Tree Steward (group-based volunteering)


About the Tree Steward Program

The Tree Steward Program is one of our two programs (along with the Tree Care Advisor program) that aids in the development of environmentally-focused residents through education and the promotion of volunteerism. This program is a community-based program where city/county staff or representatives will request bringing in Tree Steward education. This education allows the public citizens to get involved with caring for their community's urban and community forests through volunteerism. Essentially, Tree Steward volunteers act as leaders in their community and act as a second pair of eyes within their community.

Tree Steward volunteers can be trained in a wide array of topics related to trees. This education can include, but is not limited to, the following topics:

  • Properly planting trees and leading others at planting events

  • Properly pruning young trees to improve the overall health and structure

  • Pruning suckers and sprouts from young and mature trees to ensure safety and proper sightlines for the public

  • Watering devices available for use and the benefits of utilizing watering devices for young and newly planted trees

  • Installation of watering devices on public trees

  • Identification of common tree diseases and pests

  • How to identify trees of concern - we want to keep the public safe!

  • How to report trees of concern to your community so action can be taken

(Note: The Tree Steward program has absorbed the citizen pruner program.)

Participating Communities

Tree Steward Community Resources

Are you interested in bringing Tree Steward programming to your community? If so, please have your local government unit that will organize and provide support fill out and return the following application to be reviewed by program organizers. 

Tree Steward City Application (PDF) 

Once your community's application has been received, you will be contacted regarding next steps for bringing the Tree Steward programming to your community. Take a look with appropriate staff at the curriculum layout so you can begin to design what the course will look like (e.g. which topics you would like covered, which topics you would like to omit). Program staff will contact you after receiving your application to talk more about the course in your community and how to get volunteers engaged after the training.

Tree Steward Curriculum (PDF)

Sample Tree Steward Manual (PDF)

Tree Trek signs point out local species
Learn to ID tree goodies like buckeyes