This training manual was written as a volunteer effort by the Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Tree Stewards and Agents between 2015 and 2018. The Agents and Associates were: Caroline Herath, Dan Nortman, Ed Olsen, and Megan Tierney. MG members of the TS Manual Committee were: Bill Blair, Diane Ellis, Carol Fryer, Gwen Harris, Daina Henry, Sherry Kern, Carol King, Barbara Krumpen, Sue Liddell, Laura Marlowe, Patsy McGrady, Jeanne Millin, Anne Nielsen, Jim Newton, and Cindy Ogle.

Additional assistance and expertise was provided by: Dave Close, Extension Master Gardener Program Director; Dr. Laurie Fox, Horticulture Associate, Virginia Tech Hampton Roads Agricultural Research Extension Center; Renee Frith, Certified Arborist and Curator of Woody Plants, Norfolk Botanical Gardens; Dr. John Galbraith, Associate Professor of Soil Science, Virginia Tech; Dr. Ed Gilman (by virtue of his works), Professor of Environmental Horticulture, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences; Joel Koci, Urban/Community Forestry Associate, Virginia State University, and Board Certified Master Arborist; Frank Reilly, Central Rappahannock Extension Master Gardener; Dr. Janet Steven, Assistant Professor, Department of Organismal and Environmental Biology, Christopher Newport University;  and Dr. Eric Wiseman, Associate Professor of Urban Forestry, Virginia Tech.

We also thank the Virginia Department of Forestry (producers of the book Common Native Trees of Virginia), Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service for their expertise and use of their images.

This Manual is intended to be used for training EMG Tree Stewards across Virginia.  It is designed to support initial training programs both locally and when offered at MG College. It is also meant to be a resource for the continuing development of the graduates and their mentoring Agents and Tree Stewards. The authors hope that the particular focus of this manual will be helpful to other states’ EMG Tree Steward programs.

Manual document formatting, online version, and citation formatting was handled by Clare Tallamy and Devon Johnson.

Publication coordinator: Devon Johnson

Chapter Authors

Chapter Author
Chapter 1: About Advanced Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners and the Tree Steward Training Manual Carol King
Chapter 2: The Learning Experience Megan Tierney
Chapter 3: The Benefits (and Disadvantages) of Trees Daina Henry
Chapter 4: Botany of Trees Carol King
Chapter 5: Tree Taxonomy, Identification, and Measurement Patsy McGrady
Chapter 6: Soil Properties and Management Gwen Harris ad Cherilyn Kern
Chapter 7: Trees and Ecology Carol King and Laurie Fox
Chapter 8: Siting, Selecting, and Planting Carol King and Ed Olsen
Chapter 9: Tree Health Care and Pruning Carol Fryer
Chapter 10: Problems of Trees Patsy McGrady
Chapter 11: Structural Defects, Tree Failure, and Risk Cindy Ogle

Indicia Statement

Virginia Cooperative Extension is a partnership of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments. Its programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, military status, or any other basis protected by law.


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Tree Steward Manual Copyright © 2021 by Virginia Cooperative Extension is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.