The purpose of the American Standard for Nursery Stock is to provide buyers and sellers of nursery stock with a common terminology in order to facilitate transactions involving nursery stock. For instance, the standards establish common techniques for (a) measuring plants, (b) specifying and stating the size of plants, (c) determining the proper relationship between height and caliper, or height and width, and (d) determining whether a root ball or container is large enough for a particular size plant. In other words, this book is a communication tool, and does not provide buyers with any assurance of the health or quality of the nursery stock being specified or sold.

The latest version (2014) of the standard is available to members and non-members at no charge and can be downloaded here.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
The operating procedures and essential requirements established by ANSI can be downloaded here.

Frequently asked questions about the standard can be downloaded here.

History of the Standard
Since 1921, the association has been involved in the creation of these standards. Its first edition of "Horticultural Standards" was published in 1923. From time to time, these standards were revised and expanded to meet the needs of the industry. After World War II the association elected to make the standards a national standard by adhering to the procedures of the American Standards Association. The first edition published under the procedures of the American Standards Association (forerunner of the current American National Standards Institute, or “ANSI”) was published on June 22, 1949.

The revisions included in the 2014 edition were developed by the association’s Horticultural Standards Committee from January, 2005, through August, 2013. The proposed revisions were then submitted to a “canvass list” comprising horticulture-focused societies, associations, companies, and individuals, and related government agencies for their review and endorsement in order to develop “evidence of industry consensus” to meet ANSI requirements for accredited national standards. The results of the canvass ballots unanimously approving the revisions were provided to ANSI and approved on April 14, 2014.

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