EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 02 - 2008 Num. article: 2008/038

A new BBCH growth stage key for trees and woody plants

The BBCH* growth stage keys provide a standard and uniform description of the visible growth stages of plants, using a two-digit decimal code. This system has been developed for many important crops, such as cereals, rice, maize, rape, potato, fruit trees, small fruits, vegetables, etc. In 1997, the BBCH growth stage keys were recommended by the EPPO Working Party on Plant Protection Products and by Council for use in EPPO countries, thus replacing the previously recommended EPPO growth stage keys. A new BBCH scale has recently been published to describe the growth stages of trees and woody plants.

BBCH growth stage keys are available in English, French, German and Spanish on the Internet: Growth stages of mono-and dicotyledonous plants - BBCH Monograph

* The abbreviation BBCH derives from the first letters of the German names of Biologische Bundesanstalt (Federal Biological Research Centre), Bundessortenamt (Federal Plant Variety Office) and Chemical industry.


Finn GA, Straszewski AE, Peterson V (2007) A general growth stage key for describing trees and woody plants. Annals of Applied Biology 151(1), 127-131.