Tree Stewards are trained community volunteers committed to promoting healthy urban and rural forests in Virginia. Tree Stewards provide training classes, educational programs, and projects in their communities intended to increase public awareness of the value of trees while teaching about trees and tree care. With classroom training and hands-on practice, Tree Stewards are equipped to identify trees, counsel on tree selection, demonstrate proper tree planting and follow-up care, and guide removal of invasive plants that threaten trees.

Each person who becomes a Tree Steward makes a commitment to return a specific number of volunteer hours contributing to local Tree Steward projects. Each Tree Steward Chapter in the State determines the number of hours, sets the standards for volunteer work, and decides the Tree Steward projects its volunteers will undertake. The Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards require a minimum of 25 volunteer service hours annually of its members. Tree Steward volunteers are a positive force for change in their communities. All Tree Steward projects are tailored to meet the needs of their communities. (Trees Virginia.)


Tree Steward Volunteer Training Class Information

If you would like to advocate, educate, and participate in planting and protecting urban and rural trees in the Charlottesville area, become a Tree Steward volunteer. Our class will train you and match your skills and interests in trees with a wide range of activities to protect and plant trees.

To become a Tree Steward, you will need to:

  • Take our 12-week training class in the autumn or otherwise* meet our educational requirements;
  • Volunteer a minimum of 25 service hours yearly; and
  • Submit $20 membership dues yearly.

*Most new members meet our educational requirement for membership by taking our 12-week training class. You may be exempt from taking the class if you have comparable training (e.g., you are a certified arborist or have a degree in tree-related sciences). If your schedule conflicts with the training class, we may be able to work with you to find other ways to satisfy the education requirement.

Your volunteer service can be made in three areas:

  • Educating the public through short classes, tree walks, plantings and event tables;
  • Hands-on work planting trees, pruning and caring for them, and removing invasive plants; and
  • Administering our organization, managing our website and library, planning, and various support tasks, many of which can be done from home.

The Upcoming Class

The next Tree Steward Training Class takes place on Tuesday mornings, September 3 through November 19, 2019. In it we train you on tree identification and biology; roots; tree health, threats and risk assessment; forest succession; invasive plant issues; and tree selection, planting, pruning and care. Twenty-five percent of the class takes place outdoors. In addition to lectures, class activities include hands-on projects and woodland walks on tree identification and forest succession. One class, held during the regular Tuesday time period, will be a tree pruning session here in the area with full class participation. Class instructors include forestry scientists, certified arborists, Tree Stewards and other tree experts.

In addition to classroom sessions to prepare you for your role as an active Tree Steward volunteer, you will have readings and occasional brief homework. You will be able to choose out-of-class activities such as short classes, tree walks, hands-on projects, organizational meetings and continuing education opportunities over the duration of the class. These sessions will illustrate the range of tree steward activities and allow you to match them to your skills and interests. Time spent in these out-of-class activities will count toward your annual volunteer service hours requirement. They are also a great opportunity to meet and work with us and enjoy the area’s woodlands.

Class dates: Tuesdays, September 3 to November 19, 2019
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Note: the first three classes begin at 9:00 a.m.)
Location: Ivy Creek Natural Area Education Building, 1780 Earlysville Road, Charlottesville
Tuition: $125, includes all books, training materials and membership dues through 2020.
If you have questions about the class, please send a message to or write to: Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards, Education Committee, P. O. Box 4211, Charlottesville, VA 22905

Click HERE for the tentative Fall 2019 Class Schedule

Class Registration

Registration for the  Fall Training Class is open from June 3 to August 28, 2019, or until the class is full.  We will accept up to 32 students on a first-come, first-served basis.   Payment is due within two weeks of registration.

THE 2019 CLASS IS NOW FULLY SUBSCRIBED BUT IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE ON THE WAITING LIST, REGISTER BELOW.  (Do not send payment unless we notify you that a place is available).