Citizen Tree Workers
What does this mean?
What can citizen tree workers accomplish?
- You can put the people in your community to good use, especially
if you are planting a lot of new trees.
- Citizens do not have to be tree professionals to be useful to urban
- planting, especially bare root stock
- structural pruning ("training") of young trees
- working around the tree: cutting suckers, weeding, and mulching
- pruning damaged, dead, or diseased limbs on small trees
- removing tree wrap, stakes, and ties after planting
- monitoring and reporting tree problems
- identifying sites for new trees
- collecting basic information for inventories
Why use volunteers?
pruners planting a tree in a pit
How do I find such volunteers?
- Volunteer efforts can have direct savings on your budget, and
get crucial work done.
- As budgets and manpower shrink, trained volunteers can fill
in the gaps.
- Community attitude toward trees and their care improves with the
use of volunteers.
Where do these volunteers receive training?
- Start with people who already give their time to the community,
or look to citizen-planners, Master Gardeners, garden clubs, youth groups,
or secondary schools.
- You may want to include those people that call frequently to offer
criticisms and suggestions about what to improve in the community.
Isn’t working with volunteers more trouble than it
- Check with your local University Extension or DEC office. They
often have staff or trained volunteers who can help.
- Local landscape professionals are another potential source of instruction.
- Tree managers and their crews must still provide guidance on assignments
and maintenance tasks, and generally oversee the work to be completed.
Where can I get more information?
- There is no doubt about it, working with volunteers takes some
extra effort, but quality volunteers can save you hundreds of man-hours and
thousands of dollars.
- Successful volunteer groups usually include at least 1 interested
and motivated person who can motivate and help direct the group, reducing
the trouble for community tree managers.
Check out the program for Citizen Pruners directed
by Trees New York, and the publications
by Dave Bloniarz et al. For other information, advice and help on this
topic, call offices of your State Urban Forestry Coordinator or University
Extension service, or visit urban forestry web sites.