CommuniTree Stewards

The CommuniTree Steward program was created in 2002 in response to the Labor Day Storm and decades of tree-loss from Dutch elm disease in Syracuse.  Since the program started, 285 tree stewards have been trained, nearly 7,000 trees have been maintained, and more than 1,800 trees have been planted.


CommuniTree Stewards enjoy a summer morning pruning at the Inner Harbor

The CommuniTree Steward program is a volunteer service-based program through Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) that offers FREE training in tree biology, tree identification, and tree planting and maintenance for young trees.

The five-part course runs in the Spring and includes in-class and field training. Trained Steward volunteers then assist with 5 community tree projects where they will continue receiving hands-on education and technical experience in urban tree management . Each training session and project will last two hours.

Additional optional training sessions and field trips are offered throughout the year. Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) training will be offered and will include in-depth ash tree identification, and EAB detection and monitoring.  EAB monitoring is part of a county effort to help the communities prepare for and manage EAB. EAB was identified in Onondaga County in 2013.

The efforts of CommuniTree Stewards have saved Onondaga County and Syracuse tax payers thousands of dollars in tree service and have made Syracuse and its surrounding communities a more beautiful place to live. Tree Stewards have gone on to lead neighborhood associations and park associations in tree care as well as make important contributions to Onondaga County in effort to monitor invasive species.

Becoming a CommuniTree Steward

Stewards mulching, tying, and staking a newly planted tree in Fabius

The 2015 training starts in April. If you are interested in becoming a new steward, please check out the Position Description and the 2015 CTS Application.

If you are a returning volunteer and will be joining us in 2014, please fill out the 2015 returning CTS Application.

For more information on the CommuniTree Stewards Program, contact Kristina Ferrare, or Derek Conant, or call (315) 424-9485.