• With shrubs, don’t nit pick; remove the most wood with the fewest cuts
  • Where you make a cut is far more important than when you make it
  • Give your old tree paint to an artist
  • Don’t stake newly planted trees unless the environment calls for it
  • Once your new tree is in the planting hole take the burlap and wire basket off the top half of the root ball
  • It’s ok to plant trees that have a caliper < 2.5 inches
  • Don’t get stuck on planting only natives, use plants that work well. On the other hand, do not plant Norway maples, Bradford pears, autumn olive, burning bush, hemlocks, Leyland cypress and for the moment, ash
  • Plant fewer red oaks, and plant white oaks whenever possible. Pin oaks are undesirable as street trees
  • Be careful of elm varieties. Most will contract DED
  • Structure prune young trees in winter whenever possible
  • Buy Donna Williamson’s book
  • After pruning, all branch collars shall remain as part of the tree
  • Resist the temptation to thin large old shade trees. In general prune out deadwood only
  • Try not to prune woody plants in fall
  • Prune stone fruits after February 15th
  • Woody plants do not heal wounds, they seal them off
  • If you are going to turn a large green blob into a small green blob, thin it as well
  • Sometimes plants need to be cut to the ground. It clears the space for opportunity or allows it to begin again (be sure you know what your plant can withstand before pruning)
  • Plant trees according to environment, size, maintenance and lastly, aesthetics (Dr. Bonnie Appleton)
  • Unless you are creating topiary, resist the temptation to shear your shrubs
  • Plant trees in groups whenever possible. This is a really good idea
  • Bad tree care is worse than no care at all. Topping a healthy shade tree makes as much sense as shaving a polar bear (and both can be hazardous to your health; the tree’s health and the bear’s health)
  • Proper tree care can make trees safer, healthier and lovelier; and is easier than doing it wrong, but no tree is 100% safe
  • “Education cures ignorance” (Alex Shigo)
  • Safety around tree care is a way of life. Pruning tools are deadly. Wear gloves, eyewear (having two eyes doesn’t mean you came with an extra), ear protection (same as above) and chaps with chain saws