The pruning of roots instead of branches.
Typically plants are controlled by pruning their branches. Although less accessible, it is possible to prune the route, eg. when a plant is transplanted.
Root pruning is typically performed for two main reasons. First, it is a method controlling the size of the tree. Eg. root pruning is applied to bonsai to stunt the tree's growth, and to produce ancient-looking surface roots.
Secondly, tree saplings in pots can be root-pruned in order to promote the growth of root hairs. These will aid the tree's survival when it is transplanted into its final location.