Trees Specialist

Hiring Organization: Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
Employment type: Full-Time
Job Location: Philadelphia, PA
Application Deadline: October 23, 2021


The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) plays an essential role in the vitality of the Philadelphia region by creating healthier living environments, increasing access to fresh food, growing economic opportunity, and building deeper social connections between people. PHS Healthy Neighborhoods team delivers this impact through comprehensive greening and engagement initiatives in more than 250 neighborhoods. Together with community partners, PHS carefully designs projects that build on neighborhood strengths and aspirations to use greening to improve the environment, health, and quality of life in their communities. To increase a healthy, diverse, and resilient tree canopy in southeastern Pennsylvania, PHS educates residents on tree care and facilitates volunteer tree planting and stewardship. PHS also connects partner organizations with funding and support needed to increase tree cover in riparian habitats across the region. The Trees Specialist will build capacity for the Trees Team through centralized data management, systems improvements, operational support, and outreach efforts to prioritize equity in our tree planting activities, with a special focus in the suburban counties.



General Data Management– Build capacity for Trees Team via excellence in data management. Update data management systems to ease user experience for staff and volunteers. Create and maintain meticulous records to support all functions of the Tree team. Lead training and support for volunteer/staff users of the PHS Urban Forest Cloud (a database mapping tool).

Tree Application Processing & Management-  Support the collection and processing of tree planting applications and invoices for Tree Tenders groups. Support communication with Tree Tender groups and applicants to process and confirm tree applications. Ensure all paperwork and data is accurate, kept up-to-date and changes communicated. Implement changes to systems to streamline efforts for staff and volunteers.

Tree Supply Procurement and Distribution

Support the distribution of bare root trees and supplies to Tree Tenders groups twice a year.

Tree Giveaway Events and Programs

Manage logistics for tree giveaways; work with partners to secure plant material, promote giveaways, and promote proper tree care and planting by recipients.

Tree Health and Stewardship Monitoring – Support PHS tree monitoring efforts and data management. Work with staff and volunteers to collect data related to the survival rate, growth, stewardship and health of trees planted through PHS programs. 

Tree Pit Cut Surveys– Perform field surveys on properties needing concrete cuts for the creation of tree pits. Ensure project tracking and site data are kept up to date and integrated with planting records.

Outreach and Education

Conduct outreach and engagement with residents, municipal governments, tree commissions, nonprofit, and civic groups, and support Trees Program Manager in establishment of new Tree Tenders groups.

Support Tree Tenders Program Manager to onboard new Tree Tenders groups and start them actively planning tree plantings in their communities. Ensure contact info and activity records for active Tree Tenders groups are up to date.

Support and facilitate existing and new tree educational programs

Develop Tree Tenders communications and information resources, including periodic email updates/announcements and curation of a Tree Tenders Info Hub.

Work with Trees Team to develop new strategies for identifying and promoting Tree Tenders programming within priority neighborhoods.

Grant Management

Assist with processing and management of TreeVitalize Watershed grant applications. Provide administrative support to Trees Team and Watershed Coordinators in grant review process and collect and maintain records of all grantee projects. 

Work with Finance Team and Regional Watershed Coordinators to process TreeVitalize Watershed grantees’ reimbursement paperwork and ensure timely payments and reporting. 


Support Trees Team in compiling quantitative and narrative reports of proposed and completed deliverables, including required grant reporting. 


Education / years & type of experience: Bachelor’s Degree in related field or equivalent work experience. At least 1 year of work experience.

Certifications, Licenses, Credentials: 

  • Valid driver’s license and clean, safe driving record

Baseline Knowledge & Skills:

  • Highly proficient with basic computer software, including Microsoft Office (especially Excel) and Google Maps 
  • Highly proficient with data entry and management 
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills across constituencies, including and not limited to team members, program participants, and community residents
  • Experience in facilitation, community organizing and training skills with diverse groups across race, culture, language, class and urban/rural divides
  • Passion for community-led greening 
  • Experience working with volunteers and organizing community service projects
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects while adhering to deadlines
  • Knowledge of arboriculture, particularly urban forestry, preferred; ISA arborist certification or willingness to obtain certification, a plus 
  • Familiarity with the Philadelphia area and surrounding counties and comfort traveling throughout the city and region a plus 
  • Familiarity with Pennsylvania municipal government and citizen decision-making bodies,  such as Shade Tree Commissions and Environmental Advisory Councils a plus
  • Experience with GIS preferred but not required
  • Knowledge of environmental justice and equity issues, a plus
  • Spanish language a plus. 


  • Ability to prioritize tasks and meet deadlines with a shifting workload in a fast-paced environment
  • High-level attention to detail
  • Excellent collaborative and relationship building skills
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects while adhering to deadlines 
  • Ability to communicate effectively with diverse audiences and constituencies
  • Ability to work outside under various weather conditions and occasionally work on some weekends and weeknights