Pruning: What, Why, When, and How

by Eric North, Research Fellow, University of Minnesota Department of Forest Resources   What is pruning? One of the most frequent questions I am asked with regard to tree care is: “When should I prune my tree?” While I think people are actually asking what time of year they should prune their tree, it might be better to start with […]

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Preparing your trees for winter

It may not seem like it with the unseasonably warm temperatures we’ve been experiencing this fall, but winter is on its way. Are your trees and perennials prepared for the changes ahead? Perennial shrubs and trees, especially conifers, should be watered generously until the soil freezes. Mulching trees will help reduce winter root damage. Young maples and thin barked trees may […]

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The Road to a Thoughtful Street Tree Master Plan Slideshow Series (2011)

A new resource, years in the making By Sean Peterson Several years ago, arborist Ken Simons and University of Minnesota Prof. Gary Johnson first set out to define what practical information Minnesota communities needed to develop a step-by-step practical “Master Plan” for street tree planning and design. After much research, compilation of available resources, discussion, planning and finally implementation, in […]

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An update on white pine blister rust resistance research in Minnesota

Update: Read about white pine blister rust research in Ontario here (Nov. 2011) Eastern white pine, with its giant girth and wind-swept boughs, is one of Minnesota’s iconic trees.  It’s also an emblem for survival, having endured decades of intense logging, an introduced fungus (white pine blister rust disease), and exploding deer populations that devour its young.  Forest inventories, used […]

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Minnesota Tree Inspector Program

The Minnesota Certified Tree Inspector program has a new website:  http://www.mntreeinspector.com/ The MN Certified Tree Inspector program was implemented in 1974 in response to Dutch elm disease and oak wilt. Since then, hundreds of communities, municipalities, and private tree care companies have staffed more than 800 certified tree inspectors in Minnesota. It is now administered by the Department of Natural […]

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Seasonal Care for Trees and Shrubs in Northern U.S. Climates

Welcome to the world of tree care! In the left hand column of the image below, you will find links to the many maintenance duties you can do to help keep your landscape trees healthy and safe. The accompanying chart highlights the most favorable timing for the listed tree care activities. Below this chart you can find links to other complete chart versions that are larger and easier to read.

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Seasonal care for trees & shrubs: Safety

Inspect your landscape trees and shrubs often- especially after storms. After storms, hazard trees with loosely hanging branches or split trunks need to be removed as soon as possible to avoid any damage to buildings, people, and to other trees or shrubs.

At other times of the year keep a watchful eye for developing decay in trunks and roots, broken and hanging branches, dead branches or trees, an abnormally leaning tree, or anything that may indicate that a tree or part of it could fail and cause damage or injury.

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Seasonal care of trees & shrubs: Stem and branch protection

The stems of landscape trees and shrubs may need protection from animals or mechanical equipment, especially during the winter months. Animal damage (feeding or rubbing) can be avoided by placing wire mesh or hardware cloth at least 3” from the stem. Mechanical damage (e.g. lawn mower or weed whip abrasion) can be avoided when a mulch ring (see mulch) or a plastic guard is in place. The plastic guard should only encase the portion of the lower stem that is most likely to be damaged by lawn equipment. As the tree grows the plastic guard will need to be removed and replaced in order to prevent girdling or stem constriction.

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