G. Deciduous Trees
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Deciduous trees, including shade and flowering trees, may be:
(1)     Bare Root
(2)     Balled and Burlapped
(3)     Machine Dug into Wire Baskets
(4)    Processed Ball
(5)    Container Grown
(6)    In-Ground Fabric Container

Descriptions:  Three types of deciduous trees are considered separately as follows:

Dwarf, Formal and Topworked (grafted) Trees
This group includes many small trees grown as standards, (topworked or grafted). The maximum height at maturity for this group is usually 600 cm.

Specify the following:
(a)     Height of the stem in appropriate cm
(b)    The size and / or age of the head.
(c)     The caliper of the stem, when the caliper exceeds 40 mm

Acer platanoides ‘Globosum’/200 cm stem, 60 cm head
Catalpa bignonioides ‘Nana’/200 cm stem, 50 mm caliper, 60 cm head
Caragana arborescens ‘Pendula’/125 cm stem, 40 cm/2yr. head
Measuring Caliper
Caliper must be the determining measurement when the caliper exceeds 40 mm. It must be measured no less than 15 cm above the ground level for trees with a caliper up to 100 mm.  Trees 100 mm and larger caliper are to be measured 30 cm above the ground level. 

Standard Shade Trees includes large growing shade trees which may be suitable for streets, boulevards, parks, residential or industrial use.  They can also be used as screens and shelter belts.

Acer platanoides
Acer saccharum
Fraxinus pennsylvanica
Gleditsia triacanthos cultivars
Tilia cordata

Standard Shade Trees must have straight sturdy trunks, with a well branched and balanced head.  Branching structure of the head will vary according to species, height, age and climatic/cultural conditions. A dominant, central leader will not necessarily be evident or expected at a certain age of a tree’s maturity or be typical of its natural growth habit. This form of indeterminate or diffuse branching should be recognized and considered acceptable when bid specifications are given.

Height must be as follows:
in 25 cm increments from 100 cm to 200 cm
in 50 cm increments from 200 cm to 500 cm
in 100 cm increments from 500 cm and over

Height of Branching (Street Trees)
Bid specifications for trees for street plantings should specify the height to which the tree should be free of branching. Height of branching should bear a relationship to the size and kind of tree.

Standard Shade Trees Measured by Height

Caliper Overall Height Minimum Number of Branches in Head
40 mm 250 - 300 cm 8
45 mm 300 - 350 cm 9
50 mm 350 - 400 cm 10

For Standard Shade Trees - Caliper is designated as follows:

in 2 mm increments to 10 mm
in 5 mm increments from 10 mm to 50 mm
in 10 mm increments from 50 mm to 100 mm
in 25 mm increments above 100 mm

Height Relationship to Caliper by Types
It is recognized that climatic conditions in different sections of the country produce trees of different caliper-height proportions. Trees from one region of the country may have less caliper in proportion to height while trees from another regions may have greater caliper in proportion to height than shown in the following table.

The following table shows the average height range and the maximum heights permitted.
Whips are immature shade trees that are traditionally used for growing either in open field plantings or grown to a larger size in containers. The term “whip” refers to the fact that there is little or no lateral branching. Whips are normally one year old when grown from hardwood cuttings, 2 years when grown from softwood cuttings or seedlings and in the case of budded varieties they normally have a 1 year top and a 2 year root system. Tree whips should have straight, sturdy trunks and a well developed root system. Height and caliper measurements of whips may vary according to species, height and climatic/cultural conditions.

Standard Shade Trees Measured by Caliper
Overall Approximate Height Caliper Minimum Number of Branches in Head Minimum Root Spread
200 - 250 cm 20 mm 3 40 cm
250 - 300 cm 25 mm 5 45 cm
250 - 300 cm 30 mm 6 50 cm
300 - 350 cm 35 mm 7 60 cm

Other Forms of Trees:
(a)  Small Spreading Tree
These are usually small trees which may have a stem 30 cm to 80 cm in height and a well balanced head.
Amelanchier laevis   
Cercis canadensis
Fagus sylvatica ‘Riversii’       
Malus ‘Royalty’

Height Approximate Caliper
60 - 80 cm 10 mm
80 - 100 cm 10 mm
100 - 125 cm 15 mm
125 - 150 cm 15 mm
150 - 175 cm 20 mm
175 - 200 cm 20 mm
200 - 250 cm 20+mm

(b)  Columnar  and  Fastigiate  Types
These  are tall growing trees with one main stem usually branched from ground level. If not branched from the ground, state height of branching.

Carpinus betulus ‘Fastigiata’   
Fagus sylvatica ‘Fastigiata’
Quercus robur ‘Fastigiata’   
Populus canescens ‘Tower’

(c)  Multi-stemmed Types
Tall growing trees with 2 or more main stems, the number of stems shall be specified as follows:

-  2 stem
-  3 or more stems

More stems may be specified if desired. The largest stem shall determine the grade of  the clump.  No stem may be counted if it is more than two sizes smaller than the size specified. For example, a specified Betula 80 mm clump 3 stems, could have two stems 60 mm, one 80 mm  and still be acceptable as an 80 mm clump.

