Tree Essentials

Tree Essential Classes for 2017 are officially over. Thank you to all who participated and took advantage of this educational opportunity. Check back in 2018 for details about the summer Tree Essentials classes and registration beginning in June.

2017 Class Descriptions


Best Planting Practices: 

In this course you will learn about the different nursery stock options available (bare rooted, containerized, balled and burlap) and how to handle these various types of nursery stock. Get hands on experience planting a tree or shrub, where you will get a real understanding of planting depth and width, and how to deal with strings, pot-bound plants and roots buried deep in the soil. You will learn which mulching and watering practices are good for trees along with staking methods and a little about gravel beds.


Managing Aggressives/Invasives: 

In this course you will learn about common aggressive and invasive tree and plant species that affect urban forests throughout the state. We will learn about common aggressives/invasives to Minnesota, specifically those that need care and attention during this time of year. This course will teach you how to manage the aggressive/invasive species to reduce their spread in an area.


Nontraditional Pruning - Shrubs, Espalier, Pleaching:

In this course you will learn about methods for pruning nontraditional (young trees) plants and methods to pruning in specialized ways. You will get hands on experience pruning shrubs to maintain and increase good health. This course will also touch on when and how to use specialized pruning methods such as espaliering and pleaching on young trees.


Plant Health Issues - Diagnostics:

In this course you will learn about some of the common pests, diseases and abiotic problems with trees and shrubs. Learn how to recognize signs and symptoms and analyze plant problems. Also learn how you can take preventative measures to keep plants happy and healthy. 


Plant Selection:  

In this course you will learn how to interpret the soil at a site and test for texture, compaction and drainage. Understand how to match plants with particular landscapes. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of ecological diversity and what it means to have a diverse and sustainable landscape.



Our pruning classes cover the basics of getting trees prepared for long productive lives in the landscape. You will also learn how small errors in the beginning lead to large problems later on. We will focus on developing well-structured young trees, as well as how to minimize unnecessary storm damage with timely pruning techniques.


Predicting and Preventing Storm Damage: 

This class examines the most common types of storm damage to trees in Minnesota, the tree defects that are most commonly associated with preventable damage, and some techniques that can help minimize future storm damage when possible. You will learn how to note conditions that could be potential areas of failure in a storm as well as how well-maintained trees suffer less storm damage. This class also provides you with the opportunity of getting involved with ongoing University of Minnesota research on tree failures in loading events.

2017 Class Schedule

Tree Essentials classes for 2017 are officially over. Check back May of 2018 for details regarding the next batch of classes and registration opportunities!