Arborists are highly trained professionals whose job it is to safely remove tree limbs and trunks. This is fantastic work for those suited to it, and arborists (or tree surgeons as they are also known) can be paid very well for their time. However, not everyone is cut out for this type of career. There are some things a potential arborist must take into consideration before embarking on a career in the industry.
Let’s take a look at what makes a good tree surgeon:
Physically Fit – First and foremost, you need to be in good physical condition. The job demands a certain level of fitness. Arborists must climb trees, cut branches, use tools and mechanical equipment, and remove a lot of garden debris. This can take a lot of energy. If you enjoy a hands-on type of role with plenty of fresh air and varied locations this might be the right career for you.
Head for Heights – Some trees can grow to tremendous heights and as a tree surgeons you’ll be the guy who needs to get right up into the canopy. If you suffer from vertigo, or if you are overweight it might not be a good idea to climb a 40 meter tree. A trained arborist will have great knowledge of all the lastest climbing equipment to make the job as safe as possible, but if someone has issues with working at heights chances are this will affect their ability to carry out the job to a professional standard, and may cause safety problems for the supporting team.
Lifting Knowledge – Lifting knowledge and climbing ability are very important skills to have as an arborist. Bosun’s chair, staging, knot and rope work, are some of the things which are valuable to know in this industry. If you enjoy working with rope, and if you have any commercial or sport climbing experience you will be right at home in this industry.
Mechanical Handling Skills – Mulching machines and chainsaws are standard equipment used in the industry. An arborist must be suitably trained to use both. These can be very dangerous to handle and there are several fatalities every year in Australia of untrained people attempting to use this type of machinery. Companies who do not provide adequate training in the use of these tools can face severe penalties. Most operators, like Sydney based Plateau Trees give their employees extensive training on all the various mechanical equipment used in the industry.
Horticultural Knowledge – Just hacking away at a tree is not good enough. You need to know what you’re doing and why. Different species of trees need varying approaches. There are diseases to be aware of, and how to treat them. There are environmental and wildlife issues to consider as well as root problems and identification of hazardous limbs and overhangs. A professional arborist will have been tainted by an accredited training body and will probably have years of experience in the industry.