Arboriculture Career Certificate
Train from home to be an expert in arboriculture
This course develops the knowledge and skills needed to work in arboriculture, and provides an essential background training in plant identification, selection and care.
This course has a strong practical focus, involving a lot of field work including such things as routine tree inspections, soil inspections, observing and analyzing problems with trees growing in a wide variety of situations. Under the guidance of expert horticulturists, you will build a very sound foundation that will allow your knowledge and skills to continue growing and developing effectively throughout a lifelong career.
STUDY AND LEARN MORE
THE ACS TEAM APPROACH
ACS was founded by John Mason in 1979 as Australian Horticultural Correspondence School.
Right from these very early times, we've always believed that the best education only comes when the student is learning from the experience of a whole range of industry experts (rather than just a single teacher).
Every ACS course is a work in progress, continually evolving, with new information being added and old information being updated by our team of internationally renowned professional horticulturists.
Over the decades more than 100 horticulture experts from across the world have contributed to these courses, bringing their individual knowledge and experiences from as wide afield as England and Spain to Australia and America.
While may colleges and universities focus on providing courses that relate only to the country where they are based, ACS has always striven to make its courses relevant to all parts of the world; any climate, economic or cultural situation. This has been achieved by involving a large number of professionals in the course development.
When it comes to tutoring, marking papers and mentoring students, the team approach is just as strong as with our writing. ACS students have the ability to obtain advice and support from staff across the world, with horticulture tutors located in the UK, Australia (both the north and south) and New Zealand.
The ACS team approach and global focus to both course content and student support, ensures our graduates have a unique and "real world" skills set. This unique approach is highly regarded by our colleagues in horticulture.
Note that each module in the CERTIFICATE IN HORTICULTURE (ARBORICULTURE) VHTOO2 is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.
WORKING IN ARBORCULTURE
Arborists look after trees. This work can involve removing sick or damaged trees (or parts), removing or chipping prunings, controlling the size and shape of trees, repair of trees (e.g. bracing, propping, cabling branches to prevent them breaking), accessing trees by climbing or with a travel tower, planting new trees, transplanting large trees, controlling and removing unwanted root, controlling tree pests or diseases, or developing tree management plans.
Trees in urban areas can often become a problem. Branches can fall onto power lines, buildings or other structures. Roots can damage pavement, fences and building foundations or block drains.
There are different types of arborists:
- A tree lopper is someone who removes trees, but might not understand so much about how to grow or repair them.
- A tree surgeon will understand more about how to grow and care for the health of trees, but in addition, still have all the same skills of a tree lopper.
- Some people in this field may specialise, for example: stump removalists may provide a service to dispose of large stumps after the tree is removed. Stump grinding machines may be used for this. In some instances a stump may need to be dug out or burned. Removing a stump can result in soil subsidence, so understanding all of the implications of dealing with “left over” roots can be a significant area of study.
Arborists often work for an arboriculture business, tree removalist or tree surgeon. Some are employed by municipal government or other public authorities. Some work in forestry and others in private enterprise. Many will start their careers climbing trees, but often with age, this type of work can become increasingly challenging. Later in their careers, some move on to being a consultant or manager or conduct tree inspections and write tree reports for councils. Others may leave arboriculture and find work in other areas of horticulture.
Non-climbing arboriculture assistants are employed to work ropes, lower branches to the ground and clear away branches. They may also operate a chipping machine. This type of work is less skilled than climbing, does not pay as much, and may be an easier job to get when starting out in this industry.
A skilled climber is always in demand, and can earn very good money however one should always consider whether this is a job you would plan to do for decades, or for a lesser period - as a stepping stone towards something else.
Risks and challenges
Being an arborist can be dangerous, especially the climbing work. You will need to learn how to climb safely to avoid accidents.
You will encounter similar risks and challenges as any small business if you decide to run your own business.
How to become an Arborist
Climbing is dangerous work if you don’t know how to do it properly (and use appropriate climbing gear). Some arborists learn to climb on the job. Others learn by doing abseiling or rock climbing as a sport. Others may learn through a trade apprenticeship or specialised course.
Arborists also need to understand trees. Even a tree lopper, who is only removing trees, still needs to understand what woods are safe to climb on, and what should not be climbed. Different species of trees are stronger or weaker; some are prone to break, and others are not.
A good arborist needs to be able to identify plant pest and disease problems (particularly wood rotting diseases), and differentiate between perhaps 100 or more of the more commonly grown species of trees in their locality. They should also know enough about plant taxonomy to determine the plant family a tree belongs to - when they encounter a species they are unfamiliar with.
STRUCTURE AND CONTENT OF EACH MODULE
This course is made of two parts, including the following modules.
Part 1: This involves the following three modules: Horticulture l; Arboriculture 1 Trees for Rehabilitation
These three modules provide a firm foundation; giving you the ability to:
•identify hundreds of different plant species
•inspect trees, report on their condition and identify a range of problems, and suggest treatments for those problems
Part 2: This involves a further three modules, as follows: Arboriculture ll, Plant Selection and Establishment PLUS Plant Protection or Deciduous Trees
These three modules build on, expand and deepen the knowledge and skills developed in the first three modules. All assignments must be completed and exams passed in the six modules listed above.
