Washington County Citizen Pruner

Upcoming Citizen Pruner Training

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


A Citizen Pruner class is being offered for people who love trees, enjoy being outdoors, and want to volunteer in our Washington County parks.  In this class, you will learn how to effectively prune young trees to improve their long-term health and growth.  No climbing is involved with this training.  In exchange for the training, volunteers will be expected to provide a minimum of 10 hours of pruning in our Washington County Parks for two consecutive years. Volunteer pruning sessions are typically done in a group and coordinated by a team leader. 

CLASS: Includes two components - 

  1. Presentation: via Zoom, Thursday, June 24, 3:00-4:15 by University of Minnesota Tree Care Advocates Program (link will be provided in your receipt).
  2. Hands-on training hosted by Washington County Parks: Saturday, June 26, at Lake Elmo Park Reserve.  Participants will sign up for 1 of 2 sessions, either 8:30-11:30pm or 1:30-4:30pm.


  • Open to any adult, 18 years or older, who commits to 10 hours/year for 2 years of volunteer pruning in Washington County Parks
  • Pruning generally occurs in late winter (Feb-Mar) and late summer (Aug-Sept)
  • 2-hour volunteer pruning sessions are generally held on weekday afternoons (winter) or weekday mornings (summer)
  • Pruners may use their own equipment or equipment supplied by Washington County Parks 

Registration: https://learning.umn.edu/search/publicCourseSearchDetails.do?method=load&courseId=28505979

Materials: You will be provided a digital version of the Citizen Pruner training manual one week prior to training.

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: 

  • Please wear a mask if you are unvaccinated. Regardless of your vaccination status, we encourage everyone to socially distance.
  • 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 Ashley Reichard at [email protected]


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

Citizen Pruner Field Form

Attention Citizen Pruners of Washington 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.

Citizen Pruner Resources

Hopefully, everyone who attended training still has their Citizen Pruner Manual (PDF). If not, it is attached in case you need another look or have misplaced yours.


Washington County, Minnesota is partnering with the University of Minnesota Forest Resources Department on the Citizen Pruners pilot program. Tree pruning requires not only an understanding 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 Washington County.

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