Tap into the world of trees and learn from arborists and urban foresters about their care. The Heartland Tree Alliance Treekeepers will host a series of virtual classes beginning Thursday, September 10.

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 virtual 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 scheduled for 6 – 8:30 p.m. on Thursdays, September 10, 17, Wednesday, September 23 and Thursdays, October 1 and 8.  A Saturday work day will be held from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. , Saturday, September 26 at Westwood City Hall, 4700 Rainbow Blvd., Westwood, KS. Recorded sessions will also be available to registrants. 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 / CC