Job description for a tree surgeon

Updated March 23, 2017

A tree surgeon safeguards the botanic value of an environment by cutting down trees and shrubs to suit the specifications of the client. He/she does this by trimming trees to add to the aesthetic value of the environment, scrapping decayed material from trees and preserving trees by spraying them with pesticides. Generally a tree surgeon does anything that preserves the botanic environment.

Education and Training

A tree surgeon should at least have a high school diploma. A tree surgeon does not need any specific qualifications except a passion for trees. However, a tree surgeon can gain the necessary skills through apprenticeship programmes in vocational schools. Being a hands-on job, a tree surgeon requires a combination of training and experience. A bachelor's degree in environmental science is an added advantage.

Career Advancement

A tree surgeon usually begins his career as a craft worker. His career progresses as he gains more skills and expertise and is able to perform greater roles, like advancing from working while on the ground to working while on top of trees, and later he may progress to supervisory and contract management roles. Most experienced tree surgeons eventually start their own businesses.

Desired Qualities

A tree surgeon should be multi-talented and able to undertake a variety of practical tasks. He should be knowledgeable on plant health, safety and first aid procedures. He should possess a high sense of responsibility and be able to work in a team. He should have good communication skills, especially oral skills.

Duties and Responsibilities

A tree surgeon cultivates and plants trees. He is expected to climb, prune and trim trees. He is responsible for maintaining safety on-site by clearing people and vehicles off the work site. He is supposed to support climbers. He is responsible for preparing land for tree planting. He applies pesticides and fertiliser on young trees. He should participate in rescue operations in the event of an emergency. He should clean and maintain equipment regularly.

Working Conditions

A tree surgeon normally works outside. He should, therefore, be prepared to work outdoors in different weather conditions. The job is hands on, hence, he is expected to be physically fit as he is expected to carry equipment like chainsaws, ropes and cutting blades. He should have a head for heights as tree climbing is part of the job.


The average salary of a tree surgeon as of July 6, 2010, according to Pay scale, ranges between £8 and £13 per hour. This however depends on experience. Exceptional climbers and people who can work quickly earn higher rates according to the tree surgeon's profile.

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About the Author

Martin Muchira has been writing content for online businesses since 2008. He has written content for major companies like Air Asia and Comcast. Muchira graduated at the top of his class from Moi University with a Bachelor of Science in wood science and industrial processes.