Tap into the world of trees and learn from arborists and urban foresters about planting, pruning, diseases and more at workshops with Heartland Tree Alliance TreeKeepers beginning Thursday, September 8.

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. The classes are designed for gardeners, city employees, landscape providers, master gardeners, students and retirees.

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 8, 15, 22, 29 and October 6 at Sylvester Powell Jr. Community Center, 6200 Martway St., Mission, KS. A Saturday workday will be held from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., October 1 at a nearby park. The course costs $50.

To register, contact Heartland Tree Alliance or Sarah Crowder at 816-561-1086 or sarah.crowder@bridgingthegap.org.