Working as an arborist is a lot more than just cutting branches and planting trees. Learn more about this very skilled landscaping job like what they do and how you can become one.

What An Arborist Does

Arborists are hired to give specialized care for trees, shrubs, and other plants in outside spaces. That includes tasks such as:

Trimming and pruning trees so they don’t interfere with roads, walkways, utilities, or power lines. This also includes clearing away dead leaves and branches. If a tree is really in the way, arborists will remove them entirely.

Maintaining the health and appearance of trees using their knowledge about different types of trees and how to care for them. That care includes watering and spraying them down with pesticides as well as fertilizing the soil.

Find and treat disease by regularly inspecting trees for fungal infections or damaging insects. They collect samples and send them to labs for evaluation. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, arborists cure the tree or remove it if the damage is too extensive.

Give clients advice on selecting, planting, and caring for trees. Since arborists are the experts in this area, they answer any questions customers have while shopping around for new plants to put in their backyards.

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How to Become an Arborist

Because this job is highly specialized, you’ll need to get a bachelor’s degree. Many colleges offer majors in arboriculture that teaches you everything you need to know about being an arborist. You’ll learn about different trees, shrubs, and other woody plants from how they grow to diagnosing damage and disease. These programs also teach safety practices needed to do things like climbing trees and cutting down trees. After getting your degree and some experience in the field, it’s a great idea to get certified by an accredited organization like the International Society of Arboriculture. Doing so can help you advance even further in your career and increase your salary.

It may not be enough to just know how to do the job of an arborist. There are certain soft skills you need to be successful. One of them is being physically fit. The job calls for a lot of standing, climbing, and carrying heavy equipment and branches. Good hand-eye coordination is needed to operate tools like chippers and chainsaws. Attention to detail and problem-solving is also a great soft skills to have.

Where Do Arborists Work?

Now that you know what arborists do and what it takes to become one, you may ask where can you find work? Landscaping companies like garden centers, nurseries, tree services, and landscape architecture firms are always hiring arborists. Other businesses that need these type of landscape workers include universities and private housing complexes. Arborists may also work at government agencies like public utilities or city parks.


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