School of Arboriculture

Click here to see a pdf of the 2016 School of Arboriculture brochure.

Increase your tree and landscape knowledge! The School of Arboriculture’s courses, which offer CEUs for arborists and landscape architects, keep you at the forefront of your profession. Our exciting new classes are open to professionals and novices, and are taught by national leaders in their field of expertise.

The Arboretum’s professional training courses carry International Society of Arboriculture Continuing Education Units (CEUs). If you are an ISA certified arborist and need to maintain certification by taking 30 credits over a three-year period, the following classes offer the opportunity to gain CEUs while learning from field experts.

*Please click here for the TRAQ Registration Form*

Register for classes below!


Select the class(es) for which you wish to register:

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Quantity and Pricing
Tree Appraisal: What is Reasonable?
Scott Cullen
Registered Consulting Arborist, CT Licensed Arborist

Scott Cullen has taught tree appraisal internationally and has written about the origins and evolution of this specialized discipline. Tree appraisers have been given a Mission Impossible. Their appraisals are supposed to be reasonable. But reasonable has never been defined This course presents new material that is essential for anyone including arborists, landscape architects, foresters, urban foresters, nursery professionals, lawyers, and others - performing or relying on tree appraisals. This course is equally applicable to the current Guide for Plant Appraisal 9th Ed. and the forthcoming 10th Ed., Topics include defining the appraisal problem, value, types of value, and credibility. The course is highly interactive and designed for class participation. This course carries 6.75 CEUs for ISA certified arborists. (S=2.75, P=2, M=2)

Wednesday, March 2
8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Single class scheduled on 3/2/2016 at 8:30AM
Attendees: 1 $145.00 ea.
Attendees: 1 $145.00 ea.

Protecting & Preserving Trees during Construction
Jason Lubar
Associate Director, Urban Forestry, Morris Arboretum

Trees are valuable assets to commercial and residential property, contributing up to 25% of the property's assessed value. Successful tree preservation during construction assures the project's goals are achieved without jeopardizing the health and lifespan of protected trees. Since there must be a collaborative process by decision-makers for this to occur, people from all disciplines involved with the construction process, such as landscape architects, builders, developers, architects, and arborists, will benefit from this presentation. Information presented includes how to designate adequate tree protection zones based on the tree's structural and biological needs, specifying and installing protective fencing, and how construction processes such as cut/fill, trenching, and soil compaction effect both existing and proposed trees. Valuable lessons learned from working on a variety of construction jobs will be presented, tree protection specifications will be discussed, and tree protection myths will be presented and dispelled. This course carries 5.75 CEUs for ISA certified arborists. (S=1, P=1.75, M=3)

Thursday, March 10
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Fee: $135 (includes lunch)
Single class scheduled on 3/10/2016 at 9:00AM
Attendees: 1 $135.00 ea.

Understanding Trees from the Inside, Out
David Tukey
Lecturer, Trainer and Climber

We plant, prune, climb, and admire trees, often thinking of them as fixtures on the landscape, like statues that sway a bit in the wind. We tend to forget that inside a tree are dynamic systems of highly complex, interrelated biological processes. The better we understand what's happening on the inside of a tree, the better we can take care of the tree from the outside. After covering the basics of tree anatomy and biology, this workshop will consider a series of questions, including: What is wood? Why don't trees keep growing taller? How does a tree defend against decay? What is the science behind proper pruning techniques? We will also explore unknowns about tree biology and areas of current research. The information, both scientific and practical, will be useful for arborists, naturalists, master gardeners, owners of wood lots, and members of shade tree commissions, among others. This course carries 6.75 CEUs for ISA certified arborists. (S=3.75, P=1, M=2)

Friday, March 18
9 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Single class scheduled on 3/18/2016 at 9:00AM
Attendees: 1 $125.00 ea.

Pruning Shrubs for Maximum Health and Beauty
Vince Marrocco
Chief Horticulturist, Morris Arboretum

Pruning shrubs is an essential practice for a well-maintained landscape. While proper pruning is important, it is not difficult if you understand the basics. This class teaches the principles of why, when, and how to prune a variety of shrubs and hedges. A morning lecture and demonstration will be followed by an afternoon session of supervised, hands-on pruning. Please bring your pruning tools and dress appropriately for the weather. This course carries 4.75 CEUs for ISA certified arborists. (S=2, P=1.75, M=1)

Tuesday, March 22
9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Raindate: Wednesday, March 23
Single class scheduled on 3/22/2016 at 9:00AM
Attendees: 1 $125.00 ea.
Attendees: 1 $125.00 ea.

