In the literature, you can find many requirements that the purchased seedlings must meet. Unfortunately, the requirements set out by the authors, as a rule, go beyond the scope of OST 10205-97, introduced on seedlings from 1.09.98, both in the direction of weakening and in the direction of tightening the corresponding indicators.
Considering this situation abnormal, I want to cite only the standard requirements that every summer resident and gardener must know when buying seedlings.
First of all, I will immediately emphasize, which no author has yet done, that all seedlings are subdivided into two commercial varieties, differing both in the quality of the seedlings and in their price. For seedlings of the 1st grade, the main skeletal roots should be at least three on dwarf rootstocks and five on all others, for the 2nd grade - two and three, respectively. The length of the root system for these varieties should be at least 30 and 25 cm.
I will note here that in no case should the population be sold seedlings whose roots have dried up, the bark and cambium are frozen, bark burns reach the wood, on which there are hemp from the removal of lateral shoots, there are shoots on the rootstock, insert or stem former, there is an influx the scion tissues above the grafting site and the lagging of the thickening of the rootstock, which indicates the incompatibility of the rootstock and the scion.
In addition, from the OST it follows that the presence of competitors in the seedling is not allowed - shoots in the center of the crown, departing at an angle of less than 40 ° C, as well as leaf blooming and the manifestation of rosette. The number of main shoots in one-year-old seedlings on two-year-old rootstocks of the 1st grade is 2, of the 2nd grade - 0; for annual seedlings on three-year rootstocks - 3 and 2; highly branching varieties of biennial seedlings - 5 and 4, and weakly branching - 3. Note that the standard stipulates the appearance of seedlings: they should be without leaves, not dried, without mechanical or other damage.
According to the standard, one-year unbranched seedlings of a vigorous apple tree of the 1st grade in the northwestern zone of the Russian Federation should have the following parameters: a height of 120 cm and a diameter of 1 cm, and the second, respectively, 100 cm and 0.9 cm. In the north of the European part of the Russian Federation, these parameters should be respectively 80 and 0.8 cm. Almost the same requirements apply to the parameters of the pear.
But this is how currant seedlings of all types with an open root system should look like when selling: without leaves, shortened to 25-30 cm, in thick-celled ones - 10-15 cm.The diameter of the base of the aboveground part should be 0.8-1 cm in two-year-olds with an open root system and 0.6-0.8 cm in annuals. At the same time, it is forbidden to sell and use currant seedlings grown from planting material from fruiting plantations, since only pests and diseases do not have time to develop in mother plants.
OST also makes rather stringent requirements for gooseberry seedlings. The diameter of the base of the shoots and their number should be: in biennials with an open root system - 0.8-1 cm and at least 2-3 shoots, in annuals, respectively, 0.6-0.8 cm and 1 shoot.
The stems of raspberry seedlings with an open root system should be without leaves and shortened to 40 cm, and the diameter of the base of the shoots should be at least 0.8-1 cm.
In a standard strawberry, the root system in the 1st grade should be at least 7 cm, the 2nd - 5 cm, and the thickness of the horn should be at least 0.7-1 cm.When sold in autumn, the number of normally developed leaves should be at least 3 and 2, and with spring - 2 and 1.
From all this, it is clear that a considerable number of the above-mentioned indicators characterizing the quality of seedlings are significantly tougher than it is often interpreted in periodicals, disorienting the reader. I also note that the standard does not provide for all known methods of obtaining seedlings, but only certain ones: currants - vegetatively using green cuttings, lignified cuttings and layering; gooseberry - by rooting of vegetative organs and subsequent rearing; raspberries - lignified annual offspring or plants grown from root and green cuttings, as well as by clonal micropropagation, chokeberry - seeds or vegetatively green cuttings. Sea buckthorn varietal material is propagated only vegetatively, mainly by green and lignified cuttings.
If, based on these data, the summer resident or gardener will require the seller to comply with the requirements for seedlings specified in OST 10205-97 and will purchase only high-quality planting material for themselves, the incidence of trees and shrubs will sharply drop on the plots. The growth and development of plants will improve, and, therefore, the yields of fruit and berry crops will increase.
Anatoly Veselov, gardener