Arborist – it’s not a profession you come across often in daily life. And if you don’t know what an arborist does, you’re not alone (and no, they don’t build arbours!). Arborists actually have a lot to do with trees – in fact, you might consider them to be ‘tree doctors’. However, arborists do a lot more than just treat sick trees. They’re trained and experienced professionals who carry out a wide range of services that relate to trees and other woody plants.
What arborists do
Arborists are tree professionals and provide expert advice on all aspects of tree care, growth and development. The work of an arborist is wide-ranging, and includes planting, pruning, shaping, treating and removing trees (as well as other types of plants, bushes and hedges) to ensure their health, safety and aesthetic appeal.
Specifically, an arborist might carry out any of the following tasks on a typical day:
- Assessing trees to determine their health and condition
- Diagnosing diseases and advising about treatment
- Providing necessary treatment to unhealthy trees
- Planting and transplanting trees (including choosing the appropriate location for the tree species and providing the care and maintenance for the tree to thrive in its new location)
- Removing trees that can’t be allowed to remain where they are (for example, trees which are damaged or have become a risk to people or property)
- Managing and pruning trees (due to storm damage, decay, disease, safety or for aesthetic reasons)
- Removing and grinding stumps
- Assessing sites
- Identifying plant and tree species
- Assessing hazards and risks
- Trimming and shaping hedges
- Drafting tree reports
- Carrying out tasks related to preservation and sustainability
- Recommending trees for planting
A good arborist needs to be an expert in all aspects of tree care and management, and to have good manual handling skills as well. Arborists help improve and prolong the life of trees, usually in urban settings, by ensuring they are healthy and structurally stable.
Where do arborists work?
While arborists may spend a small amount of time at a desk doing planning or documentation, their office is generally outdoors, surrounded by trees, plants and greenery. And oftentimes they’re actually up a tree! They can carry out their duties in cities, towns, plantations, commercial premises, private homes – pretty much anywhere people live, work and grow trees.
What training do arborists need?
To be a fully qualified arborist, you will need to complete a Certificate III in Arboriculture, covering tree maintenance, pruning, tree climbing, safe tree felling, preparing and applying chemicals and installing cabling and bracing. Many arborists will complete a Diploma of Arboriculture as well, to extend their skills. And some arborists also complete a degree in horticulture, although this is not a prerequisite for working as an arborist. Beginner arborists will also usually get on-the-job training by working alongside a qualified arborist for a period of time.
Is it dangerous to be an arborist?
Being an arborist certainly comes with its occupational hazards, and can sometimes be risky. Arboriculture involves unstable positions, heights, climbing, sharp equipment and heavy machinery, and there’s also the risk of falling from a tree or having a tree or object fall on you. Arborists need to take a lot of precautions when carrying out their work, but their in-depth training allows them to perform their tree care tasks safely and competently.
Given its risky nature, it’s best to always use a qualified arboriculture specialist when carrying out any kind of tree care work. As well, specialist equipment is required for many arboriculture tasks, which most people don’t have access to. There’s much less danger involved when expert professionals carry out the tasks, as they have been thoroughly trained to minimise risks and perform these tasks correctly and safely.
When would I need an arborist?
You might need the services of an arborist in any of the following situations:
- Your tree looks sick
- Your tree has grown too big and is becoming a problem
- You have overhanging branches causing a problem
- You need a tree pruned
- You need a tree removed
- You need a tree stump removed
- You need advice on what type of tree would be best to plant
- You want trees on your property assessed
Where can I find a qualified arborist?
If you’re in any of the above situations, you need the help of a professional arborist.
Here at Heritage Tree Care, our expert arborists are all fully trained, qualified and experienced, and can provide the best possible care for your tree and solutions to your problems. We are the arboriculture specialists in Brisbane and the surrounding areas and strive to be the provider of choice for the Brisbane arboriculture industry through our reliability, safe work practices and high-quality outcomes.
If you’re looking for a quality arborist in Brisbane and surrounds, look no further than Heritage Tree Care. We have all your tree problems covered. Get in contact with us here for expert help and advice.