Basic Pesticide Training Course
Clark Williams
Owner, Focus on Training

This course is designed for people who want to become Pennsylvania Certified Pesticide Applicators. It is the core, introductory portion, of the certification training and must be completed before any category certifications. The course will provide an introduction in the proper use and mixing of pesticides, reading and understanding labels, equipment maintenance and calibration, record keeping as well as an overview of Pennsylvania rules and regulations. Clark has been training Pennsylvania applicators for many years through his company, Focus on Training, and previously worked in utility/power line arboriculture. This course receives 5.25 CEUs for ISA certified arborists (S=2.25, P=1, M=2). *Note: The Pesticide Applicator Certification Exam will not be offered at the conclusion of this course. Test dates and locations can be accessed through the PaPlants website:

Tuesday, March 29
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Single class scheduled on 3/29/2016 at 8:30AM
Attendees: 1 $110.00 ea.

Emerald Ash Borer Management Workshop
Joel Spies
President, Rainbow Treecare
Curtis Helm
Project Manager, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation

This workshop reviews the latest research and management practices for the preservation of ash trees due to the damage anticipated by Emerald Ash Borer. Joel Spies will explain each of the chemical control options that are available and what delivery methods and timing are most suitable. Curtis Helm will relate his experience in treating over 1,200 ash trees in Fairmount Park. Specific costs and links to suppliers will be provided. There will be hands-on demonstration of the micro injection technology after lunch. This course carries 4.5 CEUs for ISA certified arborists (S=1.5, P=2, M=1) This course meets at the Morris Arboretum's Horticulture Center at Bloomfield Farm. Enter the Arboretum on the road opposite from the public garden entrance. Park in the parking lots and follow the signs to the Horticulture Center.

Wednesday, March 30
9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Single class scheduled on 3/30/2016 at 9:00AM
Attendees: 1 $110.00 ea.

Climbing Techniques for the Field Arborist
Zach Shechtman
Owner, Shechtman Tree Care
Rob Thigpen
Foreman, Shechtman Tree Care

This comprehensive four-day course is designed for working arborists from the seasoned veteran to the novice who has yet to climb a tree. The intent of this course is to prepare arborists to take the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Climbing Skills Exam. In doing so we will cover safe climbing procedures, knots and equipment, as well as felling, pruning, tree anatomy, physiology, and basic cabling. We will be climbing mature trees so please bring your climbing gear as well as personal protective equipment. Ropes and saddles will be provided for those students who do not have them. Each student will receive a copy of "The Tree Climbers Companion" by Jeff Jepson as well as a certificate of completion. Our instructors are ISA Certified Arborists with many years of practical experience in general tree work. The ISA Certification Exam will be held on Saturday April 9th for those who have prequalified and registered with the ISA. This is a separate event and expense. This course meets at the Morris Arboretum’s Horticulture Center at Bloomfield Farm. Enter the Arboretum on the road opposite from the public garden entrance. Park in the parking lot and follow the signs to the Horticulture Center. This course receives 21 CEUs for ISA certified arborists (S=2, P=19, M=0)

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, April 5 - 8
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Irregular classes scheduled starting 4/5/2016 and ending 4/8/2016 at 9:00AM
Attendees: 1 $690.00 ea.

Learn How to Use the ArcGIS Collector App
Trish Kemper
The Martha S. Miller Endowed Urban Forestry Intern, Morris Arboretum

Learn how to use the ArcGIS Collector app to record the location and information of objects in the field. The Collector app is extremely useful to landscape architects for doing site inventory and analysis and to land managers and arborists for doing tree inventories and assessments. Through hands-on training, participants will use ArcGIS to create a base map and fields for collecting data. We will then go out and use the Collector app to record the GPS location and data of several trees. Afterwards, we will create a final map and spreadsheet of the collected data. Bring your iPhone or iPad with the ArcGIS Collector App downloaded into it. This class takes place at Temple University's Ambler Campus in the Learning Center. It carries 3 CEUs for ISA certified arborists. (S=2, P=1, M=0)

Thursday, April 7
9 a.m.-12 noon
Single class scheduled on 4/7/2016 at 9:00AM
Attendees: 1 $60.00 ea.
Attendees: 1 $60.00 ea.

Certified Arborist Examination- CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
The written examination to become a Certified Arborist through the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) will be offered at the Morris Arboretum and supervised by volunteers from the ISA PennDel Chapter. Sub categories in Municipal and Utility Arboriculture as well as the Climbing Skills exam are available to those who pre-qualify. If you want to take this exam or one of its categories you must register and submit payment to the ISA at This exam meets at the Morris Arboretum's Horticulture Center at Bloomfield Farm. Enter Bloomfield Farm on the road opposite from the public garden entrance. Park in the parking lot and follow the signs to the Horticulture Center.
Single class scheduled on 4/9/2016 at 8:30AM
Attendees: 1 No Charge

Restoration Ecology
Mike Coll
Preserve Manager, Natural Lands Trust
Tracy Beerley
Natural Areas Section Leader, Morris Arboretum

