Forest Sustainability

Jeremy Lowell - Program Coordinator
Carter Rogers - Assistant Program Coordinator

Bay County Building
515 Center Avenue, Suite 503
Bay City, Michigan 48708-5941
Voice: (989) 895-4195

Tree Health 


As humans we have a mutual relationship with trees. We breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide, whereas trees absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. One large tree can supply enough oxygen for four people. However, it takes about five trees to absorb the carbon dioxide produced by a single human being. Trees trap airborne pollutants keeping them out of our water and lungs, decrease stress, and increase the value of our homes. Since It can take upwards of 15 to 30 years for a tree to grow to maturity, it’s important to take care of the trees we have.

When is the best time to plant a tree?

In Michigan it is best to plant trees in early spring or late fall when the plants are dormant. However, in heavy soils such as clay, planting in fall is discouraged as the plants may be frost heaved from the ground before roots can become established.

  • MSU-Extension Smart Tree Tip Sheets
  • MSU-Extension Planting Fruit Trees


    Seasonal Tree Care . . . 
      Year-round tree maintenance is very import for their overall good health. Trees count on us to help provide the proper nourishment and care throughout the year. There are certain things to keep in mind during each season to ensure the health of your trees. Each new season brings with it a variety of challenges and needs for trees, from winter and spring pruning to seasonal pests, mulching, and even watering. Below is information about what to do to help your trees grow and thrive throughout the four seasons.

     Like wintertime, late fall is an excellent time for pruning trees. Fall is the time to prune your trees of any dead or diseased branches.  



    In addition to pruning and inspecting your tree during winter time, you should also mulch your tree. Mulching can be done with a variety of materials including wood chips, barks, and composts. Mulching your tree during winter will restore nutrient levels and warm the temperature of winter soil.




    In spring, you’ll want to prune out any front damage that occurred to your tree during the winter months. Early spring is also a time when insects flourish so it’s best to inspect your trees for any abnormal insect or pest activity. You should also apply fertilizer to the tree since springtime is when trees experience the most growth. In general, you should begin to apply fertilizer to the tree in early spring and continue to do so until the tree begins to grow in early May. Also, be sure to water the tree as necessary if the spring weather is arid. A good tip for watering trees is to remember to water the tree deeply so that the soil is covered in water rather than watering more frequently with less water.  However, be careful to not over water trees.





    Like springtime, summer can also be a populartime of year for pests and insects to congregate. To maintain your tree’shealth and protect against potentially harmful pest activity, be sure to check your trees for any unwanted pests.