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Grades and Standards for Nursery Stock

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  1. Grades and Standards for Nursery Stock by Edward F. Gilman, professor Environmental Horticulture Department IFAS University of Florida http://hort.ufl.edu/woody/planting

  2. Florida grades and standards • 1955 Passed by Florida legislature; 1965 first edition printed • Developed for more accurate communication between buyer/seller • 1998 – second edition; a 10 step process for trees

  3. Grading trees • Tree quality at planting can have a great impact on longevity in the landscape • Four grades exist for nursery plants in Florida. These include: -Florida Fancy -Florida #2 -Florida #1 -Cull

  4. Florida fancy • Single trunk • Branch diameter smaller than 2/3 • No flush cuts/open injuries • Crown full of foliage • Root ball is appropriately sized

  5. Florida #1 • Requires some pruning to develop good structure • Has minor trunk injuries • Double leader in top half of tree

  6. Florida #2 • Trees are misshapen or require major corrective pruning • Defects may take several years to correct • Double leader on bottom half of the tree defect

  7. Cull • Defects are not correctable • Lack vigor • May have poor trunk and branch structure, circling roots, open wounds, flush cuts, or a loose root ball

  8. Step 1- Grade trunk Step 2- Branch arrangement Step 3- Appropriate tree matrix Step 4- Trunk caliper Step 5- Crown spread Step 6- Structural uniformity of crown Step 7- Determine the lowest grade given in steps 1,2,5 and 6 Step 8- Downgrading factors Step 9- Downgrading factors Step 10-Roots Steps for determining the grade of a tree

  9. Step 1Grade trunk

  10. Florida fancy • Single trunk • Straight or with less than 5º bow

  11. Florida #1 Codominant stems • Trunk forks in upper half of tree • Bow of 5º-15º

  12. Florida #2 • Trunk forks in lower half of tree • Bow greater than 15º • Trunk has dogleg • Three or more trunks in upper half of tree Dogleg

  13. Cull • Three or more trunks in lower half of tree. 3 trunks

  14. Step 1- Grade trunk Step 2- Branch arrangement Step 3- Appropriate tree matrix Step 4- Trunk caliper Step 5- Crown spread Step 6- Structural uniformity of crown Step 7- Determine the lowest grade given in steps 1,2,5 and 6 Step 8- Downgrading factors Step 9- Downgrading factors Step 10-Roots Steps for determining the grade of a tree

  15. Step 2 Grade branch arrangement

  16. Florida fancy • Large branches spaced at least 6” apart along the trunk • No branch greater than 2/3 diameter of trunk • No vertical branches

  17. Florida #1 • All branches equally dominant • Branches are at least 4” apart • One branch in upper half of tree may be greater than 2/3 • No branch tips are taller than trunk

  18. Florida #2 • Most branches vertical • Major branches spaced 4” apart in two or more locations • One branch in lower half of tree larger than 2/3

  19. Cull • Vertical branching • Narrow branch angles • Major branches growing from same point or opposite from each other • Major branches less than 4’ from the ground

  20. Step 1- Grade trunk Step 2- Branch arrangement Step 3- Appropriate tree matrix Step 4- Trunk caliper Step 5- Crown spread Step 6- Structural uniformity of crown Step 7- Determine the lowest grade given in steps 1,2,5 and 6 Step 8- Downgrading factors Step 9- Downgrading factors Step 10-Roots Steps for determining the grade of a tree

  21. Step 3 Choose appropriate tree matrix from index

  22. Based on natural form of the tree • Type 1- Spreading and rounded shapes. Ex- Live oak, sycamore, black olive. • Type 2- Pyramidal shapes. Ex- Pin oak, southern magnolia, pine. • Type 3- Columnar/ upright shapes. Ex- Loblolly bay, Italian cypress, stopper. • Type 4- Vase shapes. Ex- Chinese elm, hawthorn, redbud. • Type 5- Oval shapes. Ex- Ash, basswood, red maple.

