Includes maintenance and management of trees and woody plants for amenity value including the functions of planting, transplanting, pruning, high level climbing, site planning, after-care and advice, identification and treatment of pests, diseases and disorders of trees, tree surgery activities and tree removal.
In terms of private arborist operators and government-based arborists in Australia (with arborists obviously needed in all but the smallest towns) it's estimated there are about 5,000 people working in the industry with around 300-400 qualified arborists nationally. The estimated number of Tree Clearers in Australia is between 2,500-3,000.
In Victoria there are estimated to be a total of between 1,500-2,000 arborists or tree clearers. Arboriculture Australia Ltd is the peak industry body, formed in about 1997.
The work undertaken by those employed in the arboriculture sector can comprise the following:
- maintenance and management of trees in private and public gardens, parks and streetscapes
- removal and transplanting of large trees
- protection and rehabilitation of trees under structural or physical threat
- provision of advice on tree planting and maintenance
- evaluation and assessment of tree health and monetary value
One of the most challenging and stimulating careers in horticulture involves the care and maintenance of trees in urban environments. Arboriculture work may include tree-climbing, using ropes and harness, and operating from elevated work platforms.
Tree work can be hazardous and safety is a major focus for the arboriculture industry.
Many tree workers are self-employed with a small number of staff. There are also some large arboriculture businesses which are contracted by power authorities to prune trees near power lines.
Many councils also employ horticultural staff or specialist contractors to prune trees along streets and roadsides. Tree workers known as arborists or tree surgeons can undertake or provide specialist advice on tree evaluation, assessment and treatment.
Machinery used for tree work could include chainsaws, chippers and stump grinders and elevated work platforms. At ground level much of the work involves cleaning up and chipping fallen branches and maintaining a safe working zone at the base of the trees.
Work in the arboriculture industry can be divided into levels which also relate to training and qualifications. The titles for those who work at these levels are:
|Level||Job Role||Recommended Qualification|
|Certificate II in Horticulture (Arboriculture)|
|Level 3||Arboriculture Tradesperson||Certificate III in Horticulture (Arboriculture)|
|Arboriculture Supervisor||Certificate III in Horticulture (Arboriculture)|
|Level 5||Arboriculture Manager||Diploma of Horticulture (Arboriculture)|
The arboriculture assistant's job is-for many-the beginning of a career in the arboriculture industry.
Work is carried out under direct supervision and could include:
- providing support for other workers
- operating and maintaining chippers and chainsaws
- watering trees and shrubs
- setting up traffic control signs for barriers
- loading, unloading and maintaining equipment
Arboriculture assistants are not required to work from heights and their main role is that of providing ground support. This can be hazardous as it requires close attention to those working in trees, falling branches and safe moving and disposal of prunings.
Individuals with general horticultural experience are often able to obtain work in the arboriculture industry as an arboriculture assistant.
Priority skills areas for working as an arboriculture assistant include providing work site support for other workers, tree care and maintenance and safe machinery and equipment operation.
An arboriculture worker is likely to be involved in a wide range of tasks under limited supervision.
Work undertaken could include:
- operating chainsaws and elevated work platforms
- performing above ground pruning
- providing ground support to aerial workers
- climbing small trees
- felling small trees
- removing stumps
There are a number of ways to get work as an arboriculture worker. You can progress from an arboriculture assistant as you develop a wider range of skills and knowledge or you can undertake a Level 2 Traineeship which involves formal learning while working on-the-job.
The qualification for arboriculture workers who have either undertaken formal training or learnt their skills on-the-job is the Certificate II in Horticulture (Arboriculture).
Priority skills areas for working as an arboriculture worker include workplace health and safety, chainsaw operation, felling small trees, stump removal, performing above ground pruning and operating arboriculture machinery and equipment.
Arboriculture tradespersons are skilled workers in the arboriculture industry.
Their work could include:
- felling large trees
- tree climbing
- using specialist machinery
- supervising tree planting
- coordinating tree pruning and maintenance programs
- aerial rescue
There are several ways to get work as an arboriculture tradesperson. Most have either progressed from working as arboriculture workers or have completed a Level 3 Traineeship in Arboriculture which involves formal learning while working on-the-job.
The national qualification for an arboriculture tradesperson is the Certificate III in Horticulture (Arboriculture).
Priority skills areas for working as an arboriculture tradesperson include worksite supervision, felling larger trees, complex climbing and tree removal, installing cable and bracing, undertaking aerial rescues and controlling pests and diseases.
An arboriculture supervisor has responsibility for a number of workers and arboriculture activities.
Work undertaken by an arboriculture supervisor could include:
- supervising and training staff
- planning the removal of trees
- developing a tree pruning program
- planning tree planting, transplanting or protection programs
- supervising machinery maintenance and supplies and services
- costing projects and operating a budget
There are a number of ways to get work as an arboriculture supervisor. Most have worked as arboriculture tradespersons and have been engaged as arboriculture supervisors after demonstrating leadership, organisational and instructional skills.
Priority skills areas for working as an arboriculture supervisor include staff supervision and training, planning tree removal, planting and transplanting programs, costing projects and operating a budget.
An arboriculture manager is likely to have significant responsibilities in managing business activities. Arboriculture Managers may operate a small business or be employed by larger organisations.
The responsibilities cold include:
- preparing estimates, quotes and tenders
- negotiating with clients and others
- assessing trees
- planning tree reduction and removal
- preparing and monitoring budgets and financial reports
- administrating and managing business operations
- providing specialist advice on plants, products and treatments
To work at this level you will need a high degree of business acumen, leadership skills and knowledge about tree work.
To obtain a Diploma of Horticulture (Arboriculture) you must demonstrate that you possess the required knowledge and skills and that you can apply your knowledge to accepted industry standards.
Priority skills areas for working as an arboriculture business manager include preparing estimates, assessing trees, planning tree reduction and removal and preparing and monitoring budgets and financial reports.
Arboriculture Business Manager
Arboriculture business managers are often owners or principal manages of large arboriculture businesses. They are responsible for ensuring that the arboriculture business is successfully operated.
The responsibilities of this position could include:
- developing staff training plans
- developing a business plan
- promoting the business
- managing human resources
- managing physical resources
- marketing products and services
- managing business capital
Specialist horticulture business training programs are available on a full time or part time basis in most states through Open Learning.
Priority skills areas for working as an arboriculture business manager include developing business plans, managing human and physical resources, managing business capital and marketing and promotion.