Urban trees can still grow and thrive despite many harsh conditions not experienced in native forests. Human-induced environmental stresses, such as air pollution, elevated temperatures, compacted soils, road salt, and confined spaces, take a toll on these important public resources. Because healthy community trees are the foundation of healthy urban forests, proper selection of tree species and planting sites is crucial. Careful planning ensures that the “right tree” is established in the “right place", reducing the risk of plants outgrowing a site, damaging roads, foundations, or sidewalks, or trees' susceptibility to diseases and insect infestations. The following resources inform site assessments for tree planting and guide site designs that ensure space and resources for urban and community trees.
Tree Selection Resources
Right Tree, Right Place Guide
A guide that provides questions to take into consideration when choosing a tree species and planting site.
Tree Selection Tool
Vermont-specific resources that will help you match trees to sites to achieve lasting shade and benefits.
Woody Plants Database
A resource developed by Cornell University that profiles more than 90 trees that can stand up to the rigors of urban environments.
Additional Tree Selection Resources
- Vermont Tree Selection Guide (PDF) is a Vermont-specific resources that will help you match trees to sites to achieve lasting shade and benefits. The second edition of this resources was released in the spring of 2022.
- Engineered stormwater management systems: promote growth of large trees with healthy root systems that maximize stormwater filtration.
Tree Planting Resources
Protecting the Investment
Tree Planting & Maintenance guide contains 10 steps to successful tree planting and care.
Tree Owner's Manual
Just like the owner’s manual that comes with automobiles and appliances, this document includes a parts list, instructions for installation, tips for common issues, and more.
New Tree Planting
This document provides information on proper practices for planting a tree with an approach to successful planting and establishment.
Additional Tree Planting Resources
- The Science of Planting Trees: provides a wealth of information on the science behind planting trees, promoting root growth and reducing water stress imposed by a limited root system.
- Creating the Urban Forest the Bare Root Method: is a basic guide to bare root tree planting and lists its pros and cons.
How to plant a bare root tree: Burlington City Arborist, VJ Comai, demonstrates how to properly plant a bare root tree.
Purchasing Trees Resources
Planning to Purchase a Tree
This document includes a checklist for purchasing a tree and lists factors to consider before purchasing.
Buying High-Quality trees
Discover guidelines for determining tree quality at time of purchase and for identifying problems with tree structure, roots, and injuries.
Tree Owner Information
International Society of Arboriculture provides detailed educational brochures to help tree owners understand best management practice.