A tree care professional - or arborist - is a person trained to perform the special practices related to safe, efficient tree care. Arborists usually work on a tree crew made of 2-4 arborists or arborist trainees. Many arborists climb the trees they are working on, but many do not. There are a number of tree care maintenance tasks that are accomplished at ground level, and some are accomplished below ground.
Tree care involves the use of many varied skills. The following is a short list of the types of tree care activities an arborist might provide:
- Repairing storm damage
- Plant health care
- Tree protection during construction
- Installing lightning protection or support systems
- Controlling pests
- Removing hazardous trees
- Root zone soil management
Tree crews working as a unit enjoy the opportunity to perform a wide-range of jobs throughout the workday instead of the same chore over and over again.
In a typical day they might be asked to complete any or all of the following tasks:
• Inspect trees for hazards or health problems
• Talk with homeowners about their trees
• Climb trees to rig and lower large limbs, install support systems, etc
• Assist other climbers in rigging and removing limbs and tree sections
• Flag vehicular and pedestrian traffic
• Limb and buck trees on the ground
• Operate a chipper, aerial lift or other specialized equipment
• Transplant large trees
Tree work requires physical labor. Tree workers must complete various physical tasks throughout the workday without jeopardizing their own safety or the safety of others.
Tree workers should meet these basic physical requirements:
• Ability to lift relatively heavy loads
• Physical mobility for work operations
• Stamina to perform a full day’s labor, every day of the week
• Ability to work long hours
• Ability to work in various weather conditions
• Ability to operate equipment, work safely, and be exposed to the weather without being impaired
Provide public safety
Arborists protect the public by removing hazardous limbs and trees. Arborists also provide utility line-clearance to limit the possibility of electrocutions and power failures caused when trees contact conductors.
Safety is First
Tree care crews work as teams to ensure a safe workday for all. Being a part of a company and tree care crew teaches qualified arborist trainees how to work safely and efficiently. Safety is the most important portion of this job. It is the corner-stone of our profession.
Find a Professional
Need to find a professional tree care company in your area, but don't know where to start? Use the Tree Care Industry Association's ZIP Code Search tool to find quality service in your neighborhood.
Note: This post was adapted from the Tree Care Apprentice module of TCIA’s Tree Care Academy.