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In 2004, I had been looking for an educational program I could recommend for public employees on the types of tree work they come across on a regular basis.  While many programs exist for industry professionals, not many existed that were targeted specifically to the municipal sector.  After weeks of unsuccessful inquiries at different levels, I was asked by my local Cooperative Extension Educator (Stan Sims) if I would be interested in constructing such a program.  This is how it all started.

The “Urban Tree Care Workshop” is a 6 hour session on the 2 types of tree work every municipality deals with whether they like it or not.  Trimming and pruning, and Recognizing Hazard trees.  I also spend the last hour talking about Long-Term Urban Forestry Planning.  Many small to medium size towns have nobody on staff with any tree care training.  This workshop was created to help fill that gap.

  • Proper Pruning and Trimming Practices – The ANSI A300 standards are strongly emphasized along with common Do’s and Don’t’s of pruning to get employees on the right track of tree care, not just tree cutting.
  • Recognizing Hazard Trees – Finding dead trees in the summer is pretty easy, but often serious hazards exist in live trees that go undetected for years.  This extended session teaches workers what specific defects to look for in the 4 main areas of a tree: the base, the main trunk, the main fork area, and the crown.  The more trained eyes on staff, the faster hazards can be eliminated.
  • Long-Term Urban Forestry Planning – This is really just the basics to get city employees thinking about trees from a long term perspective.  Many smaller towns don’t know about the planning resources available to them.  I cover Tree Inventories, Tree City USA, Municipal Tree Ordinances, and the vast resources available through the Department of Community and Urban Forestry within DNR.


More detailed information regarding hosting is available at the links below.  If you would be interested in hosting a workshop in your community, contact me at (219) 942-2213 or by e-mail at

Hazard Tree Evaluation & Identification Workshop PDF



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