What Does It Take To Become A Professional Tree
Whether they are helping to re-stablish forests after disaster, restoring an urban tree canopy or simply pruning the garden a professional tree surgeon will have the right skills and equipment to do the job. Their responsibilities are to identify hazards, carry out work on trees including planting, felling and pruning as well as advising on maintenance and carrying out inspections at different heights using equipment such as a rope and harness or a mobile elevated work platform.
Typically they will be called in after an arborist or other landscaping professional diagnoses the problem with a tree and have recommended further action, and while some people may choose to do their own trimming, pruning and stump grinding it is often much easier and safer for a homeowner to call a tree surgeon instead. They are the ones who can do the heavy lifting, operate machinery and utilise dangerous power tools to safely complete a project and insure safety.
This is a physically demanding profession as they need to be able to climb up and down trees, use large equipment at significant heights and have the strength to do this on a daily basis. It is also important that they keep up to date with the latest standards and legislation, so continuing professional development courses are a must.
Being a tree surgeon is very rewarding and exciting, especially when it comes to working with big old specimens of trees and helping them return to health and to their former glory. This is the type of role that you will never get bored doing as each day brings something new and different and the opportunity to see how your efforts make a real difference to people’s lives, to wildlife and to the environment as a whole.
For some, however, it may not be for them and being a tree surgeon will require significant commitment in terms of time and energy as it can involve travelling to different sites and working away from home at unsociable hours. It is also necessary to be self-motivated as if there is a job to be done it will need to be completed regardless of weather conditions.
If you are unsure about whether this is the right career for you there are plenty of opportunities to gain practical experience through volunteer work with charities, conservation organisations and horticultural groups. This will give you a feel for what is involved, how the industry operates and will help you develop the right skills and confidence. Membership of a professional body is also a good idea, as they will offer support with training and networking events. They will be a vital source of information and advice on all aspects of the industry. They can also assist with gaining the qualifications and certification needed to become a qualified tree surgeon. There are different levels of membership available from the Arboricultural Association to The Royal Forestry Society, each with its own benefits.