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Arborists, also known as tree surgeons, are individuals who study the growth and management of botanical creatures like trees, vines, shrubs, etc. Arboriculturists are medical care providers or doctors for plants and trees, taking care of their well-being and safety, and make sure that they grow healthy.

What does an Arborist do?

A tree surgeon’s job is to increase and improve the life of a tree. His job includes climbing, monitoring, and treating plants and trees. Everyday work for them involves power wires, ropes, and a variety of tree structures. Other than that, these duties include transplanting, planting, pruning, preventing, diagnosing, grazing, and protecting. For this, they need proper training, protective costumes, and a team for support.

Arborists Versus Foresters

It is important that you realize that an arborist is not a forester. A major difference between the two is that tree surgeons are not responsible for forests and arrangements of such sort. They ensure that botanical structures growing inside these forests are happy and healthy. The qualifications and scope are thus different for these separate professions.

Skill Requirements

The most important characteristic of an eligible tree surgeon is his strength and fitness. The candidate should be psychologically, physically, and emotionally fit. As easy as it may sound, the job of an arborist requires hard work and is related to a lot of stress.

Another essential requirement for a tree surgeon is having excellent communication skills and being able to work well in teams. These are important to keep a pleasant work environment as well as be more productive and safer.

Qualification Requirements

There are various ways of becoming a qualified arborist. Academically, you can become a tree surgeon by passing through course done by a university or college, such as Arboriculture. For exposure, targeted training is given, whether at the same universities or separately in training camps. You can also get some experience via an apprenticeship or volunteer work at specific organizations or horticulture groups.

Various parts of the world have different frameworks and authorities who manage this particular field of study. In Australia, the training, education and authorization of tree surgeons are managed by the Australian Qualifications Framework, which provides genuine, valid certification to qualify their arborists. Similarly, in France, a Management of Ornamental Trees certificate is considered the acceptable qualification that allows a tree surgeon to work as a professional. The laws and criteria are different in UK, USA, and Canada as well.

Legal Requirements

No matter how qualified you are, various countries have different laws and legal limitations when it comes to the work of a tree surgeon. These limitations include boundary issues, safety issues, social and cultural considerations, ownership issues, and diseases. Doing researches or procedures on a plant without the consent or permission of its owner is illegal and the accused tree surgeon can get fined or confronted.

Apart from this, Arborists often act as consultants for people who are trying find the value of a tree. Whether the reason behind it is a dispute or insurance claim, an arborist’s word is taken into legal consideration.


After completing the training and education, you can then proceed to work as a professional or specialize in different sub-categories of arboriculture. Specializations include diagnosis and treatment diseases, nutritional deficiencies, climbing, pruning, plant safety, botanical consultations, as well as research.


Many organizations across the globe have become beneficial for professional tree surgeons and represent botanical professionals. These include non-profit organizations such as Arboriculture Australia limited, The Tree Care industry association, and The International Society of Arboriculture. Not only are these organizations doing an excellent job in publicizing and helping those in need of professional help, but they are also providing opportunities and representation for qualified expert tree surgeons.

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