Acer ginnala       
Betula papyrifera

Digging Standards
These standards include bare root, balled and burlapped, machine dug into wire baskets and processed ball but does not include in-ground fabric containers.

Root and ball sizes should always be of a width and depth to encompass enough of the fibrous and absorptive root system to enable full recovery of the plant.

Bare Root
All bare root trees shall have a well branched root system characteristic of the species. Root size must conform to the table in Section 5.2 and 5.3.

Balled and Burlapped
Balls must be solid, remain intact until planted and be tied tightly with burlap and rope.  Using 142 g jute burlap, balls may be dug up to 40 cm diameter without the support of heavy twine or rope. Root ball sizes must conform to the tables in Section 5.2 and 5.3. Plant trunks should be in the centre of the root ball. 

Machine Dug into Wire Basket
Plants dug mechanically with an intact soil ball and placed in burlap lined wire baskets. The burlap shall be secured tightly over the top of the ball and the wire basket cross laced securely. 

The basket shall fit the ball tightly, crimping can ensure this. Plant trunks should be in the centre of the root ball. 

Processed Ball
Plants dug bare root, while dormant, to which a moist medium is added around the roots to form a ball shall have a well branched root system characteristic of the species. Root size must conform to the tables in Section 5.2 and 5.3.

Root Ball Diameter
The following table below represents the recommended minimum root ball diameters for field dug plants, excluding those in in-ground fabric containers. For in-ground fabric container recommendations see Section 5.5.

Larger root balls than those recommended in the table are required when the plants have not been transplanted or root pruned for four or more years or when plants are dug out of season.

The minimum root ball size for multi-stemmed trees shall be one size larger than the sizes specified for single-stemmed trees of equivalent caliper as shown in the table below.

Collected or native material dug from woodlots or fence rows must have a root ball 50% greater than stated in the table.

Field Grown Trees
Approximate Height Range Caliper Ball Diameter Approximate Ball Depth Approximate Ball Weight
250 - 300 cm 40 mm 60 cm 40 cm 150 kg
300 - 425 cm 50 mm 70 cm 40 cm 200 kg
350 - 500 cm 60 mm 70 cm 40 cm 200 kg
425 - 550 cm 70 mm 80 cm 50 cm 300 kg
450 - 575 cm 80 mm 90 cm 50 cm 400 kg
475 - 600 cm 90 mm 90 cm 50 cm 400 kg
500 - 625 cm 100 mm 100 cm 50 cm 600 kg
550 - 700 cm 125 mm 120 cm 80 cm 1200 kg
600 - 775 cm 150 mm 150 cm 80 cm 1500 kg
650 - 825 cm 175 mm 175 cm 80 cm 1800 kg
700 - 825 cm  200 mm 200 cm 80 cm 2000 kg

Container Grown Standards
An established container grown tree shall be a tree transplanted into a container and grown in that container for a sufficient length of time for new fibrous roots to have developed so that the root mass will retain its shape and hold together when removed from the container.  Trees should be transplanted into larger containers after 3 years.

The container shall be sufficiently rigid to hold the ball shape to protect the root mass during shipping. The trunk shall be protected during shipping and the top shall be protected if necessary to prevent excess branch breakage.

Dwarf and light growing varieties may be one or two sizes smaller than standard for a given size container.

All trees are to be individually labelled.

Due to the wide range of soil mixes used across Canada weight will not be used as a standard for container grown trees. (see table).

In-ground Fabric Container Standards

These containers have been developed in recent years and may be used by growers to increase root density and enable a smaller root ball than for conventional field dug plants. Users unfamiliar with handling plants produced in in-ground containers should consult the growers.

Container Grown Trees
Height Range Approximate Caliper Container Top Diameter Container Size
50 - 80 cm 8 mm 15 - 19 #1
80 - 125 cm 10 mm 19 - 23 #2
100 - 150 cm 15 mm 23 - 26 #3
150 - 250 cm 20 - 30 mm 25 - 31 #5
200 - 300 cm 30 - 35 mm 31 - 36 #7
250 - 350 cm 35 - 40 mm 38 - 40 #10
300 - 400 cm 40 - 45 mm 38 - 44 #15
350 - 450 cm 45 - 50 mm 43 - 45 #20
400 - 500 cm 50 - 60 mm 50 - 60  #25

The following table represents the recommended minimum root ball diameters for in-ground containers. Plants must be grown for a minimum of two seasons in the fabric container. Deciduous trees should be grown in the same container for a maximum of four years depending on the plant size and container size at planting. After this period trees should transplanted into larger containers.

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