#1: Don’t Top Trees!

Never cut main branches to stubs. Many arborists say that topping is the worst thing you can do for the health of a tree. It starves the tree by drastically reducing its food-making ability and makes the tree more susceptible to insects and disease.

#2: Use the 1/3 and 1/4 Rule of Pruning

Never remove more than 1/4 of a trees crown in a season. Where possible, try to encourage side branches that form angles that are 1/3 off vertical (10:00 or 2:00 positions).

#3: How to Make a Pruning Cut

Large Limbs:

A: Make a partial cut from beneath.

B: Make a second cut from above several inches out and allow the limb to fall.

C: Complete the job with a final cut just outside the branch collar.

Small Branches:

Make a sharp clean cut, just beyond a lateral bud or other branch.

 #4: The Value of Mulch

A tree's best friend, mulch insulates soil, retains moisture, keeps out weeds, prevents soil compaction, reduces lawnmower damage, and adds an aesthetic touch to a yard or street.

#5: Where the Root Really Grows

A: Because roots need oxygen, they don't normally grow in the compacted oxygen-poor soil under paved streets.

B: The framework of major roots usually lies less than 8 to 12 inches below the surface.

C: Roots often grow outward to a diameter one to two times the height of the trees.

#6: Girdling Kills Trees

Girdling is any activity that injures the bark of a tree and extends around much of the trunk’s circumference. Often caused by lawnmowers and weed trimmers.

 #7: How to Plant a Containerized Tree

Ideally, dig or roto till an area one foot deep and approximately 5 times the diameter of the root ball. The prepared soil will encourage root growth beyond the root ball and results in a healthier tree.

#8: How to Plant a Bare-Root Tree

It is best to plant bare-root trees immediately, in order to keep the fragile roots from drying out. If you can't plant because of weather or soil conditions, store the trees in a cool place and keep the roots moist.

#9: You’re Street Trees Maybe City Trees

If you live in a town or city, the trees near the street (often between the sidewalk and street), are probably city-owned. The city should have a program for planting and caring for these trees. Respect local ordinances as to what trees can be planted, how to prune, etc.