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Become A Tree Expert

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Working As A Tree Expert

  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
  • Controlling Machines and Processes
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Deal with People

  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Stressful

  • $72,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Tree Expert Do

Grounds maintenance workers ensure that the grounds of houses, businesses, and parks are attractive, orderly, and healthy in order to provide a pleasant outdoor environment.

Duties

Grounds maintenance workers typically do the following:

  • Mow, edge, and fertilize lawns
  • Weed and mulch landscape beds
  • Trim hedges, shrubs, and small trees
  • Remove dead, damaged, or unwanted trees
  • Plant flowers, trees, and shrubs
  • Water lawns, landscapes, and gardens
  • Monitor and maintain plant health

Grounds maintenance workers are generally under the direction of a professional grounds manager and perform a variety of tasks to achieve a pleasant and functional outdoor environment. They also care for indoor gardens and plantings in commercial and public facilities, such as malls, hotels, and botanical gardens.

The following are examples of types of grounds maintenance workers:

Landscaping workers plant trees, flowers, and shrubs to create new outdoor spaces or upgrade existing ones. They also trim, fertilize, mulch, and water plants. Some grade and install lawns or construct hardscapes such as walkways, patios, and decks. Others help install lighting or sprinkler systems. Landscaping workers are employed in a variety of residential and commercial settings, such as homes, apartment buildings, office buildings, shopping malls, and hotels and motels.

Groundskeeping workers, also called groundskeepers, maintain grounds. They care for plants and trees, rake and mulch leaves, and clear snow from walkways. They work on athletic fields, golf courses, cemeteries, university campuses, and parks, as well as in many of the same settings that landscaping workers work. They also see to the proper upkeep of sidewalks, parking lots, fountains, fences, planters, and benches, as well as groundskeeping equipment.

Groundskeeping workers who care for athletic fields keep natural and artificial turf in top condition, mark out boundaries, and paint turf with team logos and names before events. They mow, water, fertilize, and aerate the fields regularly. They must ensure that the underlying soil on fields with natural turf has the composition required to allow proper drainage and to support the grass used on the field. In sports venues, they vacuum and disinfect synthetic turf to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and they remove the turf and replace the cushioning pad periodically.

Groundskeepers in parks and recreation facilities care for lawns, trees, and shrubs; maintain playgrounds; clean buildings; and keep parking lots, picnic areas, and other public spaces free of litter. They also may erect and dismantle snow fences and maintain swimming pools. These workers inspect buildings and equipment, make needed repairs, and keep everything freshly painted.

Some groundskeepers specialize in caring for cemeteries and memorial gardens. They dig graves to specified depths, generally using a backhoe. They mow grass regularly, apply fertilizers and other chemicals, prune shrubs and trees, plant flowers, and remove debris from graves.

Greenskeepers maintain golf courses. Their work is similar to that of groundskeepers, but they also periodically relocate holes on putting greens and maintain benches and tee markers along the course and provide more intense turf maintenance. In addition, greenskeepers keep canopies, benches, and tee markers repaired and freshly painted.

Pesticide handlers, sprayers, and applicators apply herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides on plants or the soil to prevent or control weeds, insects, and diseases. Those who work for chemical lawn or tree service firms are more specialized, inspecting lawns for problems and applying fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals to stimulate growth and prevent or control weeds, diseases, or insect infestations.

Tree trimmers and pruners, also called arborists, cut away dead or excess branches from trees or shrubs to clear utility lines, roads, and sidewalks. Although many of these workers strive to improve the appearance and health of trees and plants, some specialize in diagnosing and treating tree diseases. Others specialize in pruning, trimming, and shaping ornamental trees and shrubs. Tree trimmers and pruners use chain saws, chippers, and stump grinders while on the job. When trimming near power lines, they usually work on truck-mounted lifts and use power pruners.

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How To Become A Tree Expert

Most grounds maintenance workers need no formal education and are trained on the job. Most states require licensing for workers who apply pesticides and fertilizers.

Education

Although most grounds maintenance jobs have no education requirements, some employers may require formal education or certification in areas such as landscape design, horticulture, or arboriculture.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Most states require workers who apply pesticides and fertilizers to be licensed. Obtaining a license usually involves passing a test on the proper use and disposal of insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides.