Restoration ecology is the practice of restoring degraded ecosystems through active human intervention. Its aim is to promote healthy, biodiverse ecosystems that provide ecological services and prevent extinctions. While every restoration project is unique, many of the guiding principles remain constant. This class will explore the ecosystems in our region and the commonly faced challenges that include introduced invasive plant species, the overpopulation of white-tailed deer, a lack of "old growth" woodlands, and highly fragmented open space. By examining land use history, learning about evolved relationships between species, and observing the current state of our natural areas, land management practices that seek to optimize available habitat and promote local (and subsequently global) biodiversity can be employed. The class begins with a lecture on the interconnectedness of ecological systems and then covers experiences with restoration projects and land management techniques used to combat the challenges. The second half of the class includes a tour of restoration work at the Morris Arboretum and will focus on identifying invasive plant species and the methods used to control them. This course carries 5.75 CEUs for ISA certified arborists. (S=3, P=1.75, M=1)

Thursday, April 14
9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Single class scheduled on 4/14/2016 at 9:00AM
Attendees: 1 $135.00 ea.
Attendees: 1 $135.00 ea.

TRAQ - Tree Risk Assessment Qualification

The TRAQ training course was created by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). It is sponsored by the New Jersey Chapter of the ISA and hosted by the Morris Arboretum at Meadow Lakes Retirement Community in Hightstown, New Jersey. The course will provide a high level of training for arborists, landscape architects, and landscape management professionals in the fundamentals of tree risk assessment. This qualification promotes the safety of people and property by providing a standardized process for assessing tree risk. TRAQ is a two-day course followed by a ½ day exam that includes both a written and a field component.

The course prepares the participant to take the TRAQ exam to become ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualified. It is required that you attend the course and successfully pass the exam in order to receive the ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification. The content of this course will focus on: tree biology and mechanics, tree inspection and assessment, data analysis and risk categorization, and risk reporting. The Tree Risk Assessment Qualification is valid for five years from the date the exam is passed. The qualification holder is required to retake the course and pass the exam every five years in order to maintain the qualification.

To be able to register for the course and take the exam, you must have be an ISA Certified Arborist or BCMA or have a degree in arboriculture, urban forestry, traditional forestry, or horticulture from an accredited college or university or have any of the other prerequisites that can be found at:

Participants will receive course materials two weeks prior to the start of class. Bring them with you to the class. The class takes place at 300 Meadow Lakes Road off of Etra Road. Hightstown, NJ 08520. This course carries 14.5 CEUs for ISA certified arborists (S=2.5, P=6, M=6).

Thursday, Friday, April 14, 15
8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday, April 16
8 a.m.-12 noon

Registration deadline: Monday, March 14
Irregular classes scheduled starting 4/14/2016 and ending 4/16/2016 at 8:00AM
Attendees: 1 $650.00 ea.
Attendees: 1 $750.00 ea.

Veteran Tree Care
Dr. Kevin Smith
Plant Physiologist, USDA Forest Service
Thomas Reber
Director of Landscapes and Facilities, Bartram's Garden

Join us at historic Bartram's Gardens as we explore some of the current practices in caring for mature trees. Dr. Smith has been studying the management of older trees for over 30 years. We will discuss current that research and some of the preservation practices that have popular in England such as retrenchment, propping, and reduction. We will examine some of the work of Stephen Sillet in the California redwoods and how this has influenced our thinking about tree growth. Tom Reber will lead a tour mature trees at Bartrams Garden that are examples of veteran trees in public spaces. This workshop will be held at Bartram's Gardens, 54th Street and Lindbergh Blvd., Philadelphia PA. It carries 5.75 CEUs for ISA certified arborists (S=3, P=1, M=1.75).

Thursday, April 21
9 a.m.--4 p.m.
Single class scheduled on 4/21/2016 at 9:00AM
Attendees: 1 $135.00 ea.

Drones for the Landscape Professional
Dave Tavani
Freelance Videographer and Photographer

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), commonly called drones, are changing many industries. In this class we will navigate the basics of what it will take to get you up and running with a UAV system to capture aerial photographs or record video. Topics covered will include safety, necessary equipment, and regulations. This workshop will help you decide how you can incorporate UAVs into your business- either in your site plans, proposals, or promotional material. The workshop will also include a short outdoor demonstration at the Arboretum. This class is open to all individuals but will focus on how UAV's can be used by landscape professionals.

This course carries 3 CEUs for ISA certified arborists. (S=1, P=1, M=1).

This course meets at the Morris Arboretum’s Horticulture Center at Bloomfield Farm. Enter the Arboretum on the road opposite from the public garden entrance. Park in the parking lot and follow the signs to the Horticulture Center.

Saturday, June 11
Raindate: Saturday, June 18
1-4 p.m.
Single class scheduled on 6/11/2016 at 1:00PM
Attendees: 1 $40.00 ea.
Attendees: 1 $45.00 ea.
Attendees: 1 $40.00 ea.

2016 Morris Arboretum · 100 E. Northwestern Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118 · 215-247-5777