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Community Tree Management Institute

Wisconsin Community Tree Management Institute (CTMI) is a unique training experience designed for municipal staff with tree management responsibilities, but without a strong background in urban forestry. The program is ideal for staff who spend just part of their time dealing with trees.

CTMI consists of approximately 38 instruction hours and requires students to complete an out-of-classroom project (three two-day sessions). This program is typically offered every three years. Additionally, a CTMI graduate workshop may be offered in the off years of the regular institute.

View the 2025-2026 CTMI Brochure for more information.


Students develop practical knowledge and skills essential for effective management of municipal tree programs. The course focuses heavily on the management side, rather than the technical side, of municipal tree programs.

Participants also gain:

  • enhanced leadership ability;
  • increased awareness and access to resources; and
  • a support network of peers in other communities.

This intensive, interactive training program requires personal commitment, supervisory approval and community support. The payoff is an increased return on investment in the community’s green infrastructure.


CTMI instructors include experienced urban forestry professionals from the public and private sectors, urban forestry professors, CTMI graduates, Wisconsin DNR staff and other program partners.


Come to CTMI prepared to be challenged and inspired. CTMI offers a variety of learning formats in an informal, small-group atmosphere. Instruction includes small-group exercises, large-group discussion, informal networking and field tours. The following themes and subjects are illustrative of the CTMI curriculum.

  • Principles of Community Forestry Program Leadership
    • Improving community livability through trees
    • Understanding and promoting tree benefits
    • Connecting trees with other local governance issues
  • Elements of Successful Community Forestry Programs
    • Achieving tree goals through ordinances
    • Tree inventories and management plans
  • Cultivating Community Awareness and Support
    • Tour a successful municipal forestry program
  • Technical Foundations of Healthy Community Forests
    • How trees work
    • Tree identification, selection and care principles
    • Tree risk evaluation and management
    • Diagnosing tree health problems
  • Contemporary Community Forestry Issues
    • Field operations and efficiencies
    • Trees and construction/infrastructure conflicts
    • Budgeting and financing
    • Contracting
    • Tree canopy as infrastructure
    • Solving community problems with trees
  • Sustaining a Successful Program Through Partnerships
    • Identifying and working cooperatively with partners
    • Organizational dynamics and effectiveness

What CTMI graduates are saying

"CTMI was extremely beneficial and will be the cornerstone of our urban forestry program."

"This is the first forestry training I’ve been to where it’s been just for people like me."

"I learned that there is a lot more to this forestry stuff than just trees."

"My co-worker was impressed at how much I learned."

"We all need to learn that our trees are constantly working for us, being there and working for us 24/7. They improve our quality of life and the environment."