How to become a Tree Tender

What is the first thing you notice when you look at a tree? For me, it’s their strong trunks that extend into branches, from which beautiful canopies emerge. Aside from admiring their beauty and receiving their benefits, I realized I didn’t really know much about trees.

<p>&nbsp;</p><p>When I started volunteering with &nbsp;LEAF &nbsp;in 2014, I became more aware of this fact and curiosity had me wondering -What types of &nbsp;trees are these ? How do they grow? What’s inside them? Why do the leaves change colour? How can I protect our trees? Naturally, I turned to LEAF for answers and discovered the Tree Tenders Volunteer Training Program.</p><p>The Tree Tenders Training Program is taught by
experts in the field of arboriculture and urban forestry. Over the course of
four days they taught us about tree biology and anatomy, tree identification,
various stresses facing the urban forest, how to protect trees, and proper
planting and care techniques. The combination of instructional environments, a
classroom setting as well as outdoors, was especially beneficial.<br><br></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/sites/default/files/tree_tenders_day_3_tree_id_walk_17.jpg" title="© 2016 Tooba Shakeel \ LEAF" width="500" height="375"></p><p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p><p>The Tree Tenders course was an insightful
experience that offered me the ability to understand the value of trees and learn
what they need to thrive. This gave me a newfound awareness of our urban forest
and transformed me into a tree guardian! &nbsp;</p>

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<p>Who would have guessed that two years after
taking the course, and after volunteering in various capacities at LEAF, I’d be
hired as a staff member!&nbsp; As LEAF’s new
Residential Planting Programs Assistant, I am able to use everything I learned
to better inform LEAF clients who are also looking for answers to their tree
questions.</p>

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<p>The Tree Tenders Training Program is perfect for
those of you who have planted a tree through LEAF’s <a href="/backyard-tree-planting-program" target="_blank">Backyard
Tree Planting Program</a>. I have
always felt that humans and trees are strongly connected and&nbsp; this course will allow you to build a
meaningful connection with the trees in your yard. Learning about the internal
processes of trees and how they function will help you better understand them
and their role in an urban setting. You will also learn very practical tips on
how to sustain the trees in your yard and in your neighbourhood. You’ll learn
how to protect our urban forest and become conscious of issues that you can
easily help fix!</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/sites/default/files/tree_tenders_toronto_-_june_6_2015_-_sammy_tangir_4_0.jpg" title="© 2015 Sammy Tangir \ LEAF" width="500" height="334"></p><p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p><p>LEAF
is offering two <a href="/tree-tenders-volunteer-training" target="_blank">Tree Tenders</a> Training courses this fall in Richmond
Hill and Mississauga!&nbsp;If you find yourself wanting to know more about trees like I did, join
the course and get answers to all of your tree questions!</p><p>&nbsp;</p>

<p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/sites/default/files/mississauga_tree_tenders_-_may_2015_-_david_slaughter_87.jpg" title="© 2015 David Slaughter \ LEAF" width="334" height="500"></p><p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p><p><em>Natasha Keshavjee is a past Tree Tender graduate and LEAF
volunteer.&nbsp; She is now LEAF’s Residential
and Planting Programs Assistant</em><em>. </em></p>

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<p><em>The Tree Tenders Volunteer Training Program is
supported by Ontario Power Generation's Biodiversity Program, York Region, Ajax, and
the City of Mississauga.</em></p>

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