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  • Writer's pictureEu Jin Koh

Useful books on Arboriculture

Looking back at my journey into Tree Care; credit goes to my early mentors for their unreserved sharing of hard-gained knowledge. As a contractor / consultant, time is money and spending energies on mentoring junior staff can be quite a drawdown.


A Large part of this exposure; included pointing me in the right direction on appropriate Arboriculture literature and explaining their uses and limitations in a local (Tropical Arboriculture) context.


Some fore-warning, many of the Arborist training materials and reference material is based on practice and research done in temperate zones and must be adapted to your local (tropical?) conditions.


Without further ado, here's some titles I found invaluable in starting to build your Arborist understanding of trees:



Tree Bio-mechanics


Author: Professor Dr.Claus Mattheck


Title: Stupsi Explains the Tree: A Hedgehog Teaches the Body Language of Trees Paperback – January 1, 1999


Description: Approachable (afterall it's protagonist is a cartoon hedgehog), easy to digest due to the useful illustrations and photgraphs; though I might think it suffers somewhat from the translation from German to English.


Might look cartoonish, but backed up by hard science and technical findings. Caveat deeper reading should be done subsequently; for example some of the findings may have been based on research on conifers in specific geographies and your local trees may behave diffierently.




Tree Pruning


Author: Dr. Edward F. Gilman


Title: An Illustrated Guide to Pruning     Paperback – Illustrated, 8 August 2011



Description: Again, full of useful illustrations; offers insight into both theory and importantly: practice. Invaluable reference tool for those actually carrying out the tree works; with little hard to find nuggets like observations on Root Pruning (itself a considerable delicate topic for Arborists).



Local Context (Arborists in Singapore)


Author: National Parks Board, Singapore


Title: Trees Of Our Garden City 2nd Ed 2009



Description: Invaluable for local Arborists. Contains broad coverage and perspectives on trees function in our landscape; as well as observations on commonly planted tree species, their significance to local communities and local growth patterns.


Includes chapters on Visual Tree Inspection (with photo guide of local findings), History of and purpose of local Planting schemes; technical referencing such as spacing for plantng different species.


One of my favourite texts! (Seems out of stock for awhile; new edition soon? I might have bought the last 3 copies at the Singapore Botanic Gardens store awhile ago as gifts for the junior arborists on our team.



I hope you find this useful; happy reading! And if you want to learn more on Arborist certifcations, read this useful primer:

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