Sources for More Information

Bulletin #19: How to Select and Plant a Tree

  • Principles and Practice of Planting Trees and Shrubs

    by Gary B. Watson and E. B. Himelick

    This is an excellent, authoritative book that covers all aspects of planting and caring for new trees. It includes selection, soils, hole preparation, and what to do and not to do to help the tree get well established. This can be ordered from the International Society of Arboriculture. Visit the ISA Web site.

    Note: When ordering any book, please visit Arbor Day Books to access Amazon.com. A portion of your purchase price will be returned to support the educational programs of the Arbor Day Foundation. Thank you.

  • American Standard for Nursery Stock

    This is an essential reference for writing contracts or making purchases in the nursery industry. It is a document created by the American National Standards Institute as ANSI Z60. As the name implies, the publication establishes standards that clarify what words mean that can be used in contracts, and what to expect in the way of well-grown and packaged trees and shrubs. It can be obtained in a number of ways, but one easily accessible place on the internet is the site of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture (PDF, 1.51 MB).

  • Landscape Tree Fact Sheets

    This is a remarkable publication that includes color photos of some 200 species and cultivars used in street plantings. Accompanying the photos are descriptive data and a summary statement about the trees’ advantages, limitations and site requirements. It is based on many years of research and observations. It has been made possible by the Municipal Tree Restoration Project, a cooperative venture between Penn State University, the USDA Forest Service, several state forestry departments and a consortium of utility companies and nurseries. This and several other helpful publications are available from Pennsylvania Community Forests.

  • Tree Guides

    Tree guides have now been published for most metropolitan areas and many regions or smaller communities. There is probably one for where you live. These guides include the species or cultivars suitable for your climate and sometimes list those that are prohibited by ordinances or that should be avoided for other reasons. Formats range from single-sheet checklists to posters and comprehensive booklets with a wealth of information about each tree. They are often free.

    Tree guides are usually published by a tree board, city forester’s office, local utility or a volunteer organization. To find out what is available where you live, contact the community forestry coordinator in your state forester’s office.

  • American Standard for Transplanting

    This is another ANSI standard that can be helpful for defining terms and practices. It, and an explanatory companion publication, Best Management Practices–Tree Planting , may be purchased from the International Society of Arboriculture.

More Information

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