Energy Career Profile: Arborist

Careers in the energy field come in all shapes and sizes. Whether you prefer being in a lab creating tech prototypes or out in the field, surrounded by nature, there is always a career that will allow you to embrace your passion.

This week we are going to examine the important but often over-looked role of the arborist. An arborist is someone who takes care of trees. This might include looking after the aesthetics of the tree or delving deeper into the health of the tree and eradicating diseases. Most arborists choose a specific area of tree care in which to specialise but there’s no reason why you can’t dabble in multiple disciplines to begin with.

With the world teetering on the brink of disaster and global warming at an all time high, the health of our trees is absolutely vital for human survival. Acting as giant lungs, forests and jungles need to be on top form to carry on filtering the carbon dioxide out of the air and pumping out clean oxygen for us.

Basics of the Job

As mentioned, arborists look after trees in all respects, including their health and appearance. Now, imagine the town you live in has a long, tree-lined boulevard of which it is very proud. For years, the trees have flourished but now they are starting to look quite sickly and they are losing their leaves. Not only is this unattractive to look at, but it is concerning the local residents who fear the trees may die entirely.

As an arborist it will be your job to examine the trees thoroughly to find out what is causing this decay. You may need to take samples from the trees and the surrounding soil for analysis back in the lab. You may also need to do some pruning work to keep them looking as healthy as possible while you solve the problem.

Job Duties

As you might imagine, an arborist’s job duties vary greatly from position to position. This is part of what makes the role so exciting. Some of the duties you may encounter throughout your career as an arborist may include, planting and transporting trees; pruning trees; examining the health of trees for disease and pest issues; and supporting trees using cables and braces.

Back in the lab you may be required to undertake analyses of tree, soil, water, and air samples. And, in the office, you will get on with the necessary paperwork and write any reports needed. You may even have to prepare presentations to give to local authorities or other members of the field.

Where You Will Work

An arborist’s work could take him all over the world. In fact, anywhere with trees is a potential job site. While you might expect an arborist to be confined to rural areas where forests are rife, there are plenty of opportunities in urban areas as well. Arborists are needed to maintain the health of trees in local parks and other green spaces as well as in people’s gardens.

Who to Work For

The most obvious employer for an arborist is a tree care firm. This type of company will attend call outs from people who have tree queries, in the same way a vet would go and treat animals. Similarly, you could work in a tree nursery and help saplings grow into mighty trees. If you are more interested in the aesthetics of trees, you may find employment with a landscaping firm or a golf course.