Examples of native bare root plant material
"Grading" is not subject to opinion when dealing with a professional nursery.
Mid Atlantic Natives/Superior Nursery grades according to USDA and ANLA standards.
Our bare root plant material is graded as #1 quality. Perennials are 1-2 years old, trees and shrubs are 2 year plus.
Why does this grading standard matter?
Purchasing plants that are not graded from those that do not follow these standards means you could end up with substandard roots, mishapen, unhealthy branching, generally poor quality and the eventuality of having wasted your time and money.
USDA Bareroot Plant Material Specifications: Optimal sizes for bareroot material includes a shoot to root ratio of 1:1 to 1:2. Shoots should not be less than 8 inches tall with a basal diameter of not less than 3/8-inch. Each bareroot plant should have at least four, 8-inch long, fibrous roots originating from the stem.
All plant material should have a well-branched root system characteristic of the species and adequately sized to support vigorous plant growth under prevailing site conditions. A minimum of one- year-old deciduous stock (1-0) and two-year-old conifer stock (2-0) is recommended. Beware of plant materials labeled "conservation grade". In many cases, conservation grade is the poorest material available.
(USDA) Plant Materials Technical Note NRCS April 2002