Shrubs – Number of Breaks

The habit of the shrub may be further qualified by the number of branches/breaks/lateral growths which can be expected for a given size of specified plant at point of sale.  Grades have now been established indicating the minimum number of breaks which can be expected for bare root, rootballed and container grown shrubs of a range of growth types and sizes.

NPS Shrubs – Number of Breaks

Ornamental amenity shrubs: showing breaks in lower third
Ht. in cm. Compact Low Medium Vigorous
20-30 4 4
30-40 5 4 3
40-60 5 4 3 4
60-80 5 5 3 4
80-100 3 4
100 + 3 5

 

Hedging shrubs e.g. Ligustrum spp.: No. of breaks
Ht. in cm. Shrubs Light Shrubs
40-60 6
30-50 3
50-80 3
50-80 5
60+ 6
80-100 8
100+ 8

Rootballed Shrubs

The number of branches, dependent on growth habit and size, may be specified in the following grades: 2, 3/4, 5/7 or 8/12.

Container grown Shrubs

The number of breaks occurring in the lower third of the plant may be specified.  This is dependent on the habit and size of the shrub.   Bushy plants typically have more breaks (3-6) whereas branched plants have less (2-3).  For example:

  • Hamamelis spp. = 2 breaks
  • Lavandula spp. = 3 breaks
  • Cytisus spp. = 5 breaks
  • Sarcococca spp. = 5 breaks

 

The genus Rhododendron is an exception – the number of breaks varying from 4 to 10, dependent on size and type.

For larger container volumes the number of breaks may increase dependent on the habit and vigour of the plant.