Online Urban Forestry Education

Welcome to the Urban Forestry Online Education page. This page is the result of a cooperative project among the state community forestry programs in the Pacific Northwest to share urban forestry technology and educational resources. We hope to provide inexpensive training on the latest best management practices, research findings, and effective strategies for managing our community forests for natural resource professionals working in communities.

The goal of this project is to be efficient, effective, and innovative in meeting your needs. A coordinated online effort by the PNW region will 1) reduce travel expenses, 2) reach communities that are not near sources of education and training, and 3) expand the sphere of educational offerings for those who prefer to learn with online resources. This network will not only use taxpayers' dollars more efficiently but be more effective in reaching the broad audiences we serve.

Click on the links below to find out what learning opportunities are available to you.

Online Learning Portals for Urban and Community Forestry


Oregon State University Launches Online Master's Program in Urban Forestry

Oregon State University is giving natural resource professionals an innovative and flexible way to advance their careers by offering the nation's first online graduate certificate in urban forestry. The certificate combines OSU's expertise in forestry with its reputation as a national leader in online education to provide students with an interactive learning environment that better equips them to manage trees in and around urban areas.

The certificate curriculum covers an array of topics that will help professionals enhance their knowledge and skill set. Required courses include Urban Forestry Leadership, Urban Forest Planning, Policy and Management, and Green Infrastructure. Students can also choose from a variety of electives, including Arboriculture, Ecological Restoration, and Geographic Information Systems. Students must also complete an urban forestry capstone project, which will provide them with one-on-one mentorship from OSU faculty or other natural resources professionals in their local area. "We'll work with students wherever they're at, so the capstone will not only be a meaningful demonstration of what they learned but also something they can use as a springboard to a better career."

The urban forestry certificate program begins fall 2014. Learn more about the program, its curriculum and how to apply at ecampus.oregonstate.edu/urbanforestry.

Alaska Division of Forestry

The webinars described below are posted to the Alaska Division of Forestry YouTube channel.

Understanding Tree Risk: A Webinar for Municipal Officials - This webinar is for mayors, city councilors, city managers and attorneys. It will help community leaders mitigate risk associated with public trees, understand city responsibilities, and more. Hosts are Paul Ries, Oregon Community Forestry Coordinator and Jerry Mason, Attorney for the Association of Idaho Cities. Download the presentations here (65 MB). Within the zip file are two PDF files - one for each of the two presentations, and an accompanying audio (MP3) file for each. Questions and answers are located near the end of the second audio file.

Selecting and Planting High Quality Trees - Learn to select the best trees and plant them properly so they will provide a lifetime of benefits. Selecting a tree with good structure and roots will save you from a lot of headaches. High quality trees have a better chance to thrive and are less prone to insect and disease problems.

Pruning Young Trees for Strong Structure - Pruning young trees will increase their value and life span, making them community assets rather than liabilities. Properly pruned trees require less maintenance and are less likely to break during storms. This webinar builds on the concepts introduced in "Selecting and Planting High Quality Trees" therefore viewing both is recommended. Audio starts at 17 seconds.

Preparing for the Certified Arborist Exam - Becoming an International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist demonstrates that you are a professional with a high level of knowledge about trees. This webinar will cover exam format, introduce the materials you might expect in the exam and recommend study materials. Audio starts at 1:21.

What did we learn from the September 2012 windstorm? - Fall of 2012 was a stormy one for many areas of South Central Alaska; strong winds and precipitation left countless trees damaged or uprooted and caused property damage. This webinar includes observations in the Anchorage area, lessons learned and tips on how to avoid conditions that may lead to future trees failures. Audio starts at 2:49.


Other States and Organizations

Idaho Department of Lands

Oregon Department of Forestry

Washington Department of Natural Resources

Pacific Northwest Chapter, International Society of Arboriculture

Oregon State University, Professional and Non-Credit Education


This project was funded in part by the USDA Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry program in cooperation with the Western Forestry Leadership Coalition. USDA is an equal opportunity employer and provider.