Advanced Training – TSS Domain – Planting Methods & Selection Module

Course Description

The Planting Methods & Selection module will focus on the various tree planting methods, and which is appropriate for specific projects. The course will be broken down into 2 classes. The course will focus on planting trees which have been produced and packaged by the nursery in a variety of ways (bare root, B&B, containerized, etc.).

We will examine the advantages and disadvantages of each, as well as the specifics of site preparation, installation technique, and post-installation maintenance for each differing planting method. We will also learn about how nurseries produce plants, and some of the things to be aware of when writing or reading planting specifications. The class will culminate with a hands-on tree planting, using the techniques we have learned.

Recommended Reading

The Practical Science of Planting Trees, Gary Watson, E.B. Himelick, 2013 
ANSI Z60.1 Standards, American National Standards Institute, 2014

Provided Equipment

Various planting tools

Day One

During the first session we will discuss the planning process, and how to select appropriate planting methods based on the site you will be dealing with. We will review the science of site selection and selecting the right tree for the right site, as well as testing tools available for determining what tree to plant. We will also discuss the ANSI Z60.1 standard for nursery production, and examine the various nursery production methods, and pros and cons of each, and how they impact the final planting decision. We will also discuss how to select and evaluate nursery stock. Finally, we discuss how written specifications are important in determining the outcomes of planting.

Day Two

During the second session, we will discuss the physical planting of trees, and methods for each type of nursery production. We will discuss some often overlooked concepts, like transportation to the site, and sourcing trees close to the job site, as well as hole prep, what to do with packaging materials, and the merits of pruning, fertilization, watering, and aftercare. We will also discuss the concepts of street tree planting, and how to manage homeowners in the public Right of Way planting process. We will finish the class by planting several trees, using both a containerized and a balled and burlapped method.


Our goal is to help educate students on the vast array of options available to them when it comes to selecting and installing trees on various projects they may encounter, in order to promote using the right technique for the right situation, leading to long term survivorship and reduced risk.