Tap into the world of trees and learn from arborists and urban foresters about their care in a Heartland Tree Alliance TreeKeeper’s class that begins Thursday, September 5.

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, plant 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 fall training classes are 6:30 – 9 p.m. on Thursdays, September 5, 12, 19, 26 and October 3, and from 9 a.m. – noon on Saturday, September 28. The Thursday evening classes will be held at Wyandotte County Extension Office, 1216 N. 79th St., Kansas City, KS. The Saturday work day will be held at Wyandotte County Park, 126th St. & State Ave., Bonner Springs, KS. The course costs $50.

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

Photo: RichardBH