesis to provide energy.
    I read several articles on the subject which all indicated that carbohydrate molecules (e.g. sugar) are too big to be able to enter the roots of plants.
    But there may be some truth in Dove's comment above.

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • No idea re whole plants , but ( personal anecdotal experience rather than rigorously tested) a weak ( tablespoon or so to a litre) solution of sugar does seem to keep cut flowers better in the vase.
    Kindness is always the right choice.
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,460
    My Nan used to put sugar and soluble aspirin in the water for cut flowers, and sometimes she'd use lemonade if there was some that had gone flat (it would have been the kind with sugar, not diet stuff).
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • didywdidyw Posts: 3,539
    I've been putting a little bit of sugar in vases too, to keep the flowers longer.  It kind of makes sense that it would help plants in the ground too.  
    Might give it a go in the spring - anything that helps root growth in my light sandy soil is worth a try. 
    Gardening in East Suffolk on dry sandy soil.
  • I have a book on Acers that reccomends this.  They say it does not cause problems with ants. I have not tried it myself. 
    AB Still learning

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