Trees and Chainsaws: Their Care and Use


Embrace your inner lumberjack!

From 10 am until 4 pm Saturday

$60 - $120 sliding scale (explanation below)

Unfortunately, this class has been cancelled due to a family emergency. Below is the full class description for your reference.

Quick quiz! Do you...

  • Own a chainsaw, but you aren’t sure how to sharpen it, maintain it, or use it safely or effectively?
  • Want to learn chainsaw and tree-felling tips and tricks from an expert?
  • Have trees on your property you want to manage and keep healthy?
  • Heat with wood? Do you want to be more efficient at obtaining it?

If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, this class is for you! Join us as a certified arborist with 35 years experience in the field shares some of his vast knowledge and skills.

We’ll start by learning about trees: how to identify them, how they respond to damage and disease, and how to evaluate, fertilize, and prune the trees in your yard. Next we’ll focus on chainsaws. Most importantly, we’ll talk about safety. Chainsaws have the potential to be incredibly dangerous, so we’ll discuss risk factors and safety best practices. Then we’ll learn how to sharpen and maintain chainsaws, and how to use them effectively, even for difficult or tricky cuts. After that, we’ll head into the woods and cover all the steps involved in safely felling trees, including limbing and bucking dropped trees. Finally, we’ll talk about firewood. We’ll learn about maul and axe use, care, and safety. Then we’ll discuss tips and tricks for splitting, moving, stacking, and seasoning firewood.

IMPORTANT NOTE: For safety and liability reasons, students in this class will not handle running chainsaws or participate in the felling of trees. Safe and effective chainsaw use and tree felling will be thoroughly explained and demonstrated using multiple examples, strategies, and situations, but all operations involving running chainsaws and cutting down trees will be done by instructors only.

About the instructor: Scott Johnston of Johnston Tree Care has been a full-time professional arborist since 1981. He was certified by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) in 1992 (the year the ISA launched its certification program). Scott has served on the board of the ISA and the board of the Virginia State Arboretum’s Collection Care Committee. He is certified to teach aerial rescue classes for arborists, and he has competed in and judged regional tree climbing competitions. He has helped maintain and restore historic “sentinel” trees at numerous national trust properties. His work routinely involves climbing, cutting, and dropping large trees, some over one hundred feet high with trunks at least five feet in diameter and individual sections weighing over 15,000 pounds.

WHAT IS A SLIDING SCALE? In order to make our classes available to a broad and diverse audience, we use a sliding scale payment model, which means YOU CHOOSE how much to pay, within a given range. Paying lower in the scale is like receiving a scholarship. Paying higher in the scale helps cover the complete course costs. You can pay MORE than the high end of the scale: this “extra donation” helps make our sliding scale possible. Thank you for considering your situation and resources carefully as you make your decision!


See Complete Class Schedule