Citizen Pruners

Citizen Pruners not only provide essential tree care services, they also play important leadership roles in their communities.

Trees New York’s Citizen Pruner Tree Care Course trains volunteers in tree care, biology, identification and pruning. The course consists of eight hours of classroom training and four hours of hands-on experience in the field. Trees New York is the only institution designated to train and license New Yorkers as Citizen Pruners. Trees New York trains and certifies an average of 200 Citizen Pruners a year.

Pruning helps produce strong, healthy and attractive trees. Pruning strengthens a tree’s resistance to damage and breakage and prevents the formation of large wounds that often lead to tree failure or decay. Removing dead and damaged limbs improves the overall health of the tree and reduces the likelihood of branches falling and causing injuries and property damage. Structural pruning helps ensure that a tree maintains its appropriate habit (growth pattern), which is especially important in New York City, where a properly established tree is far more likely to survive an extreme weather event.

Trees New York mobilizes Citizen Pruners to prune street trees throughout the city. Citizen Pruners remove dead, damaged and diseased limbs, crossing branches, limbs obstructing traffic signs, storefront signage and windows. Citizen Pruners also learn how to prune in order to allow the tree to develop and maintain a dominant leader. In order to legally prune street trees you must complete and pass Trees New York’s Citizen Pruner Course.

All Citizen Pruners must follow the Trees New York Citizen Pruner Code of Conduct.  Please click to read the Citizen Pruner Code of Conduct.


  • Citizen Pruner class
    Removing dead and damaged limbs improves the overall health of the tree.