Arborists and urban foresters will teach residents how to care for trees in a Heartland Alliance Treekeepers class that begins March 28.

The goal of TreeKeepers is to provide a corps of trained volunteers as a resource for local municipalities, school districts and neighborhood associations to lead tree planting, pruning and maintenance projects regionally.

Research shows that the average street tree lives less than 10 years due to the harsh conditions of the urban environment. While local municipalities are responsible for the preservation, protection and maintenance of all city trees, economic realities have limited the ability of some communities to provide adequate attention to young trees. Small and newly planted trees have the highest mortality rate and therefore need the most help.

TreeKeepers receive training in environmental awareness and basic arboricultural principles. Through classroom work and outdoor training, participants learn about tree identification, site suitability, proper planting techniques, after planting care and pruning. Upon completion of the course, TreeKeepers are asked to give 24 hours of volunteer time to the Heartland Tree Alliance for municipal tree care projects around the Kansas City metropolitan region.

The spring training classes are 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 28; 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 29; and 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Thursday, March 30. Classes will be held at the Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center, 4750 Troost Ave., Kansas City, MO. The course cost $50.

To register, contact Bridging the Gap TreeKeepers Kansas or contact Sarah Crowder at 816-561-1086 or sarah.crowder@bridgingthegap.org.