Arbor Rangers ™

We Get Kids THINKING About Trees

Arbor Rangers ™ Puzzles & Activities Sheets

Arbor Rangers ™ “Brainy Series”™

Arbor Rangers™ "Brainy Series" Logo

The NEW Arbor Rangers™ “Brainy Series” Logo

Do you like word search, maze, or picture puzzles? Download and print the latest Arbor Rangers  Puzzles & Activities Sheet!

Cross-WOODS Puzzle Solutions



Ready for the puzzle solution?  EAB Crossword Puzzle Answers


What Does a Tree Think of Pruning?

What Does a Tree Think of Pruning?

Guiding young and medium-aged trees to develop good branch architecture is key to sustainable tree plantings. The most common method of training and developing healthy growth is by means of proper pruning.

But, have you ever wondered how pruning affects a tree?

It’s not merely the removal of a broken or diseased or undesirable limb. Pruning not only changes a tree’s physical structure, for better or worse, but it also undergoes biological effects, which can have long-lasting affects on its future growth and development. Who knew, right?

Tree pruning

We prune trees to remove broken or diseased or undesirable limbs, but have you ever wondered, “What do tree think?” Can pruning affect a tree biologically? What affect could Jeff’s pruning this tree (pictured above) have on its future growth and development?

To learn more on how proper (or improper) pruning can impact your trees and when is the best time to prune, read the new publication: “Tree Pruning: What Do Trees Think?” (FNR-534-W Feburay 2017) by Lindsey Purcell (Urban Forestry Specialist, Purdue University).

Epicormic shoots from latent buds as a result of tree topping.

Epicormic shoots have developed from latent buds after this tree was topped. Topping trees is bad for… Continue reading

How To Plant A Tree

Have you ever wondered, “What is the proper way to plant a tree?” Does it really matter?

Sometimes, it’s hard to imagine the future of a tree, like how tall it will grow or how wide.

200-yr old White Ash behind Holliday Park Nature Center (Indianapolis)

It’s kind of like buying a cute little puppy. It’s small and doesn’t take up much room and, did we mention it’s cute?!! But then after a couple of years it becomes a larger dog that eats more, poops more, and takes up more space. You still love your dog, but over time you come to realize that to really love your pet, you need to do more things to keep it happy, well-fed, healthy and comfortable. The same is almost true with your trees!

So how do you keep your trees “happy, well-fed, healthy and comfortable,” especially if you are thinking about planting one (or more)?

Keep Indianapolis Beautiful team demonstrates the latest techniques in tree planting.

Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB) team demonstrates the latest techniques in tree planting.

First, you have to plan and prepare for it! Why are you wanting to plant a tree? Where will you plant it? Have you had the soil tested? Have you checked for nearby utilities?… Continue reading

Indiana’s STEM Certified Schools!

​The Indiana Department of Education has announced the following STEM Certified Schools which underwent a rigorous application and review process in order to be awarded. While these are some of the first, other schools will be able to build on their accomplishments. Congratulations!

The FIRST Cohort of Schools:

  • Zionsville Community Schools: Boone Meadow Elementary, Stonegate Elementary, Eagle Elementary, Pleasant View Elementary, Union Elementary
  • Michigan City Area Schools: Lake Hills Elementary
  • Warsaw Community Schools: Washington Elementary
  • MSD of Lawrence Township: Skiles Test Elementary, Belzer Middle School, and McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology
  • Maconaquah School Corporation: Maconaquah Middle School
  • MSD of Warren Township: Walker Career Center

The SECOND Cohort of Schools:

  • The Career Academy of South Bend
  • Grandview Elementary-Bloomington
  • Indian Creek Elementary Magnet School of STEM-MSD Lawrence TWP
  • Lafayette Sunnyside Intermediate Schools-Lafayette
  • Madison Primary Center-South Bend
  • Area 31 Career Center-MSD Wayne TWP
  • Maple Crest Middle School – Kokomo
  • New Tech Institute – Evansville
  • Southern Indiana Career and Technical Center – Evansville

Congratulations to the following schools for achieving a Full STEM Certified Program (School within a School Model)!

  • The STEM Academy at Penn High School – Mishawaka

Want To Learn More About Getting Your School STEM Certified?
Review the online webinar HERE.

Help the Urban Forest in Carmel

Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom is being planned for Goddard School

A special invitation has been extended to participate in a project to bring more trees and other greenery into Carmel’s urban forest, reduce hardscape, and help create future generations of tree planters and environmental stewards.

