This training series provides an introduction to the knowledge, skills, and abilities to plan, design, and install Tree and/or Shrub Establishment plantings (CPS612). Additional training may be needed.

Practice Specific


Training Type
Online Learning

United States


1. Knowledge of forest ecology and management for the local area

Title Description
Introduction to Conservation Forestry This course informs conservation planners about basic forest ecology and forest management practices to establish a foundation for implementing forestry and agroforestry conservation practices. Planners will learn about common objectives of forest landowners, threats to forests, the forest inventory process, forest management plans, and laws, regulations, and permits related to forest management. The course includes client stories to demonstrate the planning process with clients who have diverse forest types across the United States.
Enhancing Mast (food) Production for Woodland Wildlife Fruit from trees and shrubs (aka mast) is a significant source of food for many wildlife species. This webinar will explore a variety of mast producing trees and shrubs found in eastern deciduous woodlands, as well as, their role in sustaining the wildlife species that depend on them. It will explore on some of the techniques, including crop tree management that can be employed to enhance the diversity and productivity of these woodland mast producers. (Time: 1:05)


2. Knowledge of silvics of tree species to be managed

Title Description
NPC Silviculture Strategies for Forest Stand Prescriptions The Division of Forestry has developed silviculture strategies to inform sustainable forest management in Minnesota. These documents include information on the following key elements for each native plant community (NPC) class:
  • Vegetation, structure, and composition
  • Landscape setting and soils
  • Tree suitability
  • Tree response to climate change
  • Tree establishment and recruitment
  • Stand dynamics and growth stages
  • 2-page silvicultural strategies for each major natural disturbance agent
Emulating Forest Disturbance with Silviculture The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has developed a Forest Ecology and Management course focused on advancing knowledge and skills for USFWS biologists, foresters and others who manage forests on refuges or partner lands to meet wildlife habitat needs and objectives. This webinar is an overview of the course which is designed to introduce biologists and others to the concepts of forest disturbance ecology, basic silvicultural approaches and the design of silvicultural prescriptions that will either emulate conditions more typical of natural disturbances or meet the needs for a particular set of species. The course covers field skills, stand exams, forest dynamics modeling, cruising, marking and harvesting. The course and presentation focus on using emulation of natural forest disturbances as a main thesis.


 3. Knowledge of soil health and management

Title Description
Unlock the Secrets in the Soil A series of 41 videos, mostly under five minutes each that discuss various soil health topics and applications of soil health principles.
Soil Quality - the Foundation for Resource Management (Time: 1:55)  Participants in the webinar learn about Natural Resources Conservation Service conservation planning principles to improve soil health and the impact soil health has on other resource concerns, such as water quality.
Soil Health (Time: 57:21)  In this session, Dr. Jessica Gutknecht discusses soil health. When you think about the soil beneath your feet, or beneath your tractor, what does it mean for it to be healthy? What does it take for it to be healthy, and what are the results of those efforts? In this talk, we will explore the world below with a brief introduction to soils, how soil structure is built into a healthy soil, and some management options for building a healthy soil. We will also discuss the win-win of soil health for sustainable management and for adaptation to increasingly variable Minnesota weather and climate.
Living Soil Film (Time 1:00:22) Our soils support 95 percent of all food production, and by 2060, our soils will be asked to give us as much food as we have consumed in the last 500 years. They filter our water. They are one of our most cost-effective reservoirs for sequestering carbon. They are our foundation for biodiversity. And they are vibrantly alive, teeming with 10,000 pounds of biological life in every acre. Yet in the last 150 years, we’ve lost half of the basic building block that makes soil productive. The societal and environmental costs of soil loss and degradation in the United States alone are now estimated to be as high as $85 billion every single year. Like any relationship, our living soil needs our tenderness. It’s time we changed everything we thought we knew about soil.


Additional KSAs Based on Practice Phases

1. Inventory and Evaluation (I&E) planning

  • Ability to use soils information for tree/shrub applicability and locate seedling mortality rating
Title Description
Tech Talk: Tree/Shrub Establishment CPS 612 In this session Callie Bertsch, NRCS State Forester, and Kelly Voigt, TTCP Training Conservationist, cover Tree/Shrub Establishment practice (CPS 612). This session covers the use of Web Soil Survey to identify Conservation Tree/Shrub Groups and using the CTSG group spreadsheet to select species of trees/shrubs to plant. This session also tree spacing specifications for different planting purposes and other tree/shrub selection factors. In addition, participants will become familiar with the Implementation Requirements worksheet for the 612 practice standard.  
Conservation Tree/Shrub Groups: A Tool for Matching Woody Plants to Soils This webinar provides guidance on how to develop and use Conservation Tree/Shrub Groups (CTSG) to match woody plants to soils. (Time: 00:39)
  • Ability to use applicable wildlife habitat evaluation guides 

2. Design and development of conservation practice requirements

  • Ability to calculate tree/shrub numbers
  • Knowledge of planting dates for plant species used

3. Installation oversight and certification

  • Knowledge of planting methods and equipment
Title Description
Tech Talk: Tree and Shrub Site Preparation (CPS 490) This Tech Talk is about tree/shrub site preparation (CPS 490) and tree/shrub planting methods. This session includes a discussion of planning considerations for site preparation and matching the site preparation techniques to the site conditions. Different types of tree stock and planting methods are discussed along with planning considerations for successful tree/shrub establishment. Available web soil survey reports are demonstrated and other resources for practice planning are provided.
  • Knowledge of Minnesota Seed Law
Title Description
Minnesota Seed Law All seed that is sold in Minnesota must be properly labeled to meet the requirements of the Minnesota Seed Law (Minnesota Statutes, sections 21.80-21.92) and the Federal Seed Act.  These laws are intended to protect consumers based on truth-in-labeling principles and promote fair competition among seed sellers through the establishment of minimum standards.
  • Knowledge of Minnesota Noxious Weed Law
Title Description
Minnesota Noxious Weed Law The Noxious Weed Law affects growing plants. Some plants are noxious because they can harm people, animals, the food we eat, and nature.  MDA, county, city, and township officials inspect land and ask owners to control and eradicate noxious weeds that are present in order to keep them from spreading and harming neighboring lands.
Minnesota Noxious Weed List Prohibited noxious weeds are annual, biennial, or perennial plants that the commissioner designates as having the potential or are known to be detrimental to human or animal health, the environment, public roads, crops, livestock or other property. 


Updated: 1/26/2023