Tree Care Standards and Guidelines

Tree PlantingTrees need a good start in order to maintain healthy growth and structural integrity throughout their lifespan. Tree quality, planting, and care specifications need to be designed with the tree's best interest in mind and should reflect current research-based standards. These resources will help guide your care so that trees can stay alive and thrive.

Planting Details and Specifications Offers an up-to-date and peer-reviewed set of details and specifications in AutoCAD and PDF formats for the green industry. These are designed specifically for landscape architects, engineers, architects, contractors, urban foresters, arborists, municipalities and state agencies. All are open-source, free, and can be edited by the user. 

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A300 Standards for Tree Care Operations represents the tree care industry's consensus on tree care practices. The standards can be used to prepare tree care contract specifications. The A300 standard consists of ten parts:

  • Part 1 - Pruning
  • Part 2 - Fertilization
  • Part 3 - Supplemental Support Systems (includes cabling, bracing, guying, and propping)
  • Part 4 - Lightning Protection Systems
  • Part 5 - Management of Trees and Shrubs During Site Planning, Site Development, and Construction
  • Part 6 - Transplanting
  • Part 7 - Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) [management of vegetation in electric utility corridors]
  • Part 8 - Root Management Standard
  • Part 9 - Tree Risk Assessment
  • Part 10 - Integrated Pest Management

These tree care operations standards may be purchased directly through industry and professional associations such as the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA). A separate set of safety standards, ANSI Z133.1, covers safe arboricultural working practices

The Guideline Specifications for Nursery Tree Quality are a standard set of specifications for container-grown tree nursery stock. By adhering to these specifications, tree buyers can be assured of obtaining high-quality nursery stock, free of many common defects and problems.