As a key first step in creating this nature-rich learning environment, a two-hour design consultation will be held on December 28 & 29, 2016. Representatives from urban forest organizations are invited to attend on those days and offer their expertise.

If you are unfamiliar with the Nature Explore program, you are encouraged to view their introductory video at

Nature Explore’s landscape architect/educator design team, together with the program’s stakeholders, will design an effective learning environment for the children.

As Dan Lambe, Arbor Day Foundation president has said, “Bringing together the urban forestry and early childhood communities to create Nature Explore Classrooms is a great way to grow both urban forests and future tree planters.”

The design team would welcome whatever help and expertise you might provide. In other communities, stakeholders have advised on the best trees and shrubs to plant, and on tree-care issues. Some have proposed ways to… Continue reading

Hover Flies and Sweat Bees, Oh My!

So… you’re outside trying to enjoy your trees and then almost immediately you begin to attract the attention of those tiny, hovering, flying “things” that look like tiny bees! It seems to get worse because they tend to like landing on your sweaty arms and hands and shoulders and… Just what are these? Bees? Wasps? Flies? Drones? Aliens?!!?

Clive Jones

Clive Jones

Checkout our post on Facebook where we point you to the answers:

or go to:

April Debut Issue of New Arbor Ranger’s “Brainy Series”

Arbor Rangers ™ has a NEW logo for its new “BRAINY Series”. This new series will be all about puzzles that include mazes, word searches, crosswords, rebuses, etc. that are designed to get you to THINK about trees!

Arbor Rangers™ "Brainy Series" Logo

The NEW Arbor Rangers™ “Brainy Series” Logo

We’ve combined some of our favorite past puzzles into a new 8-page PDF! This issue will introduce our new “Brainy Series” specifically devoted to word game puzzles and other fun leisurely activities to get you THINKING about trees! Enjoy!

Arbor Rangers™ Brainy Series™ Activity pages promo issue

Arbor Rangers™ Brainy Series™ Activity pages promo issue cover

2016 IUFC Arbor Day Poster Contest for Fifth Graders!

The Indiana Urban Forest Council’s Annual 5th Grade Arbor Day Poster Contest has officially launched!

Arbor Day Poster Contest Celebration at Easton Polaski School

Arbor Day Poster Contest Celebration at Easton Polaski School

What must a winning poster include?

  • Poster contest theme
  • Accurate tree facts
  • Visual appeal


To register, click on this REGISTRATION link.

Poster Contest Deadline

Winning posters from each school must be received by their corresponding Regional Judge no later than Saturday, March 26, 2016 to qualify. Please see complete Contest Rules & Regional Judges info.

Once your school has a winner, be sure to fill out and attach this form, before submitting it.

Best wishes to all participating 5th Grade educators and their students!

Essay Contest for Fourth Graders!

Arbor Rangers ™ is excited to announce that Hoosier Releaf will again be celebrating Earth Day and Arbor Day this year and want YOU to join in the celebration! They are inviting all fourth grade students to use your creative minds and your writing talents and enter for a chance to win one of three great prizes in their essay contest!

In just 500 words or less they want you to tell them about how your life would be like if you were the legendary Johnny Appleseed!


Johnny Appleseed

Johnny Appleseed by H. S. Knapp (1862)

John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed) was an arborist, a farmer, a businessman, and an educator just to name a few things, but he is most famous for planting apple trees around parts of the Midwest. You can find more information about him in your local library and also here.

“If I Were a Modern Day Johnny Appleseed…” Essay Contest

In your essay, tell about how YOUR life would be if you lived like Johnny Appleseed.

  • Would you be an arborist or a businessman?
  • What kinds of things would you do?
  • What would your name be?… Continue reading

2015 Indiana Tree Climbing Competition

Masters' Challenge sign

Masters’ Challenge sign featuring Sandy Beech

On Saturday, September 12, 2015 the Indiana Arborist Association hosted the annual Indiana Tree Climbing Competition which was held this time at Southeastway Park in New Palestine, IN. We were asked to design the event station signs, featuring our Arbor Rangers, for this special event! You can view some of the photos we took at the tree climbing competition on our Facebook page which includes the Arbor Rangers™ illustrations drawn for the station signs.

Special THANKS to Lindsey Purcell for offering the opportunity to support this event and publicize Arbor Rangers™ at the same time!