Many people ask what an arborist is, what does it take to become one and what they do. There is a huge difference between arborists and gardeners or even landscapers. Arborists are fully qualified in all aspects or Arboriculture, which is the cultivation, management, and study of individual trees, shrubs, vines, and other perennial woody plants. This is an extremely scientific area of study that has enormous practical applications in the health, safety, and where possible preservation of trees.
Qualification takes averagely 2 years but there are multiple certificates for Arborists to gain, covering power line vegetation control, climbing, tree skills and general arboriculture. Most of the higher certificates have entry requirements including a suitability review, years of industry experience, a task participation and medical checklist and a language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) evaluation among others.
As you can see, it’s not an easy field to become an expert in. Whilst some of the qualifications are focused on industrial applications, most are aimed at domestic and businesses tree care.
Most of what qualified arborists do involves speciality tree care, but this also covers large shrubs and vines. Tree care can be seen as restoring damaged trees back to health, planting new ones, maintaining them and the removal of dead or diseased trees safely.
As there are so many trees, this is obviously a very large area of expertise in itself, just tree health means expert knowledge of things like insects, fungus and chemicals like pesticides and fertilisers as well as knowing what to use on which tree and when. Another thing arborists do is take care of local legal regulations and knowledge of specialist equipment like stump grinders, cranes, cherry pickers as well as implementing Australia’s mandatory health and safety procedures. As you can see, when you are dealing with an arborist, you are dealing with an expert.
First and foremost you must have a passion for all things trees! That thirst for knowledge never ends and makes your job a passion or a hobby rather than a chore. The world of nature and science is ever evolving in our understanding of how trees work and how they are evolving, then applying that to practical use in the field becomes an obsession.
On top of that you also need several other traits that are often required in business, like good communication skills, a great problem solver, ability to write reports in an office and the ability to train and improve your staff.
Now you can see why when dealing with an Arborist you aren’t dealing with a gardener or landscaper but an expert who lives and breathes trees so don’t hesitate to utilise their expert services.