Adult Opportunities

Introduction to Pruning (online and in person)

Learn and practice correct pruning techniques for trees and shrubs.

Content Detail

Practice correct pruning techniques and learn which plants to prune now and, more important, which to prune later. The colder months are an excellent time to prune most trees and shrubs. Known as dormant pruning, thoughtful removal of branches during this period is easy and encourages proper spring growth. 

In this interactive class, you will complete a 90-minute online component on your own before attending an in-person session. Spend the in-person session outdoors with an expert who will demonstrate what to prune and how to do it. Then put on your gloves, grab some pruners, and try it yourself. 

This program includes a self-paced component and an on-site session at the Arboretum. 

Instructor: Eric Schroeder, horticulturist, The Morton Arboretum

Health and Safety: Program participants must abide by the Arboretum’s health and safety guidelines. Guidelines are subject to change, so please check back frequently. 

Age: 16 and older


Eric Schroeder, horticulturist, The Morton Arboretum

Branching above, tip-rooting below: Eric Schroeder’s earliest memories include an affinity for the outdoors, yet he deviated into the digital realm of virtual environments for fourteen years before the allure of fresh air and photosynthesis drew him back out into the sunlight to join the grounds crew at The Morton Arboretum, where he has maintained trees, shrubs, and perennial trial gardens since 2013.

  • This program includes an online component you will complete on your own, and a scheduled in-person field session at The Morton Arboretum.
  • Please provide a unique email address for each registrant at registration. Participants must have access to the internet, know how to use a web browser (ex: Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer), and know how to send and receive email.
  • Registrants will receive an email with instructions on how to access Treelearning, the Arboretum’s online learning portal. Access begins at noon on Thursday, November 10, 2022, and lasts for 60 days. 
  • Complete self-paced activities, such as e-learning modules, reading material, short videos, interactive activities, and quizzes to check your understanding. The self-paced activities do not need to be completed in one sitting. Your instructor will not be online with you.
  • Complete the online component before the in-person session. It should take about 60 minutes.
  • The in-person session will be held outdoors. Plan to stand for long periods and walk on uneven ground.
  • Dress for the weather and bring gardening gloves. You are welcome to bring your own pruners if you have them; pruners will also be provided. 


Thursday, November 10, 2022, noon Central time: Online materials are available.

Saturday, November 19, 2022,  9:00 to 11:30 a.m.: Meet in-person at the Arboretum’s Parking Lot 33, on the West Side of the Arboretum 


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