Advanced Master Gardener Tree Steward Program Manager training is being offered in conjunction with MG College 2015. Click here for details.
Advanced Master Gardener Tree Steward was the first Advanced Master Gardener program available for Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners. Cooperative Extension Advanced Master Gardener Tree Stewards differ from Urban Forestry Council Tree Stewards in several significant ways:
- Close association with Virginia Cooperative Extension.
- Advanced Master Gardeners are already highly trained Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners. They receive additional and advanced training in urban forestry.
- Virginia Cooperative Extension Advanced Master Gardeners receive extensive training in program planning and implementation not available for Urban Forestry Council Tree Stewards.
- Advanced Master Gardener Tree Stewards play an active part in planning community programs for Cooperative Extension and provide training for other Master Gardeners, and other community volunteers including Urban Forestry Council Tree Stewards.
It was originally envisioned that Virginia Cooperative Extension Advanced Master Gardener Tree Stewards would provide a critical training role for Virginia Urban Forestry Tree Stewards if a role for them was identified in the local community.
The Advanced Master Gardener programs are, like the Master Gardener program a volunteer effort where the volunteers receive specialized training to enable them to contribute in a meaningful way to Virginia Cooperative Extension’s mission and activities. Becoming an Advanced Master Gardener involves additional volunteer effort. Virginia Cooperative Extension Tree Stewards are expected to provide ongoing volunteer efforts above and beyond those requirements for maintenance of Active Master Gardener status.
Advanced Master Gardeners receive additional technical training in a variety of topics to enable them to understand the health, assessment, selection and care of trees and urban forestry. There are 10 units of instruction. Each includes both technical training and appropriate programmatic training with tree steward-specific programming examples and exercises. The units are listed below and linked to a page with more complete information about the topics, a list of readings (to come) and some educational materials.
- Unit 1 Overview – Benefits of Trees to the Community
- Unit 2 Tree Biology and Soil/Site Limitations
- Unit 3 Urban Tree Problems & Diagnosis
- Unit 4 Basic Tree Selection
- Unit 5 Trees for Various Sites
- Unit 6 Optimal Tree Planting
- Unit 7 Pruning and Training Trees
- Unit 8 Street Tree Inventories
- Unit 9 Public Speaking
- Unit 10 Final Project and Presentation
Since Advanced Master Gardeners are expected to help assess their community needs and prepare programming to meet those needs, extensive training is provided in Extension Programming methods. Even in cases where the local Unit’s Advanced Master Gardener program has been in existence and the programming seems complete this additional programmatic training is useful since it exposes Master Gardeners to the language and ideals of Extension activities. This programmatic training should be offered in conjunction with the technical training, but Master Gardeners are only required to take this programmatic training one time even if they elect to become Advanced Master Gardeners in other specialty areas (e.g. Land Care, Water Quality, or Tree Stewards).