Tree Steward Program to Train Community Members

Revived course will highlight selection, care and maintenance of trees in urban areas


blossoms on a branchAMES, Iowa – Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is reviving its Community Tree Steward program, a seven-meeting course designed to train community members on proper selection, care and maintenance of trees.

“The Community Tree Steward program equips participants with the knowledge and skills they need to go out and make an impact in their community, whether they are a county conservation employee, tree care worker or an interested citizen,” said Gabbi Edwards, urban forester with ISU Extension and Outreach.

The course provides 24 hours of hands-on training in community tree management. Using both classroom and field settings, ISU Extension and Outreach and industry specialists will provide information on basic tree identification, species selection, tree planting, tree care and maintenance, pest management, value assessment and inventory techniques.

“At the end of the course, participants will be asked to give back to their communities by volunteering at least 24 hours of service related to tree care and education,” Edwards said. “They can host a local park tree care day, plant trees in their neighborhood or host an educational workshop. This program is a great way for the public to learn more about trees and their care while also using those skills to give back to local communities.”

The course will be based at the Des Moines Water Works, with trips to local nurseries, communities and conservation areas included. It will be held Tuesday nights from 6-9 p.m., beginning on Sept. 19 and running until Oct. 24. A street tree inventory session will also be held on Saturday, Oct. 7.

ISU Extension and Outreach specialists, along with state officers and industry professionals, will provide instruction. The program costs $65 per person and includes an instructional manual. The course is limited to the first 25 participants who register.

Continuing Education Units will be offered through the International Society of Arboriculture.

Registration can be completed online at by clicking on the “Online Course Application” at https://www.extension.iastate.edu/forestry/education/treesteward.html. Questions about the course can be directed to Gabbi Edwards at gedwards@iastate.edu or 515-294-1153.