What Exactly Does an Arborist Do?

July 28, 2021 11:04 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Have you been considering a change in vocation? Arborist careers can be highly rewarding for those who like to spend time outside and enjoy nature.

An arborist, also known colloquially as a tree trimmer or tree pruner, is a professional who cares for trees, cultivating and managing their growth and repairing them when they’re damaged. They may be called in to handle individual trees on private property, or they may handle large-scale growths, such as parks and forests.

Here’s a quick overview of what you can expect from arborist jobs.


Arborists are tasked with monitoring the health of trees and providing the necessary treatment and maintenance to ensure a long lifespan. In some cases, they might be required to climb trees (with special equipment) to get to the canopy or access specific branches. This means a person who works as an arborist must be comfortable with heights and climbing.

Arborists must stay on top of developments in invasive species in the area, and must be knowledgeable in the spread of these species and other hazards to trees. In addition to maintaining existing trees, they may also be called in to plant trees to promote additional growth in areas, or as part of landscaping projects.

Expect to spend a lot of time outdoors, especially throughout the spring, summer and fall.

Specific duties you may find in an arborist job description include:

  • Removing trees and clearing and preparing land to assist with reforestation
  • Climbing trees with ropes and harnesses to remove dead, dying, diseased or damaged branches
  • Driving trucks to take forestry equipment from one place to another
  • Cutting, stacking, chipping and transporting brush, stumps, logs and other forest debris with special equipment
  • Performing various regular tree maintenance duties, such as hazard reduction pruning, limb removal, clearance pruning for buildings and utilities, structural pruning of young trees and other general tree care
  • Answering questions asked by the public about tree care
  • Cutting grass and tall weeds
  • Performing basic maintenance on all tools and equipment used in tree care work


A formal education at a post-secondary institution is usually not required for arborists, though some employers might like to see a good mix of education and experience in arboriculture. Some arborists may have a bachelor’s degree in forestry or a similar field. There are also special certifications available through the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) that can add to your qualifications and knowledge of the field. These certifications are geared toward different aspects of forestry and arboriculture.

Some companies might require you to have additional licenses, such as a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or standard driver’s license, depending on the kind of vehicles you will be driving from job site to job site.

Want to know more about what it takes to become an arborist and what’s involved in these types of positions? Contact BBD Tree Service today about our available arborist jobs and we will be happy to answer any questions you have. We look forward to speaking with you soon!

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