Newton Tree Stewards

2018 Citizen Pruners training – late spring, dates TBD

Please email and if you are interested in attending the next training.

Pruning Young Trees workshop – Saturday morning, June 24, 2017, 9:30-11am

HandPruners_horizWe are holding a one-morning session led by Newton’s Director of Urban Forestry Marc Welch, for those interested in learning more about how to care for young trees. (Location to be determined.) This will be a shorter version of Newton Citizen Pruners training, focused on the pruning needs of recently planted trees (those planted less than five years ago), including:YoungTree_loppers
– removing dead & broken branches (and how to tell what’s dead)
– first structural pruning to promote good branch structure
– dealing with bark tears and other injuries
– preventing over-mulching and girdling roots
– why pruning is important for long-term tree health
– pruning tools

YoungTree_poleClipTools will be provided. Space is limited, so please RSVP early to Marc Welch at to reserve a spot. Anyone may sign up, but preference will be given to members of past Newton Tree Conservancy planting groups, who are especially encouraged to participate, as well as any volunteer planters who have not already done Newton Citizen Pruners training. We are planting about 200 Newton Tree Conservancy trees per year, and city plantings are also increasing. More eyes on trees, and more people trained in basic pruning — ideally at least one person from each planting group, will help avert and eliminate small problems like branches broken by passersby or trash trucks, and dead or crossing branches, in between our regular three-year-interval prunings.


If you would like to learn more about Newton’s trees and how to care for them, sign up for a Tree Stewards class, conducted by Director of Urban Forestry Marc Welch. Check back here for upcoming classes, or email us at if you are interested in a particular class.

Tree Pruning

LindenPruningLearn about tree biology, tree maintenance, use of pruning tools (pruners, handsaws, pole
saws, pole clips, loppers), proper pruning techniques, and strategy for structural pruning over time. Participants can join the contingent of trained volunteers who meet for scheduled Saturday morning pruning sessions to work on young city trees to give them a strong healthy structure starting out, reducing future maintenance problems. All pruning is don from the ground, on younger trees and lower limbs of older trees, with tools provided by the city. Experienced volunteers can organize their own small group pruning projects, with approval of Marc Welch.

Tree PlantingMW_Planting Class

Learn how to plant bare-root, balled & burlap, or container trees, how to care for newly-planted trees, selecting the right tree for the right location, proper watering and mulching techniques, and why we don’t generally amend the soil or stake trees. Training is held in April and November for members of the Community Tree Planting groups, but anyone who would like to help with these plantings may sign up.


Tree Identification

TreeID_catkinsIf you guess a street tree in Newton is a Norway maple, you’d be right almost 80% of the time, but this species is now classified as invasive, and as we lose them, they are being replaced by a much more diverse selection in order to have a more healthy urban forest. Not just leaves, but buds, twigs, bark and pods can help you distinguish different species in the different seasons. Learn how to identify the most common tree species in Newton, and some less common ones.


Likely future classes include Tree Inventory and Tree Ailments.



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