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Air-Pots – have you tried them?

The Caledonian Tree Company has been developing and manufacturing the Air-Pot container in Scotland since 1996. The whole premise of the system is to champion the engine of any plants - the roots. Creating the best possible root system is our priority, a brilliant bi-product of this is the production of the best plants. The container will benefit any plant, from prize vegetables, to trees and shrubs. It has remarkable flexibility and can be used in many different ways to achieve a wonderful range of results.

How Air-Pot® Works

The shape of the pot wall guides each root towards an air hole. The air dehydrates the tip, ‘air-prunes’ it and stimulates root branching. This process repeats until there is a mass of healthy fibrous roots. The air holes also ensure perfect drainage and aeration of the growing medium, creating ideal conditions for healthy bacteria to release more nutrient to the plant.

Picture 1: Strawberries in an Air-Pot Container


Two sets of recently published research from Holland and Germany, have found that the British designed and made Air-Pot container was the only type of pot to eliminate root circling entirely, and that the resulting healthy root system led to better tree health and faster growth.

In the Dutch trial, independently verified by Cultus Crop Research BV, three species of tree grown in Air-Pot containers were found to grow on average 68% faster than those in the open field, with Liquidambar growing an astonishing 75% faster.

Fig 1: Side by side comparison of field grown or grown in an Air-Pot Container


Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do. Our philosophy has always been to manufacture the world’s best plant container with the minimum possible environmental impact. Central to this is our use of recycled plastic.

Since 1995 our containers have been made from recycled HDPE, a material commonly used to make cable sheathing or bottles for everything from milk to shampoo. The discarded plastic arrives at our factory washed and chipped where we colour it black and mould it into the uniquely profiled sheets that become Air-Pot container walls. These walls are then wrapped around a base and secured with a fixing. The pots are reusable many. many times over and have been shown to last by customers for upwards of 10 years.

Picture 2: A 5 Litre Air-Pot Container

Planting trees is recognised as one of the most effective ways of combating climate change, as they sequester some of the 40 billion tonnes of CO2 produced by humans each year. Research has shown that Air-Pot grown trees absorb up to 75% more CO2 than those grown in conventional containers. They also continue to grow 40% faster after they have been planted in the landscape. Their improved root structure not only ensures this hugely improved rate of growth but also means a much lower failure rate after planting.

As a result of this faster growth and greater root density, the growing of trees in Air-Pot containers in forty countries around the world, means the absorption of thousands of additional tonnes of CO2 each year. This massively outweighs the 150 tonnes of CO2 produced annually in the manufacture and distribution of our products.

Picture. 3 This is the washed out root system of a Cryptomeria japonica that was grown from seed in an Air-Pot container in 2020

For any more information on the Air-Pot container, please head to our website and feel free to reach out with any queries!

Article and photos by kind permission of Georgie Single

Daughter of Jamie & Suzie and the next generation of The Caledonian Tree Company, Georgie is based in London. Having lived in Australia for 4 years after University, Georgie returned to the UK and has been full time with the Air-Pot team since 2021. She can be found travelling around The UK (and beyond) visiting customers or at Kew Gardens, where she volunteers in The Arboretum Nursery 1 day a week.

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