Advanced Training – UF Domain – Tree Risk Management in Urban Environments Module

Course Description

This workshop covers two days and 8 hours of instruction. The course will be divided between time in the class and field. The primary focus of discussion will be centered on providing participants with a high level of competency in understanding tree biology; tree mechanics; the different forces applied to trees; structural defects and the interaction of all factors on determining failure potential. An additional focus will be on developing achievable and defensible tree risk management strategies. Subject matter was developed for both municipal foresters and private sector arborists in mind. Numerous thought-provoking failure and analysis demonstrations have been created specifically for this advanced course.

Recommended Reading

  • ISA Best Management Practices-Tree Risk Assessment, Thomas Smiley et al, 2017 
  • ANSI A300.9 Standard: Tree Risk Assessment, Tree Care Industry Association, 2017 

Equipment Required
Field clothing (raingear, if necessary), notepad and pencil (or erasable pen) 

Equipment Provided
DBH tape, rubber mallet, binoculars, risk assessment sheets

Day One

This one-day course will focus on assessing and managing tree risk in the urban environment. Please note that this class is not meant to be a surrogate for the TRAQ course and does not result in a qualification or certification to assess risk. It is an in-depth study that is meant to either supplement TRAQ or provide a more thorough understanding of risk assessment concepts. This course is not recommended for those with no risk assessment background.

We will begin by reviewing the TRAQ methodology and terminology, as well as updates that may have occurred in the past several years. From there, we will discuss tree biology and biomechanics, and both standard as well as more exotic means of tree and tree part failure. We will then move into the field to perform some risk assessment activities and work through some sample scenarios.

The class will then return to the classroom, where we will work on creating a viable Risk Assessment report and discuss what a risk management policy should look like for a variety of organizations.


Upon completion of the course, attendees should be able to understand fairly complex risk assessment scenarios, as well as identify the correct fieldwork and reporting avenues to document such risk. In addition, attendees should feel comfortable communicating with clients and the public about tree risk topics and be able to write an effective strategy and report.