Citizen Pruner Course

“Taking the course has made me aware of a whole realm of the natural world in NYC that I previously did not look at or understand.” – George Shelden, Citizen Pruner

Stewardship and pruning hugely reduce a tree’s vulnerability to common urban threats such as pedestrian and vehicular traffic, drought and storms. In New York City, where there is limited funding for tree maintenance but significant need, Citizen Pruners provide a great asset to our urban environment.

The 12 hour Citizen Pruner Course consists of 5 sessions – 4 in the classroom and 1 field outing.


8 hours in the classroom – Students meet for four 2-hour classroom sessions. The comprehensive curriculum includes tree biology, street tree identification, common tree problems and solutions, tree stewardship and pruning.

4 hours in the field – The Saturday field outing is designed to provide students with the opportunity to practice pruning with their peers under the tutelage of their teacher.

Upon successful completion of the final exam, students receive a license from Trees New York and NYCParks to legally prune NYC street trees. Trees New York is the only institution designated to train and license Citizen Pruners in New York City.

Course policies: Students may miss one classroom session if necessary. The weekend field outing is mandatory. All sessions must be taken at the same location. The non-refundable course fee is $100 and includes a comprehensive manual and supplementary materials. Scholarships available to people who live or work in Greenpoint, Brooklyn 11222 or Sunset Park 11232 & 11220

We are the only institution designated by NYCParks to license New Yorkers to legally prune street trees.  All Citizen Pruners must follow Trees New York’s Citizen Pruner Code of Conduct.  Please click on the link to read the Citizen Pruner Code of Conduct.   

Please Click to view course schedule and register.

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