TREE BASICS for 6th grade level.


TREE BASICS by Dr. Alex L. Shigo.

Known as the “Father of MODERN ARBORICULTURE” MODERN ARBORICULTURE is tree care where decisions are based on a thorough understanding of TREE BIOLOGY. Pronounced MODERN “ARBOR CULTURE”. The “I” is silent.

Dr. Shigo was Chief Scientist in a pioneering expedition into tree decay [USFS]. Concluded during research either all text books were incorrect or trees were wrong for not doing what text books state they are supposed to do.

They wounded 15,000 trees, then dissected them in the longitudinal plane. A new way with a new view of internal response to wounding. The introduction of the chain saw made it possible. Until this time most info gathered was from cross sections. Primarily because they sent a tree through a saw mill. No such thing as a straight tree. They thought columns of decay came and went. The chainsaw gave them the opportunity to make cuts leaving the view of the pith on one side.

Also on fresh wound surfaces they isolated hundreds of thousands of microorganisms that were successionary on fresh wound surfaces. Then they mapped them in a mapping room. Then the biggest thing, they identified the hundreds of thousands of microorganisms. When Dr. Shigo stopped doing that type of work no one continued because no one could identify the hundreds of thousands of microorganisms.

Dr. Alex L. Shigo left the USFS and began to rewrite all text books on trees based on correct information. As well as doing what was called New Tree Biology Workshops worldwide. I have a minimum of 290 professor hours.

One book titled TREE BASICS was written and approved for 6th grade level education.

TREES HAVE GIVEN SO MUCH FOR SO MANY. (See: Value of Trees) Don’t you think it’s time to give a little bit back? It appears we take this for granted. [Value of Trees]

Some people will buy products they do not understand and not buy books that will give them understanding.

Loving your work is different from understanding it. Both are necessary. The degree of effective management of any system is directly proportional to the degree of correct understanding of the system. Ignorance of tree biology has been, and still is, the major cause of tree problems worldwide.
Treating a system you do not understand is equal starting a Rolls Royce by hitting it with a sledgehammer.
Teachers can only teach what they have been taught to teach.

Teachers deserve another chance.

Myth completes a circle.

Nurture children's curiosity with correct information rather than decay it with half truths and myths.

Some examples of signs we have a problem:

Children are leaving schools with the idea humans feed trees.
Just look on the shelves. The product pushers find that a good selling point - Plant Food, Lawn Food, Tree Food.
A total ignorance of Photosynthesis. Not to mention the other products lining the shelves.

Young people are growing up and buying trees that should never leave nursery. Piling mulch against trunks and paying people who cannot pass a Tree Basics Quiz to make decisions for them. TREE BASICS addresses this.

Text books still define a forest as a group of trees. Insinuating you can plant an ecosystem. Still teaching trees are a natural renewable resource and keep cutting them and they will come back the way they were.

Unless my professor wrote it or I did in my dictionary you will not find the value of trees we list.

That was the problem prior Dr. Shigo. Not so long ago, in fact that many text books today still have terms and they are still being taught in schools. that make no sense. Healing wounds, feeder roots, root flares, heartrot and wood is dead just for starters. They first believed wood was dead and then claimed you had a disease?  How can something that is dead have a disease?

I had to learn old arboriculture in order to be able to read other DATA. Or it would be totally confused when the latter mentioned words are used. With minimum of 290 professor hours I would say it takes time to learn these things. Teachers are not at fought, they could only teach what they have been taught to teach. They deserve another chance. I am willing to work with them of this issue.

It is not how much you know, but how much you know that is correct that makes you wise. Knowledge is a measure of what you know. Wisdom is what you do with what you know that benefits survival.

See "Tree History"


What every person needs to know about trees. Learn about trees and their associates so that you can help make better decisions for their long-term, high-quality survival. Dr. Shigo explains the complex and fascinating mysteries of how a tree works. Even foresters and botanists will find this helpful for explaining to others the biology of trees. For that reason Tree Basics has been placed in all New Hampshire schools.
• “Tree Basics” presents an excellent explanation of tree decay and compartmentalization.
• A complete tree anatomy lesson on how bark, roots, leaves and flowers work.
• Tree care advice including how to prune correctly. Size: 11″ x 8.5″ 40 pages

Shigo and Trees, Associates LLC PO Box 2466 Snohomish, WA 98291-2466 USA
Phone: 1 360-862-1869
Fax: 1 360-862-8490







John A. Keslick Jr.
Tree Biologist

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