City of Binghamton, New York

Citizen Pruner Program

Citizen Pruner Program

bighamton citizen pruner logoCitizen Pruners are volunteers who have completed training that covers Binghamton’s trees and proper pruning practices. The training certifies the citizens to work on public trees. The purpose of the Citizen Pruner Program is to augment the work of the Parks and Recreation Department and to encourage all citizens to respect and enjoy the contribution that trees and other plantings make to the City environment.

Specific Tasks

Trees (working from ground only): All work is carried out under the direction of City Staff and the Shade Tree Commission.  Volunteers will receive work assignments and are encouraged to suggest projects as they identify areas needing attention.

  • Removal of suckers at base of trees
  • Weeding and/or mulching around base of trees
  • Pruning damaged, dead, diseased limbs within reach of the ground
  • Limbing up, removal of low branches on young trees
  • Pruning to shape young trees to ensure proper canopy structure
  • Monitor and report tree problems and suggest sites for new trees

Attend meetings with City staff and Shade Tree Commission members to review tasks, receive instruction and further training as necessary.  

Act as ambassadors for the City of Binghamton Street Tree program and be familiar with the tree species, the Shade Tree ordinance, and other current activities of the program.

Assist in educating the public about trees at special events, workshops or by using other educational outreach methods or opportunities.

Volunteer Commitment

After completion of training, each volunteer is expected to contribute approximately three hours per month during the season as a volunteer pruner, attending meetings or in ongoing training.  We expect volunteers to remain active with the program for a minimum of one season, two seasons preferable.  

Volunteer Schedule

Volunteers work once or twice per month in the cooler season.  Each session lasts approximately 1 ½-2 hours. 


Volunteers must:

  • Be able to fulfill the training and volunteer commitment
  • Have an interest in or knowledge of trees, shrubs, and other areas of gardening
  • Be enthusiastic for acquiring new horticulture skills
  • Have the ability to communicate with public
  • Have a concern for plants in the urban environment
  • Have a concern for the visual quality of the urban environment

Note: Volunteers should have the ability to get to the work site, work outdoors, and have sufficient abilities to carry out pruning tasks with standard pruning tools.  Some work could be carried out from a wheelchair.

How to Get Involved

Interested persons should complete the Citizen Pruner application form found on the right side of this page.