Tara Nathanson, a sophomore urban forestry major, recently completed a two-month internship with Tree Shepherds, a tree care services and arboriculture consulting firm owned by ATCOFA alumnus Scott Geer. Nathanson shared a bit of her experience with us through this Q&A.
What where your duties as an intern?
I started out with the internship doing plant health care specialist duties, which included mostly tree fertilization and performing root flares on distressed trees. I also served as a groundman for the crew. Through this job, I helped the crew with pruning, staging branches, cleaning up sites and tree removals. During tree removals, I would help lower large branches with ropes and pull parts of trees away from things to make sure nothing on the property was damaged. I also went on consultations, assessments, and property tree surveys with Scott.
How has this experience benefitted your undergraduate career?
This experience has helped make my interest in trees and the urban environment more concrete. I have learned so much from this hands on experience, and it makes me eager to continue to learn more as a student in the forestry program.
What was your favorite aspect of the internship?
My favorite part about the internship was being able to go out and experience the customer consulting process with Scott. At every consultation, it was like we were really doctors to the customer’s trees - trying to figure out what was causing them to be in distress and then coming up with a solution to heal the tree. Most customers are very attached to their trees, and it was fulfilling to help them keep the tree that they love alive and in good shape. I learned so much from Scott about how delicate and complex trees really are.