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Connecticut Tree Wardens

UConn Extension Tree Warden Outreach Program Background

In 1901 the Connecticut legislature passed a law mandating the appointment of a “tree warden” in all municipalities.  This person then has care and control over all municipal public trees and shrubs in that community.  The law guides the appointment, roles, and responsibilities of the tree warden.

Since 1991, UConn Extension Tree Warden Outreach has provided tree wardens, deputy tree wardens, elected and appointed public officials, and community forestry volunteers with education and assistance on tree warden duties, roles and responsibilities and urban and community forestry. In 1992, the program formed the Tree Wardens’ Association of Connecticut, Inc., to provide a means for tree wardens and deputy tree wardens to come together through peer participation to increase and expand their knowledge and to motive them to perform their duties well. 

In 1998, UConn Extension Tree Warden Outreach collaborated in creating the Tree Warden School in cooperation with the Tree Wardens’ Association of Connecticut, Inc. Over 300 tree wardens, deputy tree wardens, community forestry volunteers, arborists, landscape architects, and chief elected and appointed officials have completed the program. 


Meeting New (2013) Tree Warden Qualification Requirements

In 2013, the state legislature revised the state tree warden law requiring each city and town to appoint a “qualified” person.  This qualified person may be the municipal tree warden or a deputy tree warden.  Qualified person simply means (a) the tree warden has successfully completed (and passed) the Tree Warden School, (b) be a Connecticut Licensed Arborist, or (c) be a deputy tree warden in the municipality who has successfully completed (and passed) the Tree Warden School.

The Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protections is mandated with ensuring Connecticut state law regarding tree warden and the municipal qualified person laws are satisfied. UConn Extension Tree Warden Outreach is charged with maintaining records for this mandate and for ensuring and conducting the Tree Warden School.

UConn Extension Tree Warden Outreach is conducted in close cooperation and collaboration the Tree Wardens’ Association of Connecticut, Inc. Founded in 1992, the association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating tree wardens and others about tree warden roles and responsibilities (in the proper care and control of ornamental trees, shade trees, and shrubs for the purpose of assuring their continued preservation and natural beauty) through education and advocacy. The association partners with UConn Extension in meeting the state tree warden law and with the continued professionalization of tree wardens, deputy tree wardens, and elected and appointed officials.


Tree Warden School

Since 1998, UConn Extension and the Tree Wardens’ Association of Connecticut, Inc. have partnered in conducting the annual Tree Warden School. Since the initial class, over 300 tree wardens, deputy tree wardens, chief elected officials, municipal engineers, community forestry volunteers, and others have taken the course. Most chose to take the final exam.

With the 2013 revisions to tree warden state law, anyone who took the course during and prior to 2013 will be regarded as qualified to serve as the qualified tree warden or deputy tree warden in a municipality.

Beginning in and after 2014, anyone seeking to be qualified under the 2013 revision will need to be (a) take the course and pass the exam or (b) be a Connecticut Licensed Arborist.

The Tree Warden School is annually conducted each fall.  See Schedule below.

For information contact Robert M. Ricard, Senior Extension Educator, UConn Extension. (robert.ricard@uconn.edu).

2016 School Details

Where Connecticut Forest and Park Association offices, Route 66, Middlefield, Connecticut
When Six Wednesdays. September 14, 21, 28. October 5, 12, 16
Time 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon with one 15 minute break
Exam An exam will be given the last day (sixth class). A grade of 70% or greater must be achieved to pass.
Attendance Five out of six classes must be attended to be eligible to take the exam.
Food Coffee, juices and pastries provided on arrival and throughout the morning.
Fee $300.00 for members of the Tree Warden’s Association of Connecticut, Inc. $350 for non-members.
Apply pdf icon2016 Application form

 

2016 School Agenda | pdf of School Agenda

Date

Topic

Description

Instructors

09/14/16
(Wednesday)

Introduction to the Tree Warden School

Covers the course, course objectives, course content, and exam requirements

Dr. Robert M. Ricard
Senior Extension Educator
UConn Extension

How A Tree Works: Tree Biology and Identification

Covers basic tree structure and function.

Glenn Dreyer
Director and Adjunct Professor
Connecticut College Arboretum

09/21/16
(Wednesday)

Why Trees Fall Apart: Insects, Disease and Injury

Covers common insect and disease, as well as mechanical damage.

Tom Rathier, Emeritus
Soil Scientist, Diagnostician
CT Agricultural Experiment Sta Valley Lab

09/28/16
(Wednesday)

Tree Risk Assessment

Why trees can be risks and how to assess and mediate risk

Dr. Neil Hendrickson
Bartlett Tree Experts

10/05/16
(Wednesday)

Principals of arboriculture and Urban Forestry

Proper tree care practices, removal, planting, pruning, mulching, staking, and OSHA and ANSI standards

Dr. Dave Bloniarz
Research Urban Forester
Urban Natural Resources Institute
USDA Forest Service

10/12/16
(Wednesday)

CT State Tree Warden Statutes, Basic tree law, and Public Hearings

Learn basic tree law and the roles and responsibilities of Connecticut Tree Wardens.

Also learn how to run a public tree hearing

Dr. Robert M. Ricard
Senior Extension Educator
UConn Extension

10/19/16
(Wednesday)

Review and exam

Last class to cover remaining subjects and taking of the final exam

Dr. Robert M. Ricard
Senior Extension Educator
UConn Extension

 


State Tree Warden Qualifications Advisory Committee

VIEW PDF


Tree Wardens, Deputy Tree Wardens and Qualifications

DOWNLOAD THE XLSX FILE

If there are any questions, errors, or omissions in this list, email Dr. Bob Ricard to advise.


Connecticut Tree Warden State Statutes

General Statutes of Connecticut - Titles, Chapter 451 - Public Shade Trees and Tree Protection Examining Board

 

Cooperators and Additional Information

Important References on Tree Wardens

Defining Urban Forestry (2005)
Increasing Tree Warden Education and Skills Through Volunteer Certification in Connecticut (2003)
Tree Wardens Balance Conservation and Safety (2003)
Tree Warden Laws (1996)
Learning Preferences, Job Satisfaction, Community Interactions, and Urban Forestry Practices of New England (USA) Tree Wardens (2006)
CT Tree Warden Practices: Results of the 1991 Survey (2001)
CT Tree Warden Practices: Results of the 2001 Survey (2001)
Connecticut’s Tree Wardens: Qualifications, Education and Voluntary Certification (2004)
Town Tree Wardens (1993-94)
Shade Trees and Tree Wardens: Revising the History of Urban Forestry (2005)
Connecticut’s Tree Wardens: Qualifications, Education and Voluntary Certification (2005)
An Overview of Urban Forestry State Statutes (1997)

 


UConn Extension Tree Warden Outreach Program Coordination

Robert M. Ricard, Ph.D., CF (CV)
Senior Extension Educator
UConn Extension
1800 Asylum Avenue
West Hartford, CT 06117
email: robert.ricard@uconn.edu