  23. Step 1- Grade trunk Step 2- Branch arrangement Step 3- Appropriate tree matrix Step 4- Trunk caliper Step 5- Crown spread Step 6- Structural uniformity of crown Step 7- Determine the lowest grade given in steps 1,2,5 and 6 Step 8- Downgrading factors Step 9- Downgrading factors Step 10-Roots Steps for determining the grade of a tree

  24. Step 4Measure trunk caliper

  25. Measure trunk caliper • Caliper- Trunk diameter measured 6” from the ground for trees up to 4” caliper, and 12” from ground for larger trees.

  26. Step 1- Grade trunk Step 2- Branch arrangement Step 3- Appropriate tree matrix Step 4- Trunk caliper Step 5- Crown spread Step 6- Structural uniformity of crown Step 7- Determine the lowest grade given in steps 1,2,5 and 6 Step 8- Downgrading factors Step 9- Downgrading factors Step 10-Roots Steps for determining the grade of a tree

  27. Step 5Grade crown spread

  28. Grading for crown spread • Measure crown spread • Spread must be greater or equal to the minimum for the grade Crown Spread Diameter: The average of the widest branch spread and that perpendicular to it.

  29. Type one matrix

  30. Step 1- Grade trunk Step 2- Branch arrangement Step 3- Appropriate tree matrix Step 4- Trunk caliper Step 5- Crown spread Step 6- Structural uniformity of crown Step 7- Determine the lowest grade given in steps 1,2,5 and 6 Step 8- Downgrading factors Step 9- Downgrading factors Step 10-Roots Steps for determining the grade of a tree

  31. Step 6Grade structural uniformity of crown

  32. Florida fancy • Branches evenly distributed around trunk • No major branch located directly above another Crown full of foliage

  33. Small void Florida #1 • Most branches evenly distributed • One major branch located directly above another • Not completely foliated- small voids present.

  34. Florida #2 • Branches not evenly distributed • Several branches growing on same side • Two or more branches located directly above each other • Large voids in crown

  35. Cull • Tree is one sided or flat sided • Major branches growing from only one or two sides • Large gaps in crown

  36. Step 1- Grade trunk Step 2- Branch arrangement Step 3- Appropriate tree matrix Step 4- Trunk caliper Step 5- Crown spread Step 6- Structural uniformity of crown Step 7- Determine the lowest gradegiven in steps 1,2,5 and 6 Step 8- Downgrading factors Step 9- Downgrading factors Step 10-Roots Steps for determining the grade of a tree

  37. Step 7Determine the lowest grade from steps 1, 2, 5, and 6

  38. Determine the lowest grade from steps 1, 2, 5, and 6 Step 1- Florida #1 Step 2- Florida #1 Step 5- Florida fancy Step 6- Florida #1 Lowest grade – Florida #1

  39. Step 1- Grade trunk Step 2- Branch arrangement Step 3- Appropriate tree matrix Step 4- Trunk caliper Step 5- Crown spread Step 6- Structural uniformity of crown Step 7- Determine the lowest grade given in steps 1,2,5 and 6 Step 8- Downgrading factors-takes 1 Step 9- Downgrading factors-takes two Step 10-Roots Steps for determining the grade of a tree

  40. Step 8Downgrading factors- Deduct one grade for every true statement

  41. Tree with caliper greater than 1” requires staking Stake

  42. Root ball/container undersized

  43. B&B root ball not properly secured Materials used to secure B&B root balls B&B properly secured

  44. Root-bound Large roots growing around outer edge of root ball

  45. One or two roots growing out of container or grow bag Root greater than 1/5 diameter of the trunk

  46. Crown thin/sparsely foliated

  47. Tip dieback on more than 5% of branches

  48. Step 1- Grade trunk Step 2- Branch arrangement Step 3- Appropriate tree matrix Step 4- Trunk caliper Step 5- Crown spread Step 6- Structural uniformity of crown Step 7- Determine the lowest grade given in steps 1,2,5 and 6 Step 8- Downgrading factors-takes one Step 9- Downgrading factors-takes 2 Step 10-Roots Steps for determining the grade of a tree