May 16, 2024


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What is a Tree Care Specialist? Everything you need to know

If you are thinking about a career in arboriculture, you may be wondering what is involved. Whether you plan to work in the city or the country, this profession will keep you busy with its many aspects. 


Professionals engaged in tree care can take advantage of the credentialing programs offered by the tree care industry. These programs cover plant health care, soil management, fertilization, and pest identification and control. The training courses also include the biotic diagnosis of plant diseases. For Tree Care Specialist Bay Area, the training builds on ground operations specialist certification and tree climber certification, resulting in a more comprehensive knowledge of all aspects of tree care. Training courses include pruning, fertilization, and bracing, among other topics.

In New Jersey, the Board of Tree Experts, which administers examinations for tree care operators and experts, has developed a training program. To become a Licensed Tree Expert, a person must complete an application, submit three letters of recommendation, and complete continuing education requirements. The examination consists of a written and field section. The field portion is generally given outdoors in the morning, and the written section is administered indoors.

Job Outlook

In Ontario, the job outlook for a Tree Care Specialist is fair. Employment in this field is expected to increase by 18 percent over the next several years. The area is highly active in New York City, where the average annual salary is $29,510. Job outlook information is continually updated on ZipRecruiter, which continuously scans its database of millions of active jobs to determine salary ranges. This information is based on third-party data sources and salary trends.

As an arborist, your job will include pruning trees and other woody plants for health, safety, and aesthetic reasons. You’ll use tools such as chippers to remove brush and debris. You’ll also evaluate trees for disease and pest problems and develop a plan of action to address the problem. A specialist will assess and support rotten trees, leaning, or cracked branches. You may need to use heavy machinery, but there are plenty of opportunities for advancement in this field.

Education requirements

To become a certified tree care specialist, you must first have the basic qualifications to be considered for a position in the industry. An education in plant science is necessary for this career. An education in plant health includes soil management, fertilization, and pest identification and control. Besides the education in plant science, you must also have a license to apply pesticides, which many companies require. Additionally, a business license and employee licensing are required for those who want to apply for pesticides for tree care. More than 2,200 tree care companies are members of the world’s largest association of tree service professionals. Additionally, companies must carry workers’ compensation and general liability insurance to avoid lawsuits.

Some programs offer certificates and associate and bachelor’s degrees in tree science and health. The formal education provides a broad background in tree health and safety and environmental factors such as climate and soil conditions. Certification is not mandatory to practice as a tree surgeon, but it may help to make potential clients feel more comfortable hiring an arborist with this certification. You can also earn safety and technical certifications from the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA).


The salary for a tree care specialist can vary depending on experience, education, and certification. Some positions require certification, while others do not. A tree care specialist may learn about the profession through experience, but education and certification will increase their chances of a good salary. Earn several certifications through government-approved programs and continue your education to learn new techniques and practices. The median salary for a tree care specialist is $31,400 per year, but actual compensation can vary.

Tree care specialists may work on any site in a park, residential area, or business. They also may remove trees for aesthetic and safety reasons, grind stumps, or control nutrient and water supply for trees. An arborist may also work to assess tree health issues and form a treatment plan for them. Some arborists may use heavy machinery during their work, while others may respond to emergencies such as a fallen tree or a tree with cracked branches.