Erica Hazlett's picture
Posted by Erica Hazlett /
©2017 Linnaea Mallette/Creative Commons
Tree Tenders is for everyone. From forestry professionals to engaged citizens, this course offers a learning experience for all.

As someone with a degree in Environmental Science and work experience in habitat restoration and terrestrial monitoring, when I realized that as a new member of the LEAF team I would have to take the Tree Tenders course, I was skeptical to be sure.  I wondered what more I could learn that I hadn’t already been exposed to in previous educational and professional arenas. Well, colour me surprised, because it turns out there was A LOT for me to learn.  Below I will outline the new lessons I enjoyed.

Day 1: Tree Biology

This was a great refresher for me as it had been years since I had any formal instructing on the biological function and parts of a tree.  We also learned about tree growth and compartmentalization.  The take away from this session – Trees don’t heal, they seal!

©2017 Linnaea Mallette / Creative Commons


Day 2: Tree ID, Soils, & Stresses

Who knew soil was so complex?! If you’ve never taken a soil science course you may not be thinking about how soil affects tree health. But soil is a living and constantly changing environment.  Damaged soil is extremely difficult to remedy and preserving soil is key to growing healthy trees.  

We also had the opportunity to take a walk around the community and put our tree identification skills to the test!

©2017 Erica Hazlett/LEAF


Day 3: Bylaws, Care, & Planting

It was very interesting to learn the different public and private tree bylaws that are in place to preserve and protect our urban forest! The speaker from the City of Mississauga shared some success stories that were inspiring and also acknowledged that the bylaws are not without flaws.

© 2017 Tooba Shakeel/LEAF


Day 4: Stewardship

Today was by far my favourite day, as most of it was spent outside! Before heading out we spoke about how other Tree Tender graduates had put their knowledge to use in their own communities, which was very exciting! From there we headed over to Hillside Park to plant and tend to some trees. We had the fortunate opportunity to work with the City of Mississauga by planting trees and shrubs in a section of the park they are allowing to naturalize.

© 2017 Alan Li/LEAF


Overall the Tree Tenders course was a great experience! Not only did I learn a lot, but I had the opportunity to connect with like-minded environmental professionals and tree-loving citizens.  I would recommend this course to anyone interested in learning more about trees and how to care for them.  Even more so, this course is a great jumping off point for anyone interested in starting a community project, as not only is the knowledge invaluable, but having LEAF in your corner is a priceless resource.

Check out photos from the fall session on our Facebook page.


LEAF’s Tree Tenders Training program is supported by the City of Mississauga and Ontario Power Generation


Erica Hazlett is LEAF’s Education and Outreach Intern. 


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