An arborist is a professional who cares for trees and other woody plants by pruning, fertilizing, monitoring for insects and diseases, consulting on tree related issues, and occasionally planting, transplanting and removing trees.
There are number of different types of work for arborists:
Commercial arborists, plant, prune, cable, fertilize, inspect, protect during construction, reduce impacts of pest damage, and remove trees. Potential employers include: commercial tree service companies
Municipal, or “urban” foresters manage trees and green spaces owned by cities. This aspect of arboriculture deals mainly with trees along streets and boulevards, city parks and around public buildings. Urban foresters provide services similar to those provided by commercial arborists but also develop and enforce tree ordinances. Potential employers include: government agencies
Utility arboriculture is more than just electrical line clearance to prevent power outages. It also involves planning tree maintenance, awarding contracts, and inspecting the work performed. Utility arborists work with property owners to teach them about the need for proper tree maintenance near utility lines. They also advise customers on tree species that are suitable for planting near power lines. Potential employers include: public utility companies
Consulting arborists provide clients with information on diagnosing plant health, appraising plants for value, and other issues. As a consulting arborist, you may be contracted by homeowners, insurance companies, municipalities, lawyers, planners, developers, landscape architects, or others. Potential employers include:
There are opportunities in many aspects of arboricultural research. Universities, arboreta, and larger companies are the main employers of tree care researchers.
Potential employers include:
- commercial tree service companies
- public utility companies
- government agencies
- landscape maintenance firms, nurseries or garden centers
- arboriculture equipment or chemical manufacturers
- universities, community colleges or Extension Services
- arboreta and botanical gardens
- landscape architecture firms
- private estates or complexes
- and more!
To learn more about starting, or advancing, your career in arboriculture, review TCIA’s resources below:
Post-Secondary Arboriculture & Forestry Programs
College and university programs that focus on arboriculture, urban forestry or forestry feature the coursework and experience that turn out strong employees that are better prepared to move ahead in their careers. Many companies are eager to hire employees with an academic background, as well as experience in internships and on campus. These employees offer the promise that they will someday grow into supervisory roles, sales jobs, or even start their own companies.