So I am approaching a time in my yard that I shall begin to root prune. I have read all manner of practices regarding timing, approach, and benifits.
What I have yet to read is if there is any benifit to root pruning prior to dormancy. That is, while the plant is still collecting energy from the sun and building it stores for the following spring.
My curiosities are these;
Is the act of root pruning so demanding on a hop plant that shock would result?
If hops do not shock as a result of the rhisome root pruning, doesn't it make sense to prune immediately after harvest when the plants energies are focused on propagation and winter storage?
It seems to me that much of the plants stores and energy would be lost by the act of pruning in that much starch reserves would be bound up in the rhisomes and unavailable to the host plants once those are pruned off. i would surmize that if pruning were done immediately after harvest that all of the plants stored energy would be more readily available to the host in the following spring.
I know this is not a commercial practice for reasons of value added sales of the rhisomes but, I am curious as to the benifit of the plant health by such a practice.
Also, what could be gained by processing the pruned rhisomes into a pulp and returning them to the soil? The processing, I think, would eliminate the potential for rooting but would return nutrients to the soil as well as add to the organic matter.