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Urban Arborists

Bill Logan founded Urban Arborists to care for trees and shrubs where they matter most: in cities and suburbs, where they are often people's chief link to the natural world. Throughout the tri-state area, from backyard gardens in Bed-Stuy, to Manhattan townhouses, to cathedral and museum grounds, to New York City streets, to Westchester homes and estates, Urban Arborists brings the highest standards of knowledge, attention and care to the woody plants that transform lots into landscapes, yards into gardens, streets into groves.

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Of Interest

You can now take a tree canopy walk four stories high and slide into a person-sized bird's nest at The Morris Arboretum. It's a great way to see trees the way birds (and arborists) see them..

To see great conifers, visit Bayard Cutting Arboretum in East Islip

Swarthmore College, near Philadelphia, has one of the best arboreta in the East. The trees and shrubs are beautiful, well-labeled, and appropriately used in garden settings. For a wonderful day trip, take Amtrak to Philadelphia and the regional SEPTA line right to the Arboretum at the Swarthmore stop. Look at their website, Scott Arboretum

If you are up for some exploration, try to find the amazing white oak in Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx. It is in the northeast corner of the park, but off the main trails. If it were in England, they would be making pilgrimages to it. Two years ago, Urban Arborists placed a faux-bark shield on a large hollow to keep people from setting it afire.

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Seasonal Activities

Spring is a vigorous and violent time. The quiet of winter – when all of this year’s growth is resting in embryonic form beneath the buds – is over, and the trees and shrubs are spending great gouts of saved energy to fuel the sprouting of new stems, leaves and flowers. It is wonderful to watch the tips of the buds first turn green and then begin to unfurl. This process is called vernation, which in the vernacular means something like Spring-ification. .

At Urban Arborists, we are busy planting new trees. Spring is one the two best times to plant. Autumn is the other. Arborists fight about which is the better time, but the truth is that a large part of how well trees establish is owed to the weather that follows. Still, a few species – birches and redbuds and many oaks, for example – are better not planted in Autumn. .

Whether you plant in spring or fall, the most important thing for success is that the trees be watered well during their first growing season. A tree loses 70% or more of its roots when it is dug from the ground in the nursery, and it needs help to allow it to grow new roots in its present home. The rule of thumb is 10 gallons of water per inch of tree diameter per week, but even more is often useful at the very start. Be careful, though, that drainage is adequate. Tree roots – with a few exceptions – are not happy to swim in too much water. .

We are also on watch for those trees that do not leaf out as they should. Winter damage is sometimes the cultprit. For example, a lot of London plane trees suffered dead branches during our previous two cold winter. But the failure may also indicate a systemic problem with the root system. We specialize in diagnoising and caring for problem trees. .

Upcoming Events

Bill Logan to lead a tree identification walk at Green-Wood Cemetery on 14 May 2016 at 1:00 PM.

Bill Logan to lead a tree walk at Woodlawn Cemetery on 18 June 2016 at 2:00 PM.


Laura Wooley leads Urban Arborists' planting of more than one thousand trees in the Bronx under a grant from NYSERDA and in association with Trees New York.

Urban Arborists advises The High Line on tree care and pruning.

Urban Arborists trains the aerial hedges and pollarded London planes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Urban Arborists begins preparing the succession plan for the trees at Madison Square Park.

This past winter, Bill lectured on trees and soils at Frelinghuysen Arboretum, at Chicago's iLandscape Conference, and at the Minnesota Shade Tree Short Course.

August 11, 2012 — Bill Logan named by the International Society of Arboriculture a True Professional of Arboriculture, at 2012 international conference in Portland, Oregon.

Winter 2016 — Urban Arborists assesses, diagnoses and cares for two Great Trees in New York City Parks, a huge Manchurian elm in Kissena Park, Queens, and the Hangman's Elm in Washington Square Park.

Man in Tree

March 27th — featured in the New York Times, Urban Arborists removes an ailanthus tree at The Noguchi Museum.

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Bill Logan gives commencement speech at NY Botanical Garden

NYBG Graduation Speech [45 KB doc]