Posts in Seasonal Update


With the enthusiasm of Tiny Tim himself, we are excitedly getting back into spring and the gardening work that it entails!

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As the five boroughs warm up, we enter into one of our busiest work seasons. Here’s what we have in store this year at Arborpolitan:



Arborpolitan’s Justin Rawson and Aaron Smith completed the Certified Tree Safety Professional (CTSP) program held by the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) in Hartford, CT last March. The CTSP program allows one or more key employees at a given company to become certified tree care safety experts, thereby empowering and encouraging a culture of safety within that organization.

Because safety regulations and industry standards are continually evolving, the ongoing education requirement is vital to maintaining a legitimate safety program within a given company. In order to fulfill program requirements, CTSP's must complete a study guide, attend a two-day training workshop, and pass a rigorous exam.  Once certified, CTSP's must complete at least 30 hours of training others, or receiving education themselves, every three years.


For more information about the Tree Care Industry Association, visit

For more information regarding the Certified Treecare Safety Professional program at TCIA, contact Peter Gerstenberger or Irina Kochurov at (800) 733-2622 or email Peter or Irinia

Spring Pruning


Mid-spring is one of the best times of year to do pruning work, and can help trees grow healthily into the coming season. We prune to help maintain the health and appearance of trees (removing crossing or damaged branches, thinning out a canopy to help increase air flow, etc.), as well as to train younger plants to help enhance their healthy growth forms (especially here in the city, where trees sometimes begin to encroach onto buildings).

Below is a list of springtime appropriate pruning tasks:

  • Reducing/thinning roses and summer blossoming shrubs like rose of Sharon, hydrangea, and butterfly bush.
  • Selecting scaffold branches on thin shade-tolerant trees planted the previous season.
  • Cutting back most vines.
  • Reducing/thinning the canopies of mature trees.
  • Reducing/thinning flower-bearing trees after the petals of the flowers have fallen.
  • Establishing clean lines on evergreen bushes that had been heavily pruned the previous winter.

If you'd like to learn more about pruning, check out this illustrated guide produced by Cornell University.



With the onset of spring, our plant healthcare program is taking off! As the soil warms up, the microorganisms that help maintain its health start becoming active. However, in city soil, the minerals and nutrients required to sustain these miniature ecosystems are sometimes depleted due to common urban conditions like low moisture, soil compaction, or nearby construction. This is why we use a deep root feeding system to help amend these soils with the kind of fertile nutrients that soil and trees need to form healthy and sustainable growth.

We apply our soil amendments with a deep root feeding spike hooked up to a high-pressure water pump, this pumps the fertilizer into the root zone of the tree. Additionally, the small holes that are created in this process help aerate and loosen the soil, and allow for water and other nutrients to more easily reach the roots.

We look for specific symptoms when determining a plant healthcare program:

  • Yellowing leaves or a loss of foliage. This is a clear indicator of tree stress often associated with malnutrition.
  • Insect or fungal infestations. Trees in general should be able to fight off most pests naturally with their own defense systems, so an infestation of any kind can be a clear sign that the tree is lacking some necessary nutrients.
  • Yearly tree growth. When a tree shows a serious decline in growth over a year, this often means that there is a depletion in its natural growth hormones.
  • In some cases, we will take a soil sample and get it analyzed to see exactly what the soil around a tree is lacking, and what we can apply to help balance it.

Soil amendments alone aren’t always enough to deal with extreme infestations. When those situations occur, we will pair deep root feeding with an organic oil spray treatment. This clogs the pores of most pests, and sticks to the leaves for a short amount of time to decrease the chances of future infestations. 



In addition to all of our normal pruning and plant healthcare work, we are making an effort to take on more garden and tree installation jobs this season. Sonia Wong, our resident garden design consultant (and office manager!) had this to say about her consultation and installation work:

"I always try to choose plants that are native, that are good for beneficial insects and different pollinators.

When I'm doing a consultation, normally I ask the client what their budget is, what kind of aesthetic they like, or if they have any picture references. I try to observe what plants they already have and if they're doing well. This can give me clues about the site's conditions. I also ask if they have irrigation, which helps me determine what kind of plants to plant.

After the consultation, I send them three design layout options. Once the general layout is decided, I send them a more detailed plan for their approval."

After going through the design process with Sonia, we will schedule a date for installation. We work to make sure that your garden is designed with sustainability in mind, so that you can enjoy your outdoor space for seasons to come!



If you are thinking about getting any garden design, plant health care, or pruning work done this spring, please feel free to set up a consultation with us at 877-NYC-TREE or at We would be more than happy to work with you on your garden and tree needs!

Have a good one!

2017 Season So Far

Hello fellow tree hugging dirt lovers.

The year 2017 brought with it a tide change. Between certain political shake-ups and the release of Ed Sheeran’s track Shape Of You, its been an emotional one. The people of earth are likely feeling a striking sense of change, an urgency to engage, or a movement in their hearts upon hearing the unusual blend of tropical house, dancehall, and acoustic guitar strumming that Sheeran uses to evoke the sense of a budding romance.

In New York City, we’ve seen an extra rainy year following a late winter. This meant that there were less cases of insect infestations and more of fungal infections in our city’s trees. As such, we have been visiting trees all around the city to deep root feed. The year has not been completely without pests though. We have seen some increased scaling activity, and are keeping our eyes out for mites, adelgids, webworms, and lace bugs.

We also had our own Sonia design several of our client’s gardens, some of which can be seen above in mid-installation. Otherwise, we have kept busy with our typical work of pruning trees and planting new ones.

We’re currently looking towards our autumnal season, preparing to step up the amount of plant health care visits to help prepare trees and plants for winter dormancy.  Soon we’ll be seeing more cases of hemlock scaling, webworms, and needlecast. If you’re looking to plant a tree, sometime in the upcoming fall season would be an ideal time to do it, as it will give the tree an optimal time frame to establish it’s roots through winter dormancy and into the spring (and if you’re looking for someone to plant that tree for you, well, we could be that someone!).

Above are a few pictures of the 2017 team hard at work, with the occasional goof thrown in for good measure.

May the rest of our year be filled with friends, good times, and most of all, healthy trees.

Play us out, Ed.

Seasonal UpdateAaron Smith