Monday, June 23, 2008

Urban Forest Resources

I am often asked questions about how to manage our urban forest. That is, your back yard shade tree. These trees have to survive in a very demanding environment very different from our natural forested environments. My first comment to most is to consult with a certified arborist through the International Society of Arborculture (ISA). These folks have to pass a rigorous exam and are required to take continuing education courses in order to maintain certification.

Second I often refer folks to one of a few very good web sites. I thought I might share a few of these with my readers.

The first is a site entitled "Trees Are Good." It is sponsored by the ISA. The most important section on this site is the "Tree Care Information" link found across the top of the page. This page provides you with brief, up to date information on everything from selection to pruning and mulching. I often refer folks to these fact sheets. They are a wealth of information.

Lastly, is a site called "Pennsylvania Trees." This site provides a wealth of information for the PA tree owner. It was put together by a number of professional entities including Penn State, DCNR Bureau of Forestry, the local ISA Chapter, USDA Forest Service, and others.

I hope you find these web sites useful in answering some of your urban forestry questions. Penn State Cooperative Extension also provides a wide array of publications on managing trees in urban settings, everything from selection and planting to pests and fertilizing. Contact your county office for a complete list.

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