Tree Essentials Workshops

2019 Tree Essentials Workshops

The schedule for 2019 is currently available along with registration!

Workshop Details:


Check out the workshops below and then visit this link above to reserve a space!

  • July 12th - Predicting/Preventing/Reporting Storm Damage
  • July 19th - Managing Terrestrial Aggressives/Invasives
  • July 26th - Tree Identification
  • August 2nd - Plant Selection
  • August 9th - Grafting 101
  • August 16th - Gathering Data for Diagnostics
  • September 6th - Introduction to Mycology
  • September 13th - Conifer Concerns
  • September 20th - Nontraditional Pruning
  • October 4th - Pruning Young Trees
  • October 11th - Best Planting Practices

What are Tree Essentials?

Tree Essentials are a collection of educational workshops available to anyone that is interested. Whether you are a Tree Care Advisor, Master Gardener, Tree Inspector, or just a curious resident, you are welcome to attend. We cover an array of tree care topics and skills, with each date focusing on one specific topic. Tree Essentials workshops are taught by University of Minnesota faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students.


2019 Workshop Topic Details


Best Planting Practices

This workshop will cover different nursery stock options commonly 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 to get a real understanding of planting depth and width, how to deal with strings, pot-bound plants, and roots buried deep in the soil. You will also learn which mulching and watering practices are best for trees along with staking methods and materials.

Conifer Concerns

Typically, issues in our deciduous trees are at the forefront due to impending issues from insects such as with ash trees and Emerald Ash Borer. However, we commonly hear that conifer issues are something that never gets fully addressed in environmental education. In this workshop, we will cover some common issues with our conifers and what to do with those trees next. 

Gathering Data for Diagnostics

This workshop will cover some of the common pests, diseases, and abiotic problems with trees and shrubs. Learn how to recognize signs and symptoms, how to account for abiotic stresses, site constraints, and species type to analyze plant problems, as well as some preventable measures to keep plants happy and healthy. You will walk away knowing how to be a good diagnostician through collection and research.

Grafting 101

The art of grafting has been written about and practiced across the globe since before Marcus Porcius wrote De Agri Cultura in 160 BCE. Motivation for grafting has been a simple as friendly competition amongst leaders during the Islamic Golden Age to severe panic around the French Wine Pandemic. While this workshop won't get into the history, it will teach you the skill of grafting. You will learn more about the reasons behind grafting, what is likely to make a successful graft, supplies and tools needed, and how to care for your plant post grafting.

Introduction to Mycology

Are you interested in mycology and fall to the appeal of fungi in the landscape? If so, this workshop is for you! You will learn the basics of mycology, how fungi work in the landscape and how fungi act as a sign for larger tree issues. You will learn about some common fungi you will see in the urban landscape and some forest fungi. 

Managing Aggressives/Invasives

This workshop will cover 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. The class will cover details about each species, how it was introduced into our Minnesota landscapes, how to properly identify, why they are detrimental to native plants and trees, and how to manage the aggressive/invasive species.

Nontraditional Pruning

This workshop will cover methods for pruning trees in the nontraditional sense using specialized techniques. Content will focus specifically on the methods of espalier, pleaching, dach platane, pollarding, and topiary. We will cover where these methods originated, the purpose for utilizing each technique, and how to successful implement these practices in your landscape.

Plant Selection

This workshop will cover how to interpret the soil at a site and test for texture, compaction and drainage, how to match plants with particular landscapes, and outside constraints to consider when selecting a tree or shrub for planting. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of all factors that influence proper plant selection, ecological diversity, and what it means to have a diverse and sustainable landscape.

Predicting and Preventing Storm Damage

This workshop will address 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.

Pruning Young Trees

This workshop will cover the basics of getting young trees prepared for long productive lives in the landscape. You will learn how small errors in the beginning lead to large problems later on. We will focus on developing well-structured young trees through different pruning techniques and methods, practicing pruning skills on trees in the nursery, as well as how to minimize unnecessary storm damage with timely pruning techniques.

Tree Identification

Feeling a little rusty on your tree and shrub identification or just wish to learn about tree ID for the first time? This workshop will be a walking tour to help test your knowledge of landscape trees and shrubs that are common, and some that may be new or not as common. Come prepared for a walk, some conversation, and learn new techniques and skills to help you better identify trees and shrubs in the landscape.