Richmond Tree Stewards

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 taking the Tree Steward training makes a commitment to return a specific number of volunteer hours contributing to local Tree Steward projects. Each community determines the number of hours, sets the standards for volunteer work, and decides the Tree Steward projects its volunteers will undertake. 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.  There are nine Tree Steward groups in Virginia.

For additional information on Tree Steward programs or on starting a program in your community, contact Nora Palmatier at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Nora serves in the Tree Steward seat for Trees Virginia.


 Tree Steward Training Manual 

Trees Virginia has published A Training Manual for Virginia Tree Stewards.  The manual was revised in 2009 and is available on CD-ROM.  All trainees in Tree Steward classes sponsored by the communities listed below receive the CD without cost.   The CD is available to individuals for$10. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at 434.220.9024 to order.


  The Tree Steward Mini-Grant Program application period is now CLOSED for 2017-2018

The Trees Virginia Tree Steward Mini-Grant program is intended to help Virginia's Tree Steward groups fulfill their urban forestry responsibilities to their communities. Please take a moment to assess your goals for the coming year and submit your application - DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION was October 10, 2017. The maximum amount of a Mini Grant is $500.00.   For more information, contactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., who holds the Tree Steward seat on Trees Virginia Board of Directors and facilitates the subcommittee awarding the Mini Grants. 

Click here for Tree Steward Mini-Grant "Frequently Asked Questions" and click here for the Tree Steward Mini-Grant Application


  Tree Steward Groups in Virginia

Individual Tree Steward Chapters have annual training programs for Tree Stewards. Visit their websites below for classes and training information.

Arlington/Alexandria Tree Stewards 

TreeStewards of Arlington/Alexandria (TSAA) are volunteers who take the lead within their communities to enhance a sustainable urban forest through volunteer activities nd public education programs.  Our volunteer activities include:

  • planting, pruning, mulching and watering of street, park and school trees
  • staffing environmental booths at farmer's markets and local festival, in conjunction with Virginia Cooperative Extension
  • leading neighborhood Tree Walks and speaking at community gatherins
  • advocating for trees wherever and whenever possible

Our chapter took root in 2001, with help from the Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Virginia Urban Forest Council (aka Trees Virginia) and adopted bylaws in 2010 and became a registered non-profit.  TSAA welcomes all citizens who care about trees to join us.  Volunteer training classes begin in February and run 14 weeks.  The dates of the 2018 training will be announced soon.  For information on training classes, upcoming activities, requesting a Tree Steward speaker, or to comment on trees in your neighborhood, visit www.treestewards.org or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

Contact: Kate Donohue  703.532.3245


Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards (CATS) Mission:  We support rural and urban forests and promote knowledge and understanding of the value of trees for present and future generations.

NEW!  The Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards (CATS) were featured on the PBS program Virginia Home Grown on WCVE/WHTJ on Tuesday October 3 at 8:00 p.m.  Three members participated in the segment:  Jacki Vawter on site in the plant nursery of member and former President Dr. Jay Gillenwater, where trees are nurtured and prepared for the twice yearly tree sales, Tim Maywalt on the potting shed segment, and Phil Stoke in the Q&A portion of the program.  CATS President Martha Orton notes "Tree Stewards have so much to offer our communities and we hope that this program will help highlight this fact". 

The Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards provide service to the community by increasing public awareness of the value and importance of trees, educating the community on trees and tree care, supporting rural and urban forests, and working with local government agencies and civic groups to improve and restore the tree canopy.

We offer an annual twelve week training class on tree identification, biology, roots, soil, proper selection, planting, pruning care, diseases, invasives and more every autumn.  For more info visit www.charlottesvilleareatreestewards.org

Every year CATS dedicates a specimen tree in the Charlottesville area as a Landmark Tree, a tree of long history, popular location and good health.This year the Pin Oak at the Albemarle County Office building was designated as a Landmark Tree.  This tree may need our help in the near future as RWSA considers where to place its pipes.  Contact Robin Hanes, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 434.202.0225 for more information.

The Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards recently planted a group of eight beautiful swamp white oaks in the median of Rt. 20 on the approach into Charlottesville at Moore's Creek.  Our members bare rooted the trees, helped load them at the nursery at Bremo Trees, manually dug appropriately large holes, planted, staked and mulched them.

This is an important partnership with the Charlottesville Tree Commission, Virginia Department of Transportation and our dedicated volunteers who paid for seven of the trees, with one also being donated by Bremo Trees.

cats potting


Fairfax County Tree Stewards

The Fairfax County Tree Stewards work to fulfill their mission and many program interests including: 

  • increase public awareness of the intrinisic value and beauty of trees
  • learn and understand the needs of the community forest
  • assist County of Fairfax in caring for the community's publicly planted trees, especially young trees. 
  • educate the general public about proper tree selection, planting and care
  • educate community residents about urban forestry
  • involved additional community members as volunteers in creating and caring for community tree plantings
  • partner with local government agencies and civic groups to improve, restore and expand the county's tree canopy  

 Contact: Rita Peralta at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Jim McGlone - 703.324.1489 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Front Royal/Warren County Tree Stewards

The mission of the Front Royal/Warren County Tree Steward program is to increase public awareness of the intrinsic value and beauty of trees, to learn and understand the needs of the community forest,  to help the Town of Front Royal and the County of Warren in caring for our community's publicly planted trees (especially young trees), to educate residents of the community about urban forestry, and to involve additional community members in creating and caring for community tree plantings.  Meetings are held on the third Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at the Martin's Community Center.  

