Arborist Kaitiaki Rākau

Arborists plant and remove trees, prune branches and treat disease.

Arborists may do some or all of the following:

  • identify, inspect, maintain, prune, plant and move trees
  • identify and remove hazards created by trees
  • assess trees for potential risks
  • use and maintain abseiling equipment to climb trees
  • operate EWPs (elevated work platforms), chippers, chainsaws and trucks
  • give advice on trees suitable for planting or removal, and tree care
  • give advice on treatments for pests and diseases
  • plan and carry out pest and disease management.

Physical Requirements

Arborists need to have excellent fitness and must be strong to lift trees and branches. Arborists must be comfortable working at heights.

They should also have good balance, hand-eye co-ordination, hearing and eyesight (with or without corrective lenses).

Useful Experience

Useful experience for arborists includes:

  • horticulture or gardening work
  • climbing with ropes 
  • customer service
  • working at heights.

Personal Qualities

Arborists need to be:

  • practical 
  • able to follow and give clear instructions
  • able to keep calm in risky situations
  • good at communicating with a wide range of people
  • alert and observant, with an eye for detail
  • safety conscious and responsible
  • good at planning and organising.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for arborists includes:

  • horticulture or gardening work
  • climbing with ropes 
  • customer service
  • working at heights.

Subject Recommendations

A minimum of three years of secondary education is recommended. Useful subjects include agriculture and horticulture, and biology.

Year 11 and 12 students can learn more about the horticulture industry, and study towards a National Certificate in Agriculture or Horticulture (Level 1 or 2), with a Trades Academy.

Year 12 and 13 students can learn more about the horticulture industry, and gain NCEA unit standards, through the Primary ITO Gateway programme.

Arborists can earn around $19-$22 per hour per year.

Chances of getting a job as a Arborist are good due to a shortage of people interested in this type of work.

Arborists may progress to set up their own arboriculture business, or move into supervisory or management roles.

Arborists may also progress to become consultants on tree disease and risk management, or on planning trees for public spaces.

Arborists may specialise in:

  • climbing – using equipment to climb and prune trees
  • diagnostics – identifying and treating tree diseases
  • EWP operation – using an elevated work platform to prune trees
  • utility arboriculture – pruning and clearing trees near power lines or cables.
Arborist

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