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Glossary of Terms


Cell Grown
Seeds are planted in tiny pots and the resulting young tree is termed as cell-grown or a plug. Typically these trees are quite small but they do have a good planting success rate and can be useful for early or late season planting.

Conifer
Cone bearing tree 

Containerised

Field grown plants potted for ease of transport and sale. This facilitates health of rootball and prevents damage to delicate roots. 

Container grown
Plant has been potted and grown on in a container, sold with an established rootball. 

Crown (of a tree)
All that part of a tree above the lowest branch 

Deciduous

Sheds its leaves each year at the end of the period of growth 

Dormancy

A state of greatly reduced metabolism in which a plant or part of a plant is alive but not growing 

Double Flowers
With more than the usual number of petals, often with other floral parts changed to petals 

Fastigiate

With branches erect and close together 

Feathered Tree
Typically a small tree 1-2m tall which has not had it's side branches removed. The ideal form for hedging. 

Field-grown
Having been established and grown in the open ground and not grown in a container 

Grafted

Produced by obtaining a union between a shoot (the scion) of one plant and a rooted portion of another (the stock) 

Hardy

Able to thrive in a given climate all the year round without special protection 

Heel In

This is a short-term method of storage whereby bare-root trees have their root systems covered with soil to prevent them drying out. 

Lateral

On or near the side 

Leader

The clearly defined single dominant stem at the top of the tree 

Linear
Long and narrow with nearly parallel margins 

Mulch Mat
This is a layer of woven organic or inorganic material designed to perform the same function as employing natural organic mulch. 

Mulch
A layer of organic material which is placed around a plant to improve the fertility of the soil, reduce weed growth, and reduce water loss - all of which will ultimately improve the growth rate of the plant. 

Multistem
A tree that has been grown to produce more than one stem. The resulting shape is more of a bush than a tree. 

Notch Planting
A method of planting whereby a spade is used to create a slit in the ground into which a tree's roots can be inserted and then heeled in. 

Pit Planting

A method of planting where a hole is dug to accommodate the tree or shrub's root system. This is then filled in gently to hold the tree firmly. 

Plug
See Cell Grown above. 

Pollard

Trees which have been cut down to approx 12 ft tall with the objective of encouraging them to re-grow into a short, branchy tree with a round crown. This used to be a traditional method of growing firewood quickly. 

Root Collar
The position of the main stem or stems of a plant, which coincides with the surface level of the soil. 

Rootballed plant
A plant which has been grown in the nursery soil and then lifted ready for sale will retain some of this soil and all of its roots. The Rootball thus formed is then wrapped in hessian to preserve the root system and improve the plant's chances of becoming well established once properly planted. With larger plants the rootball is wrapped in hessian and then a wire mesh is put around this to hold it firm. The hessian and wire should always be left on the plant and not removed when planting. Both the hessian and the wire will rot away within 3 to 6 months. 

Rootstock

The rooted portion of a plant or a root on which one or more scions are worked. 

Seedling
A one year old plant which has been grown very close to its neighbours in a seed bed. This makes for a very compact plant and root system. 

Semi-evergreen

Evergreen but losing a few leaves in autumn and more in adverse weather conditions. 

Standard

A tree with a single stem that has had it's side branches removed to form a clear stem below the first branch. The height of the clear stem is normally about 1.8 to 2m. A half standard has a clear stem of 1 to 1.2 metres. A short standard has a clear stem of under 50cm. 

Transplants

Bareroot planting stock which has been grown as a seedling for one year is then transplanted into a new nursery bed. These Transplants are allowed to grow and develop within the nursery soil for another year until they are ready to be lifted for sale. This method of plant production makes for a large fibrous root system which makes the plant more likely to succeed. 

Whip
A small, clear-stemmed tree is often referred to as a Whip. These can easily be fitted into the various tree protection tubes currently available, and are typically less than 1.5m tall.