Career Choices In Arboriculture

Arboriculture is the science and art of taking care of trees. Arboriculture is a major branch of horticulture science, the science of cultivating garden plants.

Arboriculture as a science is more relevant to urban and suburban surroundings where air pollution is high and tree population is very less. A considerable amount of tree population is essential in an urban setting as trees purify air by filtering it from air pollutants and cool the environment by regulating heat.

A candidate who aspires to become a professional arborist must have a professional degree or certificate in the field of arboriculture or in a related field such as horticulture or forestry. Popular certification programs include ISA (International Society of Arboriculture) and CTSP (Certified Tree Care Safety Professionals) certifications programs. Personality attributes required for a professional arborist include a genuine love for an outdoor life and natural interest in trees and shrubs.

He should have good observation skills, analytical skills, communication skills and aesthetic sensibilities. Technical skills required by an arborist include his thorough knowledge of various tree species, insect-pests that infest trees and various tree diseases, ability to identify local tree species, knowledge of various tree climbing techniques and tree care machinery, and an understanding of various safety procedures. An aspiring arborist must have basic computer skills and sufficient GPS experience also.

Major career choices available in arboriculture are professional arborists, commercial arborists, city arborists, utility arborists, municipal arborists, tree surgeons, tree care assistants, and arboriculture teachers. Major career responsibilities of an arborist include selection, pruning, repairing, bracing, insect-pest management, weed management, irrigation and fertilization of trees and shrubs. Arborists are also responsible for protecting trees in a construction site, giving advices on tree management in commercial construction sites, and appraising the value of damaged or uprooted trees.

Potential employers of commercial arborists include construction firms, corporate and government agencies while city arborists work for city planners and urban foresters. Municipal arborists work for municipal corporations while utility arborists are employed by utility service providers.

Other potential employers of arborists include landscaping companies, garden centers, tree service companies, public utility service providers, arboriculture nurseries or tree nurseries, arboriculture equipment manufacturers, commercial establishments, education institutions such as community colleges and universities, resorts, tree research organizations, botanical gardens, parks and plantation estates. Annual salary of an experienced professional arborist varies from $40,000 to $44,070.

The National Arborist Association (NAA), USA and International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) provide various professional programs in the field of arboriculture. An arborist certification exam is conducted by these organizations every year and major purpose of this Arborist Certification program is to recognize and honor professionals in the field of arboriculture. Various ISA chapters conduct workshops and seminars regularly for the interested candidates.

More details about various professional courses in arboriculture are available from NAA website www.natlarb.com and ISA website www.isa-arbor.com. A recent study of ISA reveals that there are there are currently more than 12,000 certified arborists in the United States of America. The American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA) also provides various educational programs and professional memberships for aspiring consulting arborists.


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