A healthy urban forest is invaluable to the health of our city. Trees improve air and water quality, lower air temperatures, reduce energy demand, and beautify the streets.
Stewardship and pruning hugely reduce a tree’s vulnerability to pervasive urban threats such as pedestrian and vehicular traffic, drought and storms. In New York City, where there is limited funding for tree maintenance but significant need, Citizen Pruners provide a tremendous benefit to our urban environment.
The 12 hour Citizen Pruner Course consists of 5 sessions - 4 in the classroom and 1 field outing.
8 hours in the classroom – Students meet for four 2-hour classroom sessions. The comprehensive curriculum includes tree biology, street tree identification, common tree problems and solutions, tree stewardship and pruning.
4 hours in the field – The Saturday field outing is designed to provide students with the opportunity to practice pruning with their peers under the tutelage of their teacher.
Upon successful completion of the final exam, students receive a license from TreesNY and NYCParks to legally prune NYC street trees. Trees New York is the only institution designated to train and license Citizen Pruners in New York City.
“Taking the course has made me aware of a whole realm of the natural world in NYC that I previously did not look at or understand.” - George Shelden, Citizen Pruner
Course policies: Students may miss one classroom session if necessary. The weekend field outing is mandatory. All sessions must be taken at the same location. The non-refundable course fee is $100 and includes a comprehensive manual and supplementary materials.
Since our founding, Trees New York has licensed 11,500 Citizen Pruners! Join the diverse and burgeoning community today!
Citizen Pruner licenses are valid for 5 years. Renewal exams are available via email at no additional cost. If your Citizen Pruner license is about to expire or has already lapsed, send a recertification exam request via email. Recertification exams will be issued at the end of each month.