The National Association of Landscape Professionals offers seven certifications in landscaping and grounds maintenance for workers at various experience levels.

The Tree Care Industry Association offers certification for tree care safety professionals.

The International Society of Arboriculture offers six certifications for workers at various experience levels.

The Professional Grounds Management Society offers certification for workers at various experience levels.

Training

A short period of on-the-job training is usually enough to teach new hires the skills they need, which often include how to plant and maintain areas and how to use mowers, trimmers, leaf blowers, small tractors, and other equipment. Large institutional employers such as golf courses, university campuses, or municipalities may supplement on-the-job training with coursework in horticulture or small-engine repair.

Advancement

Grounds maintenance workers who have good communication skills may become crew leaders or advance into other supervisory positions. Becoming a manager or a landscape contractor may require some formal education and several years of related work experience. Some workers use their experience to start their own landscaping companies.

Important Qualities

Physical stamina. Grounds maintenance workers must be capable of doing physically strenuous labor for long hours, occasionally in extreme heat or cold.

Self-motivated. Because they often work with little supervision, grounds maintenance workers must be able to do their job independently.

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Average Length of Employment
Tree Climber 3.3 years
Tree Care Foreman 3.0 years
Tree Expert 3.0 years
Tree Trimmer 2.8 years
Tree Cutter 2.5 years
Grounds Person 2.1 years
Tree Specialist 2.0 years
Top Careers Before Tree Expert
Foreman 12.3%
Cashier 8.4%
Cook 4.5%
Supervisor 4.5%
Mechanic 4.5%
Driver 3.9%
Internship 3.9%
Technician 3.9%
Carpenter 3.2%
Volunteer 3.2%
Assembler 3.2%
Top Careers After Tree Expert
Foreman 8.3%
Driver 7.6%
Owner 6.1%
Technician 6.1%
Cashier 5.3%
Arborist 4.5%
Supervisor 4.5%
Mechanic 4.5%
CDL Driver 3.8%

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Top Skills for A Tree Expert

  1. Safety Procedures
  2. Line Clearance
  3. Bucket Truck
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Position of General Foreman supervising twenty-five crews performing line clearance tree trimming for Pacific Gas and Electric's Sierra Division.
  • Operated a skid steer, bucket truck, boom truck, fork lift, and have pulled trailers.
  • Used log truck Landscaping, trim, plant, mowed, snow removal
  • Operate all equipment chain saws, wood chippers, and pruning tools needed for line clearance.
  • Set up work job sites, including job briefings and all tools and equipment for the task.

Tree Expert Demographics

Gender

Male

83.6%

Unknown

9.1%

Female

7.3%
Ethnicity

White

70.6%

Black or African American

10.7%

Hispanic or Latino

9.7%

Asian

5.8%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

100.0%

Tree Expert Education

Schools

Pennsylvania State University

12.5%

University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point

10.0%

Northern Maine Community College

7.5%

Colorado Technical University

7.5%

Nashville Auto Diesel College Inc

7.5%

University of Northern Colorado

5.0%

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

5.0%

Kaplan University

5.0%

University of Phoenix

5.0%

West Virginia University

5.0%

University of Washington

5.0%

Surry Community College

5.0%

Dakota County Technical College

2.5%

Louisiana State University and A&M College

2.5%

Missouri State University

2.5%

Unity College

2.5%

Ohio State University-Marion Campus

2.5%

Troy University

2.5%

Pine Technical and Community College

2.5%

Springfield Technical Community College

2.5%
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Majors

Business

18.9%

Forestry

11.3%

General Studies

11.3%

Automotive Technology

8.5%

Criminal Justice

5.7%

Plant Sciences

4.7%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.8%

Precision Metal Working

3.8%

Biology

3.8%

Marketing

3.8%

Liberal Arts

3.8%

Drafting And Design

2.8%

Medical Technician

2.8%

Computer Information Systems

2.8%

Education

2.8%

Science, Technology, And Society

1.9%

Psychology

1.9%

Applied Horticulture

1.9%

Natural Resources Management

1.9%

Landscape Architecture

1.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

32.9%

Other

30.5%

Associate

21.6%

Certificate

6.0%

Masters

5.4%

Diploma

3.6%
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