Sources for More Information

Bulletin #5: Living with Urban Soils


The most comprehensive source of soil information is found at the website of the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Another excellent source of information is the website of Morton Arboretum.


There are many soil textbooks available at college book stores or online. One excellent book that focuses especially on urban soils and their relationship to trees is:

Arboriculture–Integrated Management of Landscape Trees, Shrubs, and Vines
Richard W. Harris, James R. Clark and Nelda P. Matheny

Others, several of them quite recently published:

  • Urban Soils: Application and Practices, by Phillip J. Craul.
  • Understanding Soils in Urban Environments, by Pam Hazelton and Brian Murphy.
  • Managing Soils in an Urban Environment, by R. S. Brown
  • Up by Roots, by James Urban.
When you order a book online, please order it through our website. This provides a link to and all purchases help support the conservation and education programs of the Arbor Day Foundation.

The International Society of Arboriculture has a number of publications related to soils and the protection of tree roots. These include:

  • Trees and Development, by Nelda Matheny and James R. Clark
  • The Landscape Below Ground I & II, (compendiums of workshop presentations)
  • Soil Management for Urban Trees, (A Best Management Practice supplement to ANSI A300)

To order ISA publications, phone 217-355-9411 or visit

Leaflets and Booklets

The following “class handout” contains a large amount of information condensed into a few number of pages. It is well illustrated and contains useful lists such as symptoms of nutrient deficiencies and soil requirements for specific species. Individual copies are available at cost from Dr. Schultz:

Soils and Tree Growth, by Richard C. Schultz
Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011

This brief fact sheet is available free:

Vertical Mulching Fact Sheet
Cincinnati Park Board
Natural Resource Management Section
3215 Reading Rd.
Cincinnati, OH 45229

Magazine Articles

  • Tree Nutrition and Fertilization by Les P. Werner is a two-part series full of valuable information. It was featured in the July and August 2010 issues of Arborist News published by the International Society of Arboriculture.
  • Managing Soils That Support Urban Trees. June 2015 Arborist News (ISA)

More Information

Call 1-888-448-7337 Monday-Friday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM CST

Tree City USA is an Arbor Day Foundation program in cooperation with:

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