Home Improvement

What does an Arborist do?


Trees are vital to life. In fact, they provide a range of benefits, but like everything else, they need regular care and maintenance. Many people will have heard of tree surgeons, but probably fewer people know what an arborist does, and their importance in tree care. Arborists are professionals whose work is the management and care of trees. 

What are an arborist’s general responsibilities?

Poorly maintained trees can be a problem, and pruning or removing large trees can be dangerous work. Arborists are trained, certified and qualified in all aspects of tree maintenance and care, and they have to follow specific Australian standards. Arborists are knowledgeable about tree species and how they will react to different types of pruning. When they prune a tree, they aim to ensure that regrowth will be robust and healthy and not require constant maintenance. They can handle the challenge of tree removal in the Eastern Suburbs or any other urban location.

What are the specifics of an arborist’s job?

Arborists can provide a range of services, such as planting trees appropriate to their environment. They also prune young trees to encourage them to grow into healthy, well-structured, mature trees. They can trim, cut, lop, and mulch trees, and also perform the difficult task of stump grinding. They can be asked to protect trees which are at risk during construction projects. They can diagnose and treat pests and diseases in trees. They can assess and manage risks that trees may threaten, and if necessary remove them. An arborist may work with large trees to make sure they are safe, healthy and of no danger to the community in which they are located. Arborists can prune trees for health, structure or aesthetic reasons, even though every cut is a wound which reduces a tree’s photosynthetic potential. They can perform crown raising to make space under trees, or crown reduction to prevent trees from damaging fences, buildings or overhead cables. Arborists can diagnose, treat and prevent parasitism, control predation, and remove vegetation they judge to be hazardous.

Are there any legal considerations for arborists?

There are certain legal issues relating to the work of arborists. These concern public safety issues, boundary issues, and the heritage value of trees. Arborists often become involved in tree disputes between neighbours. These can include the question of ownership, the obstruction of views, and the impact of root systems around property boundaries. In locations with tree protection laws, an arborist’s evaluation may be sought before a tree can be removed.

What qualifications do you need to work as an arborist?

Arborists need to have gained specific qualifications to work in arboriculture and to be able to work safely around trees. In Australia, such training is organised through the Australian Qualifications Framework, the multi-disciplinary vocational training, education and qualification authority. Tree climbers should possess at least a Certificate III in Arboriculture. Businesses that offer tree services must comply with the Australian Standard Pruning of Amenity Trees, be quality assurance accredited, and be fully covered by appropriate insurance, including public liability cover.

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