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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. Available at and other book sources.

  • 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 downloaded online at AmericanHort.

  • Tree Selection and Planting: A Collection of CEU Articles

    As the title states, this is a collection of publications on this topic that have been featured in Arborist News and can be a way to earn continuing education units for certified arborists. Available from the International Society of Arboriculture.

  • ANSI Transplanting Standard

    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.

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.

Last Updated: 03/25/19

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