Adult Education

Education is at the core of the Trees Atlanta mission.

With programs for volunteers, corporate and school groups, or anyone who wants to learn, we teach the best methods for planting and caring for trees, removing invasive species, and generally preserving our natural urban forest.

Each program stands alone, but all serve a common goal; giving members of our community the knowledge and tools necessary to successfully restore and maintain the precious natural resources that are essential to our quality of life. The many different programs offer opportunities for everyone to become involved in some manner.

Click the green bars to learn more about our Adult Education programs.

Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum & Tours

The Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum will evolve into a twenty-two-mile long horticultural collection. This one-of-a-kind linear expanse provides neighborhood connectivity along the Atlanta BeltLine while showcasing unique natural characteristics within each community. Neighborhoods near the Arboretum will be identifiable by the surrounding trees, and visitors will be able to develop a better appreciation for the value of trees in an urban environment. The exact number of trees planted will depend on space available, but the conceptual plan proposes several thousand trees. The Arboretum will be built over the next two decades.

Free Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum Walking Tours
Come take a walk on the Atlanta BeltLine with an expertly trained Trees Atlanta docent. Trees Atlanta leads free tours of the Eastside and Westside Trail on Fridays and Saturdays* morning. The tour covers one mile (2 miles round trip) along one of the earliest-completed sections of the trail along a vibrant stretch of historical buildings, new developments, and horticultural diversity of the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum. Tours are family-friendly tours and happen seasonally. For more information please visit To sign up for an upcoming tour, register at

When experienced on foot and at an accessible pace, you get an intimate perspective of history and progress of the Atlanta BeltLine. See and feel a direct connection to nature created by the Arboretum. To learn more about the Arboretum walking tour, click here.

*Tours begin rain or shine. Alternatively, groups may request a private tour on other days and times throughout the week. Please contact for details.
Trees Atlanta offers focused topic walks, champion tree walks, bird walks and bike tours throughout the year. View our calendar of events to view upcoming programs, and sign up to receive emails announcing upcoming events. If you would like to suggest a focused topic walk to be added to our schedule, please email with your suggestions.

Canopy Conversations

Trees are iconic to Atlanta. In fact, we’re frequently called the “City in a Forest.” The most recent canopy data available shows 48% of the City of Atlanta is covered by tree canopy. We know this to be a reduction from earlier decades, and the robust economic and development growth in our city continue to threaten our canopy coverage. We celebrate Atlanta’s success while advocating for smart growth. This is echoed by Mayor Reed who has committed to “no net canopy loss” for the city.

Canopy Conversations are about informing concerned residents on the state of the canopy in the City of Atlanta and their own neighborhood. In a series of localized presentations in various neighborhoods, Trees Atlanta will be discussing canopy coverage, notable trees collections or specimens in their area (many enjoy being home to one or more Champion Trees), and offering resources and strategies for protecting and conserving the trees in their own neighborhoods.

Among our neighborhoods, canopy coverage ranges widely from a high of 83% in Butner-Tell to a low of 3% in Downtown. You might be surprised to find out where your neighborhood ranks. Trees Atlanta can schedule a community meeting with you to conduct a Canopy Conversation (info below). Meanwhile please explore the Tree Canopy data tool developed by Georgia Tech for Trees Atlanta, made possible by funding from the City of Atlanta and the Google Fund of Tides Foundation.

To request a Canopy Conversation for your neighborhood, please contact Scheduled neighborhood Canopy Conversations will be posted on our calendar of events along with all of our many youth and adult education programs, community events, and volunteer projects.

Champion Trees of Atlanta

A Champion Tree is determined based on measurements of its trunk circumference, its height, and the average spread of the crown. 

Atlanta’s Champion Trees are of course just a small sampling of the hundreds of beautiful tree species found across the country. For more than 70 years, a national database has maintained records for over 750 Champion Trees across the country. The objective is to locate, document, and then protect the finest specimens so they can be appreciated and enjoyed, and also serve as reminders about the importance of such trees for a healthy environment.

Click here to see the list

Docent Training

The Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum is a dynamic natural space that offers a unique glimpse into the horticultural history of the city. This 22-mile long linear expanse can be enjoyed in many ways, but the most fulfilling experience is provided by the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum Walking Tour guided by Trees Atlanta Docents. The Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum will evolve into a twenty-two-mile long horticultural collection. This one-of-a-kind linear expanse provides neighborhood connectivity along the Atlanta BeltLine while showcasing unique natural characteristics within each community.

