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Clarifying usage of grades and standards: tipping

Frustrating issue: Several inspectors are rejecting trees because the leader was tipped in the nursery to help reestablish the leader.

What grades and standards says: The document on page 10 is clear on this matter. In the text describing both Florida Fancy and Florida #1 the document states "The tip of the leader on the main trunk must be intact and its terminal bud must be the highest part of the tree." If the leader is not intact then the tree is a Florida #2.

Summary statement: This statement says that if the tree was headed (also called tipped or topped) recently so there is no clear leader re-established, then the tree is a Florida #2. So if there are no sprouts coming from the cut, of if there are many small short sprouts coming from the cut, then the tree is a Florida #2. However, if the tree received this treatment some time ago and the leader has been re-established, then the tree is not downgraded for this. In other words plenty of trees are tipped or topped in the nursery. For some species this is a common practice that results in a high quality shade tree that meets Grades and Standards.