Tree Corps

Tree Corps is a pilot arboriculture workforce development program designed to provide valuable training and entry-level job placement for Cleveland residents in the tree care industry. Funded with a generous grant from the Cleveland Foundation, Tree Corps works to support Cleveland’s urban tree canopy on public and private property.

“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.” 

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Cleveland, nicknamed “The Forest City” in the 1800s, had robust tree planting programs into the 1930s.  The number of street trees in the city, however, has been steadily declining since the mid-20th century, taking a former 221,000 city trees down to approximately 120,000 trees.  Unless this loss is addressed, Cleveland’s tree canopy, i.e. the percent of land shaded by trees, is projected to decrease from 19 percent in 2013 to just 14 percent by 2040 (Cleveland Tree Plan) having significant ecological, economic and social consequences.

Trees provide numerous community and infrastructure benefits, including removing carbon dioxide and pollution from the air, mitigating rainwater and snowmelt runoff; preventing soil erosion into streams, rivers and storm sewers; reducing energy costs for residents and business owners, promoting biodiversity, blocking noise pollution, increasing property values, improving the aesthetics of urban neighborhoods, and improving public health by reducing heat and air pollution-related (ie. asthma) health problems.

We are piloting the Tree Corps arboriculture workforce development program to build Cleveland residents’ capacity to steward the urban forest while equitably spreading the economic value it can bring.

Program Design

Tree Corps is a 30 hrs/week, 19-week paid workforce development program.  Tree Corps Crew Members will gain skills in Tree Anatomy and Biology, Tree ID, Tree Health, Proper Pruning Techniques, Pests and Diseases, Soils, Worker Safety, Tree Risk Assessment, Urban Forestry, Tree Support Systems, Climbing, Tree Protection and Nutrition, as well as engage in practical field experiences in tree planting, maintenance, climbing, workforce skill development, problem-solving skills and teamwork.  As a part of the program, there will be an opportunity to obtain certificates through the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA).

Crew Members will work alongside and be taught by arboriculture professionals and International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborists.  In partnership with organizations engaged in the Cleveland Tree Coalition, municipal leaders, school institutions, local businesses and residents, Tree Corps will engage in tree plantings and maintenance using tree care best practices in support of Cleveland’s strategic reforestation efforts.  Tree Corps will support participants in furthering their education in this area or connecting with employers in the green infrastructure and tree care industry.

“A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit.”

 – Greek proverb

Want to join Tree Corps?

We are not currently accepting applications for Tree Corps, but stay tuned for the 2019 call for applications.

Want to know more?

Perhaps you are a tree care industry professional, a budding arborist or a tree care project coordinator – we want to hear from you!

We are interested in connecting with program partners in many ways including as potential employers, guest instructors, or learning work sites.  If you are interested in any of the above, or to learn more about taking part in the Tree Corps Career Fair, please contact ISA Certified Arborist Diana Sette, Tree Corps Manager & Arborist Educator at dsette@cbgarden.org or 216.707.2876 to learn more.

Follow us online through #TreeCorps!