About Tree Steward
In many cases, city staff have a difficult time tending to all tree care needs of their city. But now there is a way for volunteers to help those staff to care for their trees and act as a second pair of eyes for their community. As a Tree Steward, you will become an expert in all things trees in order to assist other volunteers and to work closely with your city staff.
You must be wondering, what does a Tree Steward do exactly? Great question! Here is a list of things you may help do as you volunteer for your community:
- Plant trees and train others on how to do so
- Prune young trees to grow properly - also known as developmental pruning
- Pruning suckers and sprouts from mature trees
- Learn about watering devices and the benefits of using them on young trees are
- Install watering devices or help water park trees
- Learn how to identify tree diseases and pests
- Learn how to identify trees of concern - we want to keep the public safe!
- Report trees of concern to your city so they can tend to them as soon as possible
Your next question might be, what does the training cover?
The training you attend will cover all of the information mentioned above and how to access additional resources to make you feel comfortable out in the field.
You will get to practice your planting, pruning, and reporting skills outside.
But what about the training? How long will that take?
The Tree Steward training takes about 6-8 hours to complete. But that is because there is a lot of information to cover and we want to go outside and practice what we know before you go out on your own. Plus, that will fulfill the education requirement if you want to take the Minnesota DNR Tree Inspector Exam for certification.
What is the DNR Certified Tree Inspector Exam? And why should I want to take it?
A certified tree inspector is someone who is trained and certified to identify and manage disease and insect problems, provide recommendations for tree health and care, and to inspect for new insect and disease problems. Think of the certification as being equivalent to a Storm Spotter - you are keeping your eyes peeled to provide timely and accurate reports of potential tree insect and disease problems so professionals can help mitigate or manage them. You just have to pass the exam with a 70% or higher to receive you certification card. If you are interested and would like more information about the exam, click here for more information.
Does the Tree Steward training cost money? What about the DNR Certified Tree Inspector Exam?
They are both free because you are a volunteer! And, as a bonus, the exam is a steal (it's usually $85).
What about the time commitment after training?
You are a volunteer, so that is up to you. Any amount of time you can offer lends a great deal of help to your community to ensure a healthier urban forest. Just think of all those benefits you will be providing! A beautiful city, higher property values, safer neighborhoods, cleaner air...the list goes on.