B. Definitions
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Bare Root: The root system of nursery stock without a ball of earth.

Branch: The major lateral shoots emanating from a tree trunk, as compared to twigs or spurs, which are minor shoots emanating from a trunk or branch. On large established trees, not nursery stock, branches are referred to as limbs.

Budded: Referring to bud-grafting, where a bud from one plant has been grafted onto another plant (typically an understock) as a method of asexual propagation.

Caliper: The above ground diameter of a distinct part of a nursery stock stem, measured in accordance with these standards. May be abbreviated as Cal.

Cane: The major shoots emanating directly from the basal area of a shrub.

Certified: Designated free of injurious pests or diseases.

Collar: The region of the plant where root and shoot meet, generally at the soil line.

Collected: Material dug from native stands, established woodlots or other non-cultivated areas. Collected plants must be designated as such.

Container: The pot in which nursery stock is grown or sold. Containers are manufactured of different materials such as peat moss, plastic, wood, paper, cloth, etc. and may vary greatly in size, shape and quality. However, in the context of nursery stock, containers are not used as a final installation for growing, as for example in a landscape planter.

Crown: That part of a plant directly above where branching begins.

Cultivar: A contraction of the words cultivated variety. Cultivated plants that are specifically named, whose unique characteristics are retained during propagation and populations are maintained by human efforts. Distinguished from botanical varieties which also are distinct populations of plants in a species, but naturally occurring.

Field Potted: Plants dug with an intact soil ball and placed in a container, in lieu of burlap.

Grade, Nursery Stock Grade: Any and all designations associated with a plant group signifying sizes, qualities and historical details of a nursery stock item.

Grading examples:

•2 yr./No. 1; (2 year plants, number 1 quality)

•250 cm/25 mm cal./B&B; (plants 250 cm in height or spread, with a 25 mm caliper trunk, hand dug balled and burlapped)

Graft: A product or procedure of joining two plants or plant parts together so that they will unite and continue their growth as one, as a method of asexual propagation.

Height: Unless otherwise specified, the vertical distance between the ground line and the top of the stem of nursery stock, measured in its natural position.

Habit: The manner of natural or nursery formed growth, consistent with specific species; e.g. whether tall, dwarf, spreading, trailing, columnar, open, or tree, shrub or herb.

Liners: Young, immature plants intended for growing-on to mature sizes in nurseries, either by lining-out in the field or in containers. Typically 1 or 2 years old and often sold bare-root or in small containers.

Medium: Material plants may be grown in.

Micropropagation: see Tissue Culture

Nursery Stock: Plants, both woody and herbaceous, including roots, crowns, bulbs, corms and tubers, produced for transplanting. “Nursery Stock” are plants which have been propagated, lined out and grown to promote growth and root development to enable full recovery after transplanting.

Plug: A cylinder of medium in which a plant is grown. The term is generally used for seedlings and rooted cuttings.

Processed Ball: Plants dug bare root, while dormant, to which a moist medium is added around the roots to form a ball designed to sustain plant growth.

Root Ball: The intact ball of earth containing the roots of nursery stock.  A root ball may be:

  • hand dug and balled and burlapped;
  • machine dug and contained in a wire basket;
  • potted and grown under proper cultural practices, so that when the pot is removed, the roots are sufficient to keep the root ball intact;
  • container grown, so that when the container is removed the roots are  sufficient to keep the root ball intact; or in the case of planting stock with the container, so that the roots have penetrated the container wall and bottom, are visible, and the root ball will not be negatively affected when the container is partially damaged for planting;
  • in an in-ground fabric container, so that when the fabric is removed the roots are sufficient to keep the root ball intact.

Root Pruning: The systematic pruning of roots of nursery stock growing in the field, in order to stimulate branching of roots and the production of fibrous roots.

Root Stock: A plant on which a variety or species is grafted or budded which is used to support and or influence the growth habit of the variety. The root stock on which a plant is grafted or budded should be indicated.

Rooted Cutting: A vegetative portion removed from a parent plant that has been induced to form roots and eventually new leaves and shoots.

Hardwood Cuttings are those made from mature, dormant wood; usually after one growing season and when the plant has dropped its leaves.

Softwood Cuttings are those prepared from the soft, succulent new growth of plants during the active growing season usually from the tips of branches.

Spurs: Branches with restricted longitudinal growth and shortened internodes typically appearing on branches of fruit trees and whips.

Tissue Culture: (or micropropagation) - Propagation of plants from very small plant parts, tissues or cells grown in a test tube or container where the environment and nutrition are rigidly controlled.

Trunk: The distinct part of a stem, or stems of a tree, before branching occurs.

Whip: A young tree without branches; but, in some species and grades showing spurs.

Whorl: A group of three or more leaves, flowers or other branches at the same node.

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