What is Arboriculture?

Shannon Kietzman

Arboriculture is the science of cultivating trees. This includes selecting tress for specific purposes, planting them, and caring from them. In many cases, arboriculture is applied in garden settings, in which a person selects trees that are pest resistant and most likely to live a long and healthy life in the location. The art of arboriculture is used by the gardener to create a tree display that is aesthetically pleasing, ornamental, and longlasting.

Arboriculture refers to the science of cultivating trees.
Arboriculture refers to the science of cultivating trees.

The overall goal of arboriculture is to combine modern technology and skills in order to care for trees in a way that is scientifically sound. This includes employing risk management techniques and planting trees to present the greatest profit. This is particularly true when the trees are planted for commercial purposes, such as when they are to be later harvested for lumber or paper products.

Someone with an interest in arboriculture may become a forester or work in forestry management.
Someone with an interest in arboriculture may become a forester or work in forestry management.

Individuals interested in arboriculture may explore it further through post-secondary institutions such as universities and community colleges. In many cases, arboriculture coursework is referred to as plant pathology, landscape horticulture, or urban forestry. After completing a degree in arboriculture, a person may follow several different career paths. Within the commercial residential sector, a person with a degree in arboriculture may pursue a career within a tree care company, as a tree care salesperson, as a commercial safety coordinator, as a tree climber, as a groundworker, or as an aerial lift operator.

In the municipal sector, a person with an interest in arboriculture may also pursue a career as a groundworker, an aerial lift operator, or a climber. He or she may also become a municipal arborist or forester. Within the utility sector, the person may follow many of the paths listed above or become a forestry manager.

The groundworker position is generally the entry level position within the arboriculture field. This person generally assists the climbers, cuts wood, chips brush, and keeps the area clean. A climber climbs the trees in order to prune them, while an aerial lift operator operates the machinery used to lift the climber to the proper position.

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