Become a Tree Steward

Volunteering as a tree steward is interesting, enjoyable and a wonderful way to serve the community.  To become a certified tree steward one must attend a series of classes, pass a pruning exam,  and complete community services hours that double as “on the job” training.   Our hope is that most citizens who become certified will continue to work with the organization.

Classes are held annually, begin in January  and consist of approximately 20 hours of classroom training taught by professionals from the tree care industry and related professions. Class topics include tree identification and biology, tree selection, proper pruning and planting practices, pathology, and urban planning.  There are outdoor classes as well for hands-on pruning training.

So…what do tree stewards do ?

  • Many stewards enjoy hands on work such as pruning and there is plenty of that to be done in Richmond.   Proper pruning of young trees makes them more attractive and, more importantly,  will ensure long term success by helping trees develop good form and structure.
  • Some of our stewards are very interested in educating citizens about how to give their trees the best chances for a good, long life.   The common practice of volcano mulching is an excellent example of the need to educate.  Volcano mulching kills trees.
  • And others are passionate about planning for the long term future of the urban forest.  We must plan for the future and advocate for trees if we are to have a healthy urban canopy.

Everything we do has a common goal – improve the health and increase the life span of the trees in our city.   Please consider joining us.


Tree Stewards learn developmental pruning with the assistance of a city arborist.

The next class will begin in January, 2016.  Subscribe to this website to receive our posts, including class registration information. You may use the contact form below to make inquiries regarding future classes.

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