Weekly tours and special interest tours are lead by volunteers who complete extensive training that includes courses on Trees Atlanta, history of the BeltLine and the surrounding neighborhoods, along with horticultural information on the trees, plants, and grasses of the Arboretum. Docents must complete training and commit to leading tours. Docents participate in regular group training and social events.

Registration is now open for 2018 Docent Training!
  Click here to register, or if you have questions, please email

Neighborhood Arboreta

Usually, an arboretum is found in a botanical garden, park, or nature preserve. Neighborhood arboreta are a little different because they encompass an entire community, and may include trees found in yards, sidewalk planting strips, as well as parks.

As in all arboreta, Atlanta’s Neighborhood Arboreta have attractive markers to identify the trees, but instead of simply following a well-marked path, visitors may rely on a brochure to locate and learn more about the arboretum trees. The Neighborhood Arboreta project was created to encourage community involvement with their urban forest. By bringing the arboretum to the neighborhood streets where residents walk, dine, exercise, and socialize, neighbors can actually live in a tree museum!

Click here to view maps of Atlanta’s Neighborhood Arboreta!

Pruning Classes

Pruning is important to maintain sight-lines in urban environments and improve the health and structure of a tree. Reasons to prune plants include deadwood removal, shaping (by controlling or directing growth), improving or maintaining health, and reducing risk from falling branches. 

Trees Atlanta offers free training so that you can learn to prune trees properly. Throughout the year, but particularly in Spring and Summer, we offer Pruning 101, Pruning 102, and Pruning 103 classes. Attendance at Pruning 101 is required to participate in any Trees Atlanta pruning projects. Advanced classes are offered to volunteers and anyone who seeks to further their knowledge and skills for the care of urban trees. View our calendar of events to view upcoming programs, and sign up to receive our volunteer email to receive notices of upcoming classes and pruning projects.

Speaker Series

Trees Atlanta offers monthly programs that address various topics related to arboriculture, horticulture, urban ecology, and sustainability presented by Trees Atlanta staff; local, regional, and national experts; and authors. View our calendar of events to view upcoming programs, and sign up to receive emails announcing upcoming speaker events. Special thanks to the City of Atlanta for supporting the Trees Atlanta Speaker Series.

TreeKeeper Program

If you are a lover of trees and the environment, there are many ways to get involved with Trees Atlanta, but none more comprehensive than the TreeKeeper volunteer training and certification program. The program consists of seven sessions that feature indoor and outdoor activities, presentations, and hands-on demonstrations.

This program gives participants in-depth exposure to every aspect of urban forest stewardship. The TreeKeeper program is taught by community tree professionals and members of the Trees Atlanta staff. Training is suited for all levels of botanical knowledge, and the workshops include instruction on Atlanta’s trees and urban forest, programs on tree planting and care, management of disease and invasive species, and project leadership through community outreach.

Upon completion of the certification program, graduates will be provided with opportunities to put their new knowledge into action. All TreeKeeper graduates receive a citizen’s field guide full of valuable resources and information, as well as an official TreeKeeper hat, a manual, and a native tree. Graduates also receive a signed certificate upon completion of 24 volunteer hours with tree projects through Trees Atlanta or a similar organization.

To assist with these hours, Trees Atlanta has regular planting, tree care, and forest restoration projects where TreeKeeper leadership is invaluable. TreeKeepers may also choose to work independently in their own community.

TreeKeeper Program days will be on Saturdays, July 27th – September 14th (excluding 8/31: Labor Day Weekend)

Contact for more information.


Request a TreeSpeaker at your next event

Do you have an upcoming meeting or event where you’d like to host a presenter to learn more about Trees Atlanta? Complete this form to help Trees Atlanta fulfill your request. Please allow at least one month’s advance notice prior to the date of the event.

Apply to be a TreeSpeaker
Trees Atlanta seeks engaging public speakers to complete training to lead presentations in the community about Trees Atlanta. These volunteers are needed to present standard prepared presentations and accommodate requested speaking times that may range from 20 to 45 minutes in length. TreeSpeakers may be asked to answer questions from the audience. You do not require expertise in horticulture or tree sciences (but are very welcome); however, you should be an enthusiastic supporter of Trees Atlanta, our mission, and be familiar with our volunteer activities. Training is provided.

We are currently at capacity for the first group of TreeSpeakers. However, please send an email to if you are interested in being considered for future speaker training sessions. Please include your full name, email, phone number, address, and brief description of your experience with Trees Atlanta and presenting in front of audiences.