50 Fruiting / Flowering
This score is defined as the estimation of (current) flowering in the crown. Flowering is a precondition for natural regeneration, may affect defoliation scores and is of interest because of its effects on the carbon balance of the tree.
Fruiting is defined as annual seed production of trees. Annual seed production of trees with heavy seeds such as beech can cause considerable changes in internal cycles. Annual seed production may cause a significant change in allocation of carbon, nutrients and energy from leaves and stem growth to generative structures. This is an important criterion for tree vitality.
Two assessments are made: (i) in the assessable part of the crown and (ii) in the whole crown.
Note: Quantitative estimates can be obtained by the use of litter traps. However, such data cannot be readily related to individual trees.
Hint: In some species, such as Pinus and Larix, the flowers will probably have been dropped by the time of assessment. Scoring is based on the gaps along the shoots where the flowers formerly were.
Only the fruit of the respective assessment year is to be considered:
Picea abies - cones greenish to magenta, at end of shoots, scales close to the cone
Pinus spp. - only green cones