Why Become A Tree Steward

Volunteering as a Tree Steward is interesting, satisfying and a wonderful way to serve our community.  To become a certified Tree Steward, you must attend our 10-week training course, pass a pruning and tree knowledge exam, and complete 20 community service hours that double as “on the job” training.

Our hope is that most citizens who become certified will continue to work with us.

The course consists of approximately 20 hours of classroom training taught by experienced Stewards and professionals from the tree care industry and related professions. Topics include tree identification and biology, tree selection, proper pruning and planting practices, safety, and urban planning.  There are outdoor classes as well for hands-on pruning training.

Stewards tell us that the fellowship and friendships they develop starting in the classes greatly enhance their volunteer experience.

So what do Tree Stewards do?

  • Many Stewards enjoy hands-on work such as pruning, and Richmond has plenty to be done.   Proper pruning helps young trees develop good structure as well as keeping sidewalks and curbsides safe and accessible.
  • There is a dedicated cadre of Tree Stewards working in our city parks to remove invasive species, protect our riverfront and to help make our parks safer, healthier, and more accessible.
  • Others like to dig in the soil to help community groups plant trees or assist with our annual tree giveaway to area homeowners.
  • Some of our Stewards enjoy educating their neighbors and other Richmonders about how to give their trees the best chances for a good long life.   The common practice of destructive volcano mulching is an excellent example of the need to educate. Volcano mulching kills trees.
  • Some Stewards are passionate about planning for the long-term future of the city’s urban forest.  We must plan and advocate for trees if we are to have a healthy urban canopy.

All our volunteer activities have a common goal: to promote and improve the health of city trees to ensure the city’s forest will survive and thrive.  Please consider joining us!