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Effective Report Writing: Guidance for Arborists and Urban Foresters

January 24 @ 9:00 am - 3:15 pm
Instructor: Dr. Julian Dunster CEUs: 5.0 ALMTU / 5.0 B-M

Writing is a critical part of communication. If the reader cannot understand what you are telling them, how do you expect them to proceed?  In this class we will review how to write effectively. We will work on the writing styles needed to develop or respond to a request for proposal, as well as site memos, field reports, letter and formal reports with each one tailored to their intended use. The report themes will focus on risk assessment, construction sites, and site memos in general.

This is an interactive course and participants will need to bring their own laptop computer with the ability to use Microsoft Word software. It should be fully charged and have a USB port to upload files provided by the instructor via a USB drive.

Throughout the day the class will work on their laptops with specific writing exercises as well as editing and writing sample reports. In the afternoon we will examine submitted or other sample reports, and critique them as a group to discuss how they might be improved.


Location: Surrey Nature Centre, 14225 Green Timbers Way, Surrey, BC, V3T 0J2

9:00am – 10:00am, Introduction

  • The basics for any report: Purpose, Use, Structure, Content, Grammar, Style
  • Ex #1. Read Review

10:00am – 10:15am, Break

10:15am – 11:00am, Developing Reports: the Process and the Product

  • 1 - Develop email for RFQ
  • 2 - Develop RFQ
  • 3 - Write memo on one aspect

11:00am – 11:15am, Break

11:15am – 12:00pm

  • Developing the content and matching that to the appropriate report format - letter vs. formal report.
  • 4 - Review sample data - layout report content

12:00pm – 12:30pm, Lunch

12:30pm – 1:30pm

  • 5 - Write Letter report based on observations
  • 6 - Write Formal report based on observations

1:30pm – 1:45pm, Break

1:45pm – 2:45pm

  • 7 - Review sample reports, critique to discuss format, style, content.

2:45pm – 3:15pm, Wrap Up

Before the Workshop

You are encouraged to send a report of yours to the instructor for review as part of the afternoon group discussion. This is a powerful way to learn about your own writing skills, and 2 or 3 professional reports will be accepted. Please send all reports in word format to Julian Dunster, jd@dunster.ca at least two weeks prior to the workshop.


Dr. Julian Dunster has unique academic and professional qualifications. He is a Registered Consulting Arborist, a Registered Professional Forester, and a Registered Professional Planner, and in addition to two degrees in forestry, he holds a Doctorate in Regional Planning and Resource Development. Julian has over thirty years of hands on experience from assignments all over the world, and his innovative work has been recognized with many awards. Julian uses these qualifications and expertise to provide you with practical, science based information, combined with a pragmatic understanding of what will or will not work well.

Refund Policy

  • Cancellations made at least 10 days prior to the event will be refunded at 100%.
  • Cancellations made within 5-9 days of the event will be refunded at 75%.
  • Cancellations made within 1-4 days of the event will be refunded at 50%.
  • Refunds will not be made available for no-shows.

Late Registration

  • Participants are expected to enroll prior to the registration deadline.
  • Participants can register at the door of the event only if space is available. Individuals will need to pack their own lunch.
  • Late registration is possible on a space available basis. You can contact our office at (800) 335-4391. There may, or may not be, room available for those who show up without registering ahead of time for the workshop. We encourage you to register for the workshop in advance.

Allied Professionals are members of allied organizations. See our list of qualifying organizations.


Surrey Nature Centre
14225 Green Timbers Way
Surrey, British Columbia V3T 0J2 Canada
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