This gives you a broad based understanding of all aspects of horticulture, and in doing so, lays a foundation for working in arboriculture. Before studying the specifics of tree culture, you first need to understand how plants are identified, how soils are structured, the way in which plants obtain nutrients and gardens are created. Knowledge of things like this (developed in Horticulture I), will provide an important perspective for studies that follow; and give the study of arboriculture not only a different relevance, but also make many things easier to understand and remember.
This follows on from Horticulture I, laying the foundation for both further studies and growth of your skills and knowledge throughout a career in arboriculture.
There are eight lessons in this module, as follows:
1.Scope and Nature of Arboriculture
2.Biology of Trees
3.Soils In Relation to Trees
4.Diagnosis of Tree Problems
7.Equipment used for Arboriculture
8.Workplace Health & Safety
Trees for Rehabilitation
Tree planting for rehabilitation is a growth industry world wide; and with moves toward carbon trading schemes, this sector of the tree industry would seem likely to boom over coming years. This module has been included because of the developing significance of this field, and the likely job opportunities this type of work will offer graduates. There are ten lessons in this module as follows:
1. Approaches to Land Rehabilitation
2. Ecology of Soils and Plant Health
3. Seed Propagation Techniques
4. Propagation and Nursery Stock.
5. Dealing with Chemical Problems
6. Physical Plant Effects on Degraded Sites
7. Plant Establishment Programs
8. Hostile Environments
9. Plant Establishment Care
10. Rehabilitating Degraded Sites
This expands on the foundation created in the first three modules, with the following aims:
Explain how to plant a specified advanced-sized tree on a specific site.
Explain tree injection, including the technique and applications.
Identify situations where trees require strengthening operations to be carried out.
Compare different ways to control roots which invade underground pipes.
Calculate the cost of removing a specified tree.
Determine appropriate tree species suited to a specific visited site.
Devise a method for removing a tree, including tree felling and stump removal.
Analyse different specimens of mature trees, from each different genera, to detect any patterns in problems occurring in those trees.
Develop criteria for the establishment of a tree plantation on a specific site which addresses; site restrictions, cost and function.
Plant Selection and Establishment
Again, building upon the previous courses, this develops an improved capacity to select the right plant for the situation at hand; and then to give that plant the best chance of developing into a strong mature specimen.
This course rounds off the certificate by expanding your ability to deal with problems that may threaten ta tree's health, vigor or even longevity. There are ten lessons in this module, as follows:
2. Control Techniques
4. Identifying Diseases
5. Disease Control
6. Insect Classification
7. Insect Control
8. Non Insect Pests
9. Weed Identification
10. Weed Control
There are eleven lessons in this module as follows:
7.Other Deciduous Trees
Tips for Growing Trees in Small Gardens
Shade is common in small gardens, and it has both benefits and disadvantages for plants and people. Even the family pets need and appreciate a little shade in the hot summer. With the prevalence of skin cancer, shade is particularly important, not only to keep us cool in hot weather, but also to provide protection from this serious disease. Many small gardens will be naturally shaded due to the presence of surrounding structures such as fences or buildings.
Shade protects plants from both extreme temperature and excessive light. Some plants love shade, however many don't. Careful plant selection is important to make the most of your shady areas.
You may desire to create more shaded areas. This can be readily done by such means as:
• Installing a shadehouse or covering existing structures with some shade material.
• Temporary covers made from canvas, shadecloth or similar materials can be strung up on poles or between established buildings and/or trees to create shade during warmer months, and then removed during cooler times.
• Building a pergola. These can be made shadier by training a plant (eg. laburnum) over the pergola. If you use deciduous climbers you can get the benefits of summer shade, and increased light during winter when leaves have fallen.
• Growing suitable shade trees. These should not have invasive root systems that might damage drains, footpaths, foundations, etc. Deciduous types can be used to create summer shade, while letting through increased light in winter, however cleaning up the fallen leaves can be real chore.
Shade can be light or heavy.
Deciduous plants provide no shade in winter but lots in summer. More upright trees with an open or high canopy may allow light to penetrate more into a small garden.
If you want to minimise shade, choose taller trees with a less spreading habit, and less dense foliage.
TREES WITH NARROW CANOPIES
(ie. don’t spread much, so can fit into narrow spaces)
Carpinus Betululus Fastigata
Juniperus chinensis “Mountbatten”
Juniperus scopulorum “Skyrocket”
Pinus strobus “Fastigata”
Populus nigra “Italica”
Sophora japonica “Princeton Upright”
If you choose to use shadecloth, it's easy to control the degree of shade, because such products usually come with the amount of shade stated. 50% or 70% shadecloths are common.
If the garden is shaded heavily, you will need to be more careful in your choice of shrubs to grow below that shade.
Other Things To Consider
• Plants growing in shaded areas may need less watering than those exposed to the sun. The plant uses less water in the shade. The ground remains cooler in shaded areas.
• In cool climates over watering can cause problems. Some problems are slime/algae growth on pathways and on pot surfaces, fungal diseases can easily spread, especially damping off and root rot.