Volunteers in Pruning

After proper planting, formative pruning is one of the most important steps in tree maintenance. Formative pruning young trees enables them to develop functional and durable branch structures that in maturity will be free from major physical weaknesses and able to support the flow of nutrients and energy reserves.

The 2015 Missoula Urban Forest Master Management Plan identifies formative pruning as a need that can be addressed by a trained volunteer corps, so in October 2015, Trees for Missoula (TFM) and City of Missoula Urban Forestry Division (UF) trained the first class of Volunteers in Pruning (VIPs).

VIPs are trained to use proper pruning techniques, the five-step method and optimal pruning timing. In exchange for training, VIPs are asked to prune city trees for 25 hours (no time limit). UF certified arborists guide VIPs in pruning every Wednesday afternoon during the late fall and winter months.

Since 2015, volunteers have pruned 1,765 city trees.

If you would like your name on the list for the next class in October (TBD), please complete the volunteer form below.