A new training class for the Heartland Tree Alliance Treekeepers begins this week with arborists teaching residents how to plant and care for trees.
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 12 hours of classroom time and 6 hours of outdoor training, participants learn about tree identification, site suitability, proper planting techniques, after planting care and pruning. Upon completion of the course, Tree Keepers 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 course begins Thursday, September 15 and ends October 13. Classes will be held at Leawood City Hall Community Center, 4800 Town Center Drive, Leawood, KS. Outdoor sessions will be held at Prairie Oak Nature Center, 3640 Ironwoods Court, Leawood, KS. The course cost is $50.