Class for New Tree Stewards Begins

Kudzu at Azalea Park

Unless you are an arborist, forester or otherwise have extensive tree knowledge, volunteers become Tree Stewards by taking our 15-week fall class. It combines online lectures on over 20 tree-related topics – from tree biology to tree risk assessment – with field sessions on tree identification, forest ecology, pruning, planting and controlling non-native invasive plant threats to our forests. The class launched on August 3rd and concludes on November 13.

First field day, just prior to setting out on walks at the Ivy Creek Natural Area to learn how to identify trees using a key and tree features such as leaves, bark and twigs.

Checking in and sampling the refreshments table at the start of the second field day which addressed non-native invasive plant identification and treatment and was held at Azalea Park in Charlottesville.

William Hamersky, a Tree Steward since 2016, describes some of the hand and power tools commonly used to control non-native invasive plants.

Beth Mizell, Program Director at the Blue Ridge Partnership for Regional Invasives Species Management, describes how to treat kudzu, which can be seen behind her on the banks of Moore’s Creek at Azalea Park. Sometimes referred to as “the plant that ate the South,” kudzu is manageable and Beth shares details with new Tree Stewards on a range of treatment options to control this significant threat to our forests.

Although we won’t be offering the class again until next fall, if you are interested in becoming a Tree Steward or would like to learn more about what we do to support urban and rural forests in Piedmont Virginia or volunteering with us, contact us at