American Standard for Nursery Stock (ANSI Z60.1) Revised

Jan. 17, 2015

Please see the announcement and link below regarding the new ANSI Standard for Nursery Stock.



“The 2014 American Standard for Nursery Stock (ANSI Z60.1) is available for free from AmericanHort and may be downloaded at”


AmericanHort Publishes Revised American Standard For Nursery Stock

November 4, 2014


AmericanHort announces the revised American Standard for Nursery Stock (ANSI Z60.1) is now available for industry use.

The Standard reflects the consensus of the industry regarding how nursery stock — living plants other than annuals — should be specified and sold within the trade. For instance, it includes how to measure and state the size of a plant, determine the acceptable relationship between the plant and the container or root ball and describe a plant intended for a particular use. In addition to trees and shrubs, it covers liners and understock plants, perennials, grasses, groundcovers, vines, bulbs and roses.

If you buy nursery stock, it is important to provide your supplier with specifications that are consistent with the Standard, or you may not get what you expect. If you grow or distribute nursery stock, it is important for you to market and sell your plants in accordance with the Standard, or your customer may reject them.

The association’s Horticultural Standards Committee developed the 2004 edition from 2005 to 2013. It was submitted to horticultural associations, government agencies and companies for their review in order to develop evidence of industry consensus to meet requirements for accredited national standards. The results of the ballots from the industry were unanimous, and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) recently approved the new Standard.

The 2014 American Standard for Nursery Stock (ANSI Z60.1) is available for free from AmericanHort and may be downloaded at The development of the standard was funded in part by the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI), the Research Affiliate of AmericanHort.

Here are the top five most important revisions to the 2004 edition:

1. To make the Standard easier to use, new tables for each plant type include multiple specifications for each plant size, including minimum root ball size, various measurement ratios such as caliper:height or spread:height, minimum number of canes or branches and minimum container class and inground fabric bag size.

2. Minimum requirements for all nursery stock in a new “General Standards” section include:

·         Good living conditions.

·         Typical in habit for the species in the region of the country in which it is grown.

·         Correct identification (by genus, species and, if applicable, cultivar). (new)

·         Substantially free of damaging insects and diseases. (new)

·         Pruning cuts must be done in accordance with related consensus standards (ASC A300). (new)

·         Type 1 and Type 2 shade trees may not have co-dominant stems in the bottom half of the crown. (new)  See the attached co-dominate stems photo below

3. Clarification of the method for measuring caliper and the relationship between root flare and the soil line.

4. Changes to specifications for in-ground fabric bags and expansion of their application to all plant

5. Recognition of containers that “encourage or manipulate root growth” and recognition of fabric as an acceptable container material.

Source: AmericanHort



Jill Johnson 
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U.S. Forest Service

Northeastern Area

p: 651-649-5253

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