Sherburne County Citizen Pruner

Upcoming Citizen Pruner Training

Looking to get involved as a Citizen Pruner for Sherburne County?

In 2021, there will be a spring training to get volunteers out in their community pruning. All training details and information are available below:

General Details: This year's training will be a hybrid of Zoom and social distanced field training. You will receive access to the Zoom invitation once you have registered as well as in an email reminder the Monday prior to training. The field sessions will be limited to 5 individuals to ensure everyone's safety and you will only select one session when registering.

Fee: $15 per person


  • March 5th, 2021 from 3:00pm to 4:30pm - Zoom presentation
  • March 6th, 2021 from 8:30am to 11:30pm (Field Session 1) and 1:30pm to 4:30pm (Field Session 2)

Field Session Location: Elk River Regional Library (13020 Orono Parkway NW, Elk River, Minnesota, 55330)


Materials: You will be provided a digital version of the Citizen Pruner training manual two weeks prior to training. You will also be provided the recording of the Zoom session post-training for your reference.

Competency Assessment: After the Zoom and field training sessions, we do require that each volunteer complete a competency assessment. This will be available digitally and it is an open-book assessment. After you have successfully passed the assessment, you will receive a certificate of completion and a volunteer ID card for use in the field.

Safety Notes: 

  • We do require that every participant wears a mask and maintains 6 feet of distancing during the field session.
  • Training staff will provide hand sanitizer and we encourage you use it as frequently as needed.
  • If you are feeling sick or under the weather, have tested positive for COVID, or suspect you may have been exposed leading up to training, please notify our team as we will happily provide a refund.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email  [email protected] or [email protected] and we will be happy to help!


Thank you for your interest and we look forward to sharing upcoming opportunities in Sherburne County!


For more information about volunteering please contact [email protected] or Franny Gerde at the Sherburne SWCD [email protected] or 763-241-1170 ext. 101

New Field Form!

Attention Citizen Pruners of Sherburne County! There is a new Field Form (PDF) to use when pruning in your community. The new Field Form is meant to reflect the changes in data collection that the University of Minnesota is asking volunteers to report. Lucky for you, it consists of mainly checking boxes and providing a few details on who participated and when you were out pruning. Just don't forget to log your pruning data as a group and to have one group member report that information via the online reporting form or by scanning the original copies to [email protected]. If you have any questions regarding this change, do not hesitate to check in with the Volunteer Programs Coordinator.


Pruning Events

Currently, there are no pruning events scheduled at this time. If you are interested in completing some fieldwork independently, please contact Franny Gerde at [email protected].


Citizen Pruner Resources

Hopefully everyone who attended training still has their Sherburne County Citizen Pruner Manual (PDF).  If not, they are attached in case you need another look or have misplaced yours. The city will be providing the Field Forms at pruning events and will be collecting them and sharing pruning specifics. Please, still enter your volunteer personal hours online on the Education & Volunteer Hours Reporting page.


The Sherburne Soil & Water Conservation District and the cities of Becker, Big Lake, Clear Lake, Elk River, Princeton and Zimmerman are partnering with the University of Minnesota Forest Resources Department on the Citizen Pruners pilot program. Citizen Pruners are trained in tree identification, biology, and pruning techniques.Tree pruning requires not only and understand of how to prune but also an understanding of the tree's biology to prevent the spread of certain diseases. If you enjoy being outdoors, love trees and your community, this is an opportunity for you to get involved in your urban forest. Course material will be taught by University of Minnesota Forest Resources Department staff alongside the Sherburne Soil & Water Conservation District.

Citizen Pruners are responsible for submitting 10 volunteer hours a year and recertifying every 3 years.