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 classes beginning Thursday, September 9.

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, urban soils, basic tree biology, proper planting techniques, plant care, diseases and pruning. Upon completion of the course, TreeKeepers are asked to volunteer 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 – 8:30 p.m. on Thursdays, September 9, 16, 23, 30 and October 7. A Saturday work day will be held from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., October 2 at Lodge at Ironwoods Park, 14701 Mission Road, Leawood, KS. The course costs $50.

The class will follow CDC guidelines for limited capacity, socially distanced seating and face masks while indoors.

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

Photo: RichardBH / CC