Teaching Tree Management Programs to Several Cities in Miami–Dade County, a Successful Partnership between IFAS/Extension and the Florida Forest Service

Henry Mayer, Mark Torok

Abstract


The last US Census shows that there are 35 cities and municipalities in Miami–Dade County. The average tree canopy in the county is very low (11%). Trees make up 8% and palms make up 3%. As a consequence of budget constraints during the last year, many ground maintenance employees from cities and municipalities cannot attend programs offered by the Extension Service on tree management or other topics. In order to effectively train those cities, the Florida Forest Service Senior Forester, Everglades District and the Miami–Dade County Urban Commercial Horticulture Extension Agent designed and implemented an on-site training on tree management. The training consists of a threehour program and covers tree biology, anatomy, planting, pruning, and root manipulation. The format of the class is two hour presentations and one hour demonstrations outside the classroom on diverse topics using wood samples and actual trees. To date, 55 ground maintenance employees from the cities of Sweetwater, Miami Lakes, and Biscayne Park have received the training. In the future the cities of Doral, North Miami, and Miami Shores will receive the training. The comments about the program were all positive. Participants highlighted the importance of this training because they were able to interact one-on-one with each other due to the small size of the groups. The Florida Forest Service is a key player in this partnership because of their role in the Florida Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program, which requires that awardees implement an effective tree management plan in their community.


Keywords


tree management training, cities, municipalities, Florida Forest Service

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283