Become a Tree Keeper!
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“A tree is our most intimate contact with nature.”
As part a mission to preserve and create an equitable and resilient tree canopy in Durham, Keep Durham Beautiful, Trees Durham, and the city of Durham rely on Tree Keepers.
What Are Tree Keepers?
Tree Keepers are volunteers who have accumulated the knowledge and skills to assist and serve a leadership role in volunteer tree planting and tree care activities. Tree Keepers lead small groups of volunteers, provide quality control, and teach others how to plant and care for trees.
Sounds Great! How Do I Join?
Join N.C. Cooperative Extension, Durham County Center, Keep Durham Beautiful, TreesDurham, and the City of Durham for a Tree Keeper Training Series! This four-part series will cover the basics of tree biology, planting, and care, and prepare you to lead small groups in tree plantings as a Durham Tree Keeper.
Classes will be taught by Ashley Troth, Durham County Extension Horticulture Agent, and Katie Rose Levin, ISA Board Certified Master Arborist. For more information, please visit the Durham Tree Keeper program website.
Dates: 9/9, 9/23, 10/7 and 10/14
Times: 10:00 a.m. – 12 noon
Location: N.C. Cooperative Extension, Durham County Center – 721 Foster Street
Price: $35 for all four sessions
Needs-Based Scholarships: If you are interested in the program, but are financially unable to pay the class fee, please contact Ashley Troth (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Session 1: What Do Trees Need? | Sept 9, 2023 | 10:00 a.m.–12 noon
Learn the basics of tree biology, including what they need to grow and thrive. We’ll learn how to evaluate a site for tree suitability, and in the second part of class we’ll head outside for some real world site analysis.
Session 2: The Dig Deep Details of Tree Planting | September 23, 2023 |10:00 a.m.–12 noon
Learn about how to set up a successful tree planting! We’ll start by learning about different trees, and what you might pick for your site. Then we’ll learn about the difference between bare-root, container, and ball & burlap trees, and how to properly plant each. We will talk a bit about the ergonomics of digging, and how to dig a hole that works for different sites. If all goes well, we’ll even plant a tree!
Session 2: Structural Pruning for Success | October 7, 2023 | 10:00 a.m.–12 noon
Just like many of us, trees need good structure when they are young to grow properly. Learn how to perform the initial structural pruning needed during the tree’s early growing years. We’ll spend time reviewing how trees grow to understand proper pruning techniques, how to decide which branches to cut and why, and what kinds of tools are needed for the job. Then we’ll head outside to practice what we’ve learned!
Session 3: Tree Planting Masters Session | October 14, 2023 | 10:00 a.m.–12 noon
Learn and apply your knowledge to help lead tree planting groups! We’ll start by learning why tree planting is so essential. Then we’ll learn how to train others to plant trees, talk about safety and group management, and prepare you to become an official Tree Keeper! This session will include a general review of everything learned in previous sessions, with a focus on leading small groups.
Image Credit: Keep Durham Beautiful