So You Want to Be an. Arboriculturist

Article excerpt

WHAT does a career as an arboriculturist involve?

Arboriculturists make sure that trees in amenity and conservation areas are managed, maintained and kept in a safe condition.

They may also be known as consultant arboriculturists, arboricultural officers or tree officers.

As an arboriculturist your tasks would include carrying out detailed surveys of sites to record the number of trees and their condition.

You would need to decide if work such as pruning, lopping, planting or transplanting needs to be done and make sure that planning requests meet legislation, and preservation orders are not broken.

You would advise on the selection of new trees depending on soil conditions, situation and visual qualities and estimate costs for the work to be carried out, preparing contract specifications and supervising contracts.

You may also have to respond to complaints about individual trees, for example, if they have become dangerous or are blocking out light, and deal with property issues or insurance claims, for instance, if a fallen tree has caused damage.

You would also consult with, and advise, the public, council departments, private companies, voluntary organisations or conservation groups, and attend or speak at public meetings.

What personal skills do you need?

You must be physically fit with a head for heights and prepared to work outside in all weathers, sometimes climbing trees to carry out inspections.

You must also be interested in conservation and the environment with a good knowledge of tree biology and pathology and an understanding of civil engineering and construction techniques.

You also need to have good communication skills with the ability to read plans and maps.

What training do you need?

You can become an arboriculturist by getting a degree, foundation degree or BTEC HND in subjects such as arboriculture, arboriculture and urban forestry, forestry and woodland management, or you can gain a mixture of experience and a professional qualification. …