Website:  www.treesfrontroyal.org

Contact: Melody Hotek, President - 540.631.0495 or by Email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Greater Lynchburg Tree Stewards

The Lynchburg Tree Stewards are a self-governing organization of trained volunteers concerned with promoting and protecting the health and well-being of the urban forest of Lynchburg metropolitan area; and is sponsored by the Virginia Urban Forest Council (aka Trees Virginia), Virginia Cooperative Extension and the City of Lynchburg.  Our mission is to: 

  • provide care and maintenance to the trees in the city and surrounding area
  • educate the public to the benefits and needs of the trees in our communities
  • provide assistance to City of Lynchburg staff that has the responsibility for the care of city trees.  

Website:  www.lynchburgva.gov/lynchburg-tree-stewards

Contact: Margi Vaughn, President - 434.509.3376 or by Email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Harrisonburg Tree Stewards

This program is currently not meeting and is in a transitional phase for continuing in the future but if you are interested in more information about reinitiating the group, please contact Jeremy Harold This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 540.476.2055


Loudoun County Master Gardeners Tree Stewards*

The Loudound County Master Gardeners Tree Stewards provide education to the community regarding the environmental benefits, appreciation, proper planting and care of trees.  This group is associated with Virginia Cooperative Extension.  

Website:  http://loudouncountymastergardeners.org/programs/tree-stewards/

Contact: Carol Ivory - 703-869-1538 or 703-476-8730 or by Email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


*Must be Master Gardener in good standing


 Peninsula Master Gardeners Tree Stewards*

The Peninsula Master Gardeners and advanced training program for Master Gardeners Tree Stewards have the mission to train volunteers, so that they will be able to provide horticultural educational opportunities to the public through research based horticultural programs and activities to enhance their environment, lives, and community.  This group is associated with Virginia Cooperative Extension. 

Contact: Carol King - 775.890.4940 or by Email at  - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


*Must be Master Gardener in good standing


NEW Tree Steward Group! Tree Stewards of the Central Rappahannock Area

Mission:  To increase public awareness of trees, tree care, the intrinsic beauty of trees and the public benefit. 

Contact:  Sharon Kennedy, 540.479.2320

www.treestewardsofthecra.org  Page Under Construction


 Richmond Tree Stewards

Volunteering as a Tree Steward is interesting, enjoyable and a wonderful way to serve the community.  Everything we do has a common goal - improve the health and increase the life span of the trees in our city.  

So . . . what do Tree Stewards do?

  • Many Tree Stewards enjoy hands-on work such as pruning and there is plenty of that to be done in Richmond.  Proper pruning of young trees makes them more attractive, and more importantly, will ensure long term success by helping trees develop good form and structure. 
  • Some of our Tree Stewards are very interested in educating citizens about how to give their trees the best changes for a good, long life.  The common practice of volcano mulching is an excellent example of the need to educate.  Volcano mulching kills trees. 
  • And others are passionate about planning for the long term future of the urban forest.  We must plan for the future and advocate for trees if we are to have a healthy urban canopy. 

Website:  http://richmondtreestewards.org/

Contact: Louise Seals, President at 804.389.8798 or by Email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Richmond Tree Stewards Taking Care of Trees to Make Your Drive Safer

The Richmond Tree Stewards have been featured on a PBS-sponsored television program, Virginia Home Grown.  Former City Arborist Luke McCall and Tree Steward Louise Seals explain the work that Richmond Tree Stewards do to prune and care for public trees in this 8-minute segment. Watch the video here.


 Roanoke Tree Stewards

In 2009 the Tree Steward Program was initiated by the City of Roanoke in order to train volunteers to help with the city's tree work.  Individuals who are interested in becoming Tree Steward volunteers complete 26 hours of classroom and field training, learning how to plant trees, prune trees, and educate the community about tree planting and tree care.  The course is offered free of charge and starts in January each year.  After completing the course, new "graduates" volunteer a minimum of 30 hours the first year.

Website:  www.roanoketreestewards.org

Contact: Helen Smythers - 540.853.5225 or by Email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


 Virginia Beach Master Gardeners Tree Stewards*

Virginia Beach Master Gardener and associated Tree Steward volunteers provide unbiased, research based information and programs to home gardeners as part of Virginia Cooperative Extension community outreach.  They accomplish this through community education, help desk, plant doctor clinics, public "garden talks", youth programs, workshops and demonstrations.  

 Website:  www.vbmg.org

Contact: Sherry Kern - 757.427.2388 or by Email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


*Must be Master Gardener in good standing

Did You Know:

  • Trees are some of the oldest living organisms on earth: some bristle-cone pines are thought to be more than 5000 years old.

  • In one day, one large tree can lift up to 100 gallons of water out of the ground and discharge it into the air.

  • One large tree can provide a supply of oxygen for two people.

  • Every state has an official State Tree. Virginia adopted the flowering dogwood Cornaceae Cornus florida as the State Tree on February 24, 1956.  The dogwood is well distributed throughout the...

  • Well-maintained trees and shrubs can increase property value by up to 14%.

  • Trees are the largest living organisms on earth: some coastal redwoods are more than 360 feet tall.

  • A birdhouse hung on a young tree branch, does not move up the tree as the tree grows.

  • Trees properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30 percent and save 20-50 percent in heating energy.

  • Most trees do not have a tap root.

  • Most tree roots are in the top 12 inches of soil.

  • A mature tree removes almost 70 times more pollution than a newly planted tree.

Contact Trees Virginia

(434) 295 6401

900 Natural Resources Drive, Ste 800
Charlottesville, VA 22903

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Upcoming Events

Southeast Virginia (SEVA) Urban Forestry Roundtable
10-23-2017 9:00 am
Event Categories:  Free | Roundtables
NOVA Conference - November 9, 2017
11-09-2017 8:00 am
Event Categories:  Conferences | Paid

Our Partners

American Grove     Virginia Department of Forestry     Mid-Atlantic Chapter International Society of Arboriculture