Bulletin #66: Not Your Father's Arboriculture


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From pruning saws to lift machinery, today's arborists and urban foresters have tools available to them that would make their forefathers green with envy.

Importantly, these tools help provide better tree care and safer working conditions than ever before. By knowing what is available, tree boards can help raise the standards of performance in their communities and improve urban forestry.


This is the free, digital version of Bulletin #66. Purchase the full bulletin for the complete content.

The first decade of the twentieth century was a remarkable time. It signaled an end to the steam century and introduced the Era of Electricity. Color photography was invented and the Wright Brothers made the first powered flight. Robert Peary researched the North Pole and Marconi transmitted massages across the Atlantic. And in the world of trees, two entrepreneurs advanced the science and art of arboriculture and founded companies that still bear their names today.

Francis A. Bartlett, a young graduate of the Massachusetts Agricultural College, applied his new knowledge and skills to shade tree care and convinced an estate owner in Bedford, New York, to hire him. It was 1907 and the first commercial tree care job performed by what became the F.A. Bartlett Tree Expert Company. Bartlett’s competitor was John Davey, an immigrant from England who had been in practice for nearly 30 years before founding the Davey Tree Expert Company in 1909.

This is the free, digital version of Bulletin #66. Purchase the full bulletin for the complete content.

Both men also opened technical schools in what they termed «tree surgery,’ and Davey published a popular book, The Tree Doctor, in 1901. In the revised, hardback version in 1907, he wrote, “This work is sent fort with a fervent prayer in Heaven’s blessing on it, and in appeal to all to help in planting and caring for trees in the country that was one preeminently ‘The Land of Forests.’”

Bartlett and Davey were pioneers in arboriculture. They would be amazed and pleased at the state of individual tree care today and the collective practice we call urban forestry. In this bulletin we highlight a few of the changes that are helping inspired communities do a better job of planting and caring for their trees.

Much has changed in the years since arboriculture was pioneered in the United States. New knowledge, tools, and practices help assure healthier trees and urban forests. The results are social and environmental benefits provided by trees that are now more important than ever.

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