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Tree Surgeon Profile

 
Introduction

This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as a Tree Surgeon. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as a Tree Surgeon
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Tree Surgeon Work Information


Finding Suitable Work


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Working Duties Expected

The following description is an overview of what the above job position entails, what kind of salary you can expect, what hours are involved in carrying out the work, where you can find additional information about the job in both web and trade publication formats and the required skills that may help you in looking for employment in this particular field.

An Overview:

Tree surgeons plant and cultivate trees and shrubs in city, countryside and conservation areas. They undertake a variety of activities and work as planters, climbers (also known as tree surgeons) and ground staff. Some tree surgeons undertake all of these activities.

• Climbers work at great heights using specialist climbing equipment such as hoists and harnesses. They use heavy equipment such as chainsaws to prune trees and remove diseased or weak branches. Climbers also cut down dead or dangerous trees.
• Ground staff maintain the safety of the site by keeping people and vehicles away from the work area. They also provide support to climbers and clear the debris removed from the tree with specialist machinery such as wood chippers and shredders.
• Workers also prepare sites for new trees, plant young trees and apply pesticides and fertilisers.

They usually work around 40 hours a week, but there are often opportunities for paid overtime. They work in country and urban parks, public amenity woodlands, botanical gardens, privately owned gardens, or on public highways.

Tree surgeons should:

• have the ability to undertake practical tasks
• be happy to work outdoors in all weathers.

Although there are no set minimum entry requirements for tree surgeons, they must have competence certificates for the tasks that they undertake. They also need a reasonable standard of literacy and numeracy and must be physically fit. There is no upper age limit, but the physical nature of the work may make it unsuitable for mature workers. The main employers are specialist contractors who carry out work for commercial enterprises, local authorities, public bodies, and utility companies. There are opportunities to work abroad.

Tree surgeons can progress to working as supervisors, contracts managers or, with further training, managing directors.

What does the role encounter?

Tree surgeons plant and cultivate trees and shrubs in city, countryside and conservation areas. They undertake a variety of activities and work as planters, climbers (also known as tree surgeons) and ground staff. Some tree surgeons undertake all of these activities.

Climbers work at great heights using specialist climbing equipment such as hoists and harnesses. They use heavy equipment such as chainsaws to prune trees and remove diseased or weak branches. Climbers also cut down dead or dangerous trees.

Ground staff maintain the safety of the work site by keeping people and vehicles out of the area. They also support climbers as they work, passing tools to them, re-fuelling the chainsaw and clearing the site of dead branches and other debris. As they have to rescue climbers in case of emergencies, they need a head for heights.

Tree surgeons also prepare sites for new trees, plant shrubs and trees, and apply pesticides and fertilisers. They work with many types of hand tools and with power tools such as chainsaws, hedge cutters and strimmers. Their work involves the regular maintenance and cleaning of all equipment.

What type of hours will I have to work?

Tree surgeons usually work 40 hours a week, but often have the option to do paid overtime as well. If there is an emergency they may be called out at any time, including weekends and evenings. Some work may be seasonal.

They work in a wide range of locations, including country and urban parks, public highways, public woodlands, botanical gardens and privately owned gardens.

Most work is undertaken outside in all kinds of weather conditions. It is common to have to travel as part of a team within 50 miles of the base. Employers usually provide transport. Tree surgeons may have to spend occasional periods away from home.

The job can be very noisy and there can be exposure to sawdust and fumes. Protective clothing is worn at all times on site. This includes chainsaw protective boots, trousers, gloves, a helmet and eye and ear protectors. Climbers also need specialist rope access and positioning systems.

What level of salary and benefits are there?

These figures are purely for guidance only. Salaries may vary for the area the job is situated in, age, experience along with a host of other factors:

• Salaries start at around £11,000 a year.
• An experienced arboricultural worker can expect to earn £14,000 to £18,500.
• The highest salary might be around £24,000 for an exceptional climber who works quickly.

What type of skills will I need?

You will need to have some or all of the following type of skills to carry out this job:

• the ability to undertake a range of practical tasks
• a good knowledge of health and safety
• to be happy working outdoors in all weathers
• to be physically fit with a head for heights
• common sense and a strong sense of responsibility
• the ability to work well as part of a team
• to be able to communicate effectively with members of the public.

What type of training will I receive?

People starting as craft workers, without relevant qualifications, need to gain the appropriate skills to allow them to work safely. The National Proficiency Tests Council (NPTC) and the Scottish Skills Testing Service (SSTS) offer competence certificates for skills such as chainsaw use and tree pruning and felling. This type of training is usually gained through short courses provided by colleges or training companies. Lantra Awards offers training and assessment. Some employers will organise and pay for this. Some workers train by taking a full-time college course. These are generally available at colleges that specialise in training for the land-based industries and cover a lot of practical skills. These include specialist tool and machinery use, and health and safety. In some areas, it is possible to complete Foundation and Advanced Modern Apprenticeships in arboriculture.

Career Progression:

After gaining the basic NPTC/SSTC competence certificates and some experience, it is possible to gain further competence certificates in a wider range of units. These allow ground workers to progress to climbing roles. People with further qualifications and the suitable personal qualities could become supervisors, contracts managers or managing directors. Many experienced tree surgeons start their own small businesses. Others gain further qualifications and work as tree surgeons in local authorities, consultancies or other areas.

Are there similar types of job or related industries?

Yes, this list is not exhaustive but see the following categories:

Arboriculturist
Countryside Ranger/Warden
Forest Worker
Gardener
Groundsperson
Landscaper.

Where can I find further information?

Arboricultural Association, Ampfield House, Romsey, Hampshire SO51 9PA. 01794 368717. Website: www.trees.org.uk

Health and Safety Executive, HSE Infoline, Caerphilly Business Park, Caerphilly, CF83 3GG. 08701 545500. Website: www.hse.gov.uk.

The Horticultural Correspondence College (HCC), FREEPOST, Notton, Chippenham, Wiltshire SN15 2BR. 01249 730326. Website: www.hccollege.co.uk

International Society of Arboriculture (UK branch), 148 Hydes Road, Wednesbury, West Midlands WS10 0DR. 0121 556 8302. Website: www.isa-uki.org

Lantra, Lantra House, Stoneleigh Park, Near Coventry, Warwickshire CV8 2LG. 024 7669 6996. Website: www.lantra.co.uk

National Proficiency Tests Council (NPTC), Avenue ā€˜Jā€™, National Agriculture Centre, Stoneleigh, Warwickshire CV8 2LG. 024 7685 7300. Website: www.nptc.org.uk .

Royal Forestry Society of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, 102 High Street, Tring, Hertfordshire HP23 4AF. 01442 822028. Website: www.rfs.org.uk.

Royal Scottish Forestry Society, Hagg-on-Esk, Canonbie, Dumfriesshire DG14 OXE. 0138 7371518. Website: www.rsfs.org.

Scottish Skills Testing Service (SSTS), Skills Testing Centre, Ingliston, Edinburgh EH28 8NE. 0131 333 2040. Website: www.ssts.co.uk.

What trade magazines are available for this industry?

All of the following magazines and journals can be purchased from any good bookstore:

Horticulture Week
Arboricultural Association Newsletter
Arboricultural Association Journal.

Other Useful Tree Surgeon Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Tree Surgeon job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Tree Surgeon Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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