Trees – Breaks and Branches

nps trees breaks branches
Light Standard tree, showing branching

The minimum number of breaks/branches/lateral growth may be included in the specification.  The number present at the time of sale depends on the characteristics of the species, hybrid or cultivar and the age/size of the tree.  The following table indicates the minimum number of branches for various sizes and species of trees.

No. Branches Form Girth Height (cm)
1 Whip 100-125
2,3 or 5 Feather 125-150
3 or 5 Feather 150-175
3 or 4 Half 4-6 175-250
3, 4 or 5 Extra light 5-6 200-250
3, 4 or 5 Light 6-8 250-300
3, 4 or 5 Standard 8-10 250-300
4, 5 or 7 Selected 10-12 300-350
5, 6 or 7 Heavy 12-14 350-425
5, 6 or 7 Extra heavy 14-16 425-600

The typical number of branches for each size is indicated in bold type.

Species with little branching (at 100-175 cm height) include: Acer platanoides, Robinia pseudoacacia. Well feathered species include: Betula pendula, Alnus glutinosa, Fagus sylvatica.