ARBWORX - Taking Care of Your Trees

                                       As part of the Yellowstone Arboretum's "Healthy Trees Initiative" we've collected some vital information for the care of                                               your tree. Be sure to plant for the life of your tree. It takes a commitment on your part to practice proper selection,                                                    planting, watering and pruning. We hope the information and videos in this section will help make your tree a                                                           member of the family.


A healthy community forest begins with careful planning. With a little research and a simple layout, you can produce a landscape that will cool your home in summer and tame the winter winds. Your well-planned yard will contain trees that grow well in the soil and moisture of your neighborhood. Your trees will be properly placed to avoid collisions with power lines and buildings, and the aesthetics will increase your property value.

A proper landscape plan takes each tree into consideration:

  1. Height. Will the tree bump into anything when it is fully grown? 

  2. Canopy spread. How wide will the tree grow?

  3. Is the tree deciduous or evergreen? (Will it lose its leaves in the winter?)

  4. Form or shape. A columnar tree will grow in less space. Round and V-Shaped species provide the most shade. 

  5. Growth rate. How long will it take for your tree to reach its full height? Slow growing species typically live longer than fast growing species.

  6. Soil, sun, and moisture requirements.

  7. Fruit. No one wants messy droppings on busy sidewalks.

  8. Hardiness zone indicates the temperature extremes in which a tree can be expected to grow.  Check with your community's tree board or forestry department or a local county cooperative extension agent for a list of trees suitable for planting in your specific hardiness zone.

ARBWORX - Current Volunteer Projects
Wichita Juniper.png


Trim, prune and remove bottom branches to expose ground level. Use farthest west tree as example. Stack all cut branches along pathway for pick-up.



Remove all stub branches on west tree. Trim, prune and remove bottom 18" and any old or dead growth on any trees to right of west tree. Some of this was completed in Fall 2020. Stack branches along pathway for pick-up.



Remove winter branches from existing pots along pathways and at exhibits. Branches can be removed to wood pile in the back of the Zoo (west of Dottie's, through chain and straight ahead on right.

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PEAR TREE PRUNE-UP (East hill of Sensory Garden-Tree labeled)

Complete before April 30. Prune interior of tree only. Remove any small branches, crossovers or dead branches to expose interior for better ventilation. Stack branches along pathway for pick-up.



Clean east side of Wolverine habitat, cut grass, prune any trees.Remove buckthorn.


Remove old Honeysuckle along path opposite Wolf viewing ramp. Remove suckers.

Remove buckthorn in Wolf Woodland II located opposite Wolf viewing ramp behind blue bench. Remove snowberries behind bench and behind spruce trees to better expose trees.

All trash can be piled along pathway for pick-up.



Several areas will need clean-up. Along path to Upper Tiger Viewing area (right side) thin out buckthorn, honeysuckle, elderberry to expose Juniper along tiger wall yet at the same time leaving larger specimens for added privacy (photos 1-2). Clean out Juniper by removing any excess buckthorns and honeysuckle (photo 3). The end result will be to expose the qualities of the Juniper and opening up this small area. Thin and prune excess growth behind fence (photo 4). Remove Buckthorns but leave Prunus Triloba which will be blossoming in pink by early May as this is a rather unusual plant for Montana and this location in the arboretum. General clean-up of Tiger Garden (photo 5). All trash can be piled along pathway out of visitor way for pick-up.



Photos 1-2 Upper Tiger Viewing area...finish pruning Spruce tree and Serviceberries per pictures. Trash can be piled along pathway for pick-up.

Photo 3 Waterways...Finish cleaning out old grass within Red Twig Dogwoods between fence and pathway. Trash can be hauled away in bags.