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Adult Opportunities

Structural Pruning (online and in person)

Learn best practices for structural pruning and get hands-on experience.

Content Detail

The dormant season is one of the best times to prune for plant structure. The foliage has fallen, revealing the limbs and form of the plant.

In this workshop, you will learn structural pruning techniques for specimen shrubs, small ornamental trees, and young trees. Learn to maintain the plant’s natural character and create a strong branch structure, eliminating future problems.

Get started at home with self-paced online materials, which will cover key principles, techniques, and vocabulary with interactive e-learning modules and videos. Then get hands-on practice in the field with a trained horticulturist on the grounds of The Morton Arboretum.

This program includes a self-paced component and an in-person session at the Arboretum.

Instructor: Eric Schroeder, horticulturist, The Morton Arboretum

Age: 16 and older


Eric Schroeder, horticulturist, The Morton Arboretum

Eric Schroder’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 Display Horticulture crew at The Morton Arboretum, where he maintained trees and shrubs from 2013 to 2022. Now a certified arborist, Eric aspires to “dendro-centrically” snap his synapses around the resilient nature of trees, and ponder observations with others.

What to Know

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, March 16, 2023, 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.

Program Schedule

Thursday, March 16, 2023, noon Central time: Online materials are available.

Saturday, March 25, 2023, 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.: On-site field session meets in front of Thornhill Education Center


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