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St. Louis Arborist CareerA Career in Tree Care is Lucrative

There is a distinct lack of tree care professionals in all areas of the country. More positions are open than those that can be filled by certified arborists and tree care specialists. Becoming educated and certified in the genre of arboriculture can help to place you in many different positions that require a tree care specialist.

Why Should a Person Get into the Tree Care Career?

The best professions to be educated for are the professions that have a lack of workers in them. This gives you the best opportunity to find work in the areas that the profession serves. Some professions are very limited as to which positions you would fit in--however, a tree care specialist has many different tasks that they do and they also can work for a huge variety of clients.

What Does an Arborist Do?

An arborist has many different tasks that they perform in many different areas. Arboriculture is the practice of trimming trees and shrubs in a broad sense, but it also includes every aspect of tree, shrub and vine health too.

An arborist maintains shrubs and tree through pruning and trimming to make sure they don't interfere with public works including the power lines, roads and sidewalks. This can be in a city or in a country setting underneath the power lines on a street. An arborist cuts away dead branches to prevent them from falling in areas where they may hurt people or where they may fall on a power line. Some arborists also have a focus on the beautification of decorative species in shaping ornamental trees and shrubs while maintaining their size.

Arborists use and maintain a large variety of equipment on a daily basis. This can include specialized trucks with buckets, tractors of many different types, chippers, power saws, sprayers and other machinery. They hoist their equipment up high in trees where it is needed and then cut away low hanging branches or tree limbs that are obstructive and dead. They dispose of the branches and limbs that they cut by lowering them down to the ground with ropes or block and tackles in a very safe fashion so as not to harm anything else around the work area or the ground tree care crew they work with. The branches and limbs are either fed into a chipper and into a truck to remove them or they may remove the limbs and branches whole and use the chipper at another location. Arborists often need to climb trees with ladders or other types of equipment to reach the work areas. Arborists also fertilize and spray trees for pests and diseases.

Our cities and towns all rely on arborists to keep things running smoothly. Without these specialized tree care professionals, our sidewalks, roads and power lines could become dangerous very quickly. Arborists also improve tree health through planting and caring for trees. This is important in any area to help absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change, from the atmosphere where we live. Trees help to stabilize slopes and prevent erosion around them as well as helping to absorb storm water runoff. Trees can help counteract the great heat factor in urban areas with a lot of concrete on the roadways and sidewalks. Planting trees and maintaining them along the roads and sidewalks as well as any green space can all help to keep everything a bit cooler in the heat of summer.

Where Does an Arborist Work?

An arborist can work in many different areas. They may work for municipalities or power companies to keep the roads and sidewalks safe as well as to clear trees and shrubs from the power lines and decrease power outages. A tree care specialist may work for an arborist firm that contracts work for a city, county or area. They may also work for an arborist firm that does residential services. After gaining experience, a tree specialist may decide to open their own arborist company.

Arborists work all over the United States and they have more opportunities to work in warmer climates with longer growing seasons and short winters. They spend most all of their time working outdoors in all kinds of weather and whenever they are needed. When an arborist climbs a tree to reach the upper branches, he will be in direct contact with the tree and may experience some minor burns and cuts or stings and bites from insects that are nesting high in the tree trunk. Arborists are also exposed to contaminants quite often, such as fertilizers and pesticides. They experience other risks on a day-to-day basis, such as working near power lines while on a truck mounted lift bucket and working with hazardous equipment, such as chainsaws and other power equipment. Using power tools also makes a significant amount of noise to make appropriate protective gear necessary. An arborist usually wears hard hats, goggles and earplugs for their safety while working. The work can be very physically demanding at times, so as an arborist you must be physically fit. Some of the jobs in the field are more seasonal in the warmer months of spring, summer and fall.

Does a Tree Care Specialist Need to be Certified?

A tree care specialist doesn't have to have formal education and a certification, as they may learn enough about tree health and conditions in general from hands on experience. However, the chance of getting a job that pays well is better if you are educated and earn a certification. The best case is to earn several certifications through a government-approved program and to continue your education to learn new methods and practices and up your game.

What Exactly are the Tasks for a Tree Care Specialist?

Arborists are experts in the maintenance of trees and woody plants to maintain their best health. The job varies considerably due to the vast variety of trees and shrubs that grow in different regions. Most arborists will be knowledgeable about a huge variety of tasks that they perform.

Tree care specialists work on new sites for construction of homes or commercial properties. They can prepare the site, backfill any areas needed and plant trees and shrubs as well as stake them to stabilize them while they are young. They will also irrigate and mulch the plants.

An arborist may transplant seedlings and young sapling trees to various sites and plant larger trees also. Then they can prune trees to limit disease and any physical damages or for aesthetic reasons and safety reasons.

As a tree care specialist, you may load stumps and limbs into a truck or use a chipper to shred brush and remove it from the site where you are working.

You can evaluate trees for pest and disease problems, diagnose the problem and treat the trees as required to maintain their health.

You may be called to support structurally weak or leaning trees or branches that have started to crack but haven't broken though yet to save them.

An arborist may remove trees from any property and grind stumps too. They can control the nutrient and water supply to trees and examine a tree's worth from a financial prospective to make a decision on keeping a tree or removing it.

Tree care specialists are great at maintaining records on all the trees that they treat, so they can form a plan of action for tree diseases or pests. They can also examine and remediate any hazardous trees and any other tree related hazards.

An arborist may operate heavy machinery or hand tools on the job and be a consultant on the client's property. As a tree care specialist, you may respond to emergencies including during storms.

Other tasks include processing and testing samples, doing paperwork, communicating on the phone and in meetings with clients and conducting additional research into all tree and plant care.

What Does a Senior Arborist do?

Most tree care specialists and arborists will climb trees for about 10 years or so and then it becomes more physically difficult for them so they become a senior arborist and leave the climbing to the newer team members. A senior arborist creates a great, safe work environment and may develop project timelines, benchmarks and budgets. They teach the team from their professional development and understand the regulations and best practices to implement. They may oversee the maintenance of equipment and tools and keep records. They will ensure quality in every job while engaging in tasks of report preparation and submitted it. A senor arborist can supervise the fieldwork of multiple crews at once. They may research new technology and advancements while participating on committees for policy and regulatory development as well as committees for educational and research programs in the tree genre.

What is the Job Demand for Arborists?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of tree care specialists will grow at a rate of 18%, which is higher than the average for all occupations. This is due to many cities that are slated to include more green spaces and cities and towns that are already planting more trees today. This trend will open up many opportunities for arborists, especially in the warmer areas of the United States that require these services year round.

If you are considering becoming a tree care specialist or arborist, then this career choice is a great one to pursue with many opportunities to use your expertise and knowledge in the tree care industry. This is also a professional that will be needed forever and it isn't a trend that may disappear over time.

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