TCIA’s Plant Health Care Training Manual

A great reference book for anyone involved in plant health care is Plant Health Care Technician – Home Study 2 published by the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA). The book is geared toward those training to be a plant health care specialist, but it can also be used as a reference for anyone wanting to learn more about the unique services involved in a plant health care program. There are ten chapters included in the book: Introduction to PHC, tree biology, monitoring, diagnosis, disease management, tree parts affected, pesticide application, construction injuries, abiotic disorders, and soil management. Let’s discuss why this book is a great reference and what other topics could be included for future editions.

Information in this newly released book is presented in short, concise, and to-the-point format. Sections in the book do not have long, drawn-out paragraphs that discuss fine details of a topic. Although the entire book does span 195 pages, it can be read easier and faster than most books due to the style of writing and format. The book is written for those being introduced to plant health care and even those who do not have a background in trees or plants would find the book stimulating. What I like most about the book is that a lot of the PHC topics are found in one book. There are many references and books out on the market, but they often cover one of the chapters presented in Plant Health Care Technician – Home Study 2.

For future editions of the book, I would like to see chapters on: insect and mite management, scheduling work, writing IPM reports, tree injections, cultural requirements of common ornamental trees and shrubs, and root collar invigoration. All of these topics are done frequently, if not daily, as part of the duties of a plant health care specialist.

The Plant Health Care Technician – Home Study 2 training manual should not be seen as just a good reference book for plant health care specialists. The book can also be a good reference book for clients and other industry professionals in the green industry who wish to learn more about a healthy environment for their plants. With population increasing in our urban environments, the more important it will become for everyone to understand how to keep trees and other plants healthy.

TCIA’s new plant health care training manual gets a thumbs up from me. I highly recommend the book to anyone wanting to learn more about improving plant health.


Todd has worked at Bartlett for five years as a groundsman, climber, plant health care specialist, Bartlett Inventory Solutions Regional Specialist, and Arborist Representative. In 2015 he was recognized as a Plant Health Care Specialist Champion for the Piedmont Division. He has a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources Management from Colorado State University and a Master of Science in Forest Economics from Mississippi State University. He is a Certified Arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture, holds a Virginia Commercial Pesticide Applicator License, is a Certified Tree Care Safety Professional, is a Virginia Certified Horticulturist, and is Tree Risk Assessment Qualified.

Posted in Tree Preservation, Urban Tree Care
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