The latest version of the USDA Forest Service’s Tree Owner’s Manual is now available online here (link). This publication is a concise yet comprehensive guide to tree care basics. Playfully modeling itself on owner’s manuals that accompany automobiles and appliances, the manual covers the following topics:
- Model Information and Parts Diagram (broad-leaf trees, palms and conifers)
- Packaging (balled and burlapped, containerized, and bare root)
- Installation (planting)
- Maintenance Instructions (watering, mulching, pruning, and more)
- Protecting Trees from Construction Damage
- Service and Repair (how to hire an arborist)
- Troubleshooting (common pests, diseases, and structural issues)
- Removal and Disposal
- Buying a New Tree
- and more!
Like any good owner’s manual, the Tree Owner’s Manual provides straightforward instructions, useful tips and checklists and exceptionally clear illustrations. The guide is short (only 35 pages), produced in black-and-white, and available as a free download.
The Forest Service created this publication to address the short average lifespan of urban trees, which often die prematurely due to improper planting, lack of maintenance and injury during construction projects. With this guide, homeowners and tree care specialists can help their trees live long, healthy lives.
The Tree Owner’s Manual is also published in Spanish. For paper copies of the Spanish version, please contact your regional DNR Urban Forestry Coordinator or Communications Specialist Patricia Lindquist.