How to become a tree surgeon

Educational Requirements For a Tree Surgeon | Work

By Fred Decker Updated February 02, 2022

Trees are planted in a range of different settings, from private homes and apartment complexes to business and industrial sites, college campuses and public parks. They need regular care and maintenance, which is provided by tree-care professionals known as arborists or tree surgeons. Arborists can enter the trade through several avenues, each with its own training requirements.

Jobsite Training

Formal educational requirements for tree-care professionals vary by the company and position. As a general rule, the minimal requirement is a high school diploma or equivalent for those who want to advance in the trade. The Tree Care Industry Association, or TCIA, offers a number of training programs that can be delivered in-house by tree care companies, known collectively as the Tree Care Academy.

Through a combination of practical experience, formal presentations such as Tree Care Academy courses or self-study, arborists trained on the job can become competent tree surgeons. They're trained and mentored by experienced colleagues and taught both safety procedures and diagnostic skills. Tree surgeons learn to correctly identify tree species by examining leaves and bark. They must know how to maintain different types of trees and promote their continued health.

College Education

Clemson University, for example, offers courses in arboriculture and urban forestry for students majoring in horticulture. Arboriculture is centered on the care of individual trees, while urban forestry considers the health of entire populations of trees in populated areas.

Programs might offer certificates, associate degrees or bachelor's degrees, depending on their focus. Formal training at the college level is useful preparation for a career as a tree surgeon because it provides in-depth instruction in the diseases, pests and environmental factors that affect trees.

Industry Certification

Although professional certification isn't necessary to practice as an arborist or tree surgeon, potential clients and employers might feel more confident hiring a certified arborist. The Tree Care Industry Association offers a number of technical and safety-oriented certifications for candidates who complete their training programs and pass the exams.

The International Society of Arboriculture, or ISA, offers Certified Arborist and Board-Certified Master Arborist credentials, as well as a number of specialized certifications and qualifications. ISA certification requires a combination of practical experience and college-level education.

Salary and Growth Trend

As long as there are trees in populated areas, arborists will be needed to keep them healthy and prevent them from posing a hazard to people, property and utility lines. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, projects 8 percent job growth for tree trimmers and pruners between 2020 and 2030, on pace with the national average for all occupations.

As of May 2020, the Bureau reported a median hourly wage of ​$19.88​ for tree trimmers and pruners. Tree trimmers living in colder climates may supplement their income by offering snow removal services in the winter when tree trimming is done less frequently.


  • Clemson University: Careers in Arboriculture
  • Tree Care Industry Association: Tree Care Academy
  • International Society of Arboriculture: Credentials
  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook -- Grounds Maintenance Workers

Writer Bio

Fred Decker is a trained chef and prolific freelance writer. In previous careers, he sold insurance and mutual funds, and was a longtime retailer. He was educated at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. His articles have appeared on numerous business-related sites, including Zack's, Bizfluent, AZCentral, and's B2B portal for food service professionals.

Tree surgeon | Explore careers

How to become a tree surgeon

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role


You can study for a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree.

Relevant courses include:

  • forestry
  • arboriculture
  • countryside management
  • forest management
  • woodland ecology and conservation
Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
More Information


You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job.

Relevant subjects include:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Arboriculture
  • Level 2 Work-based Trees and Timber
  • Level 2 Felling and Processing Trees
  • Level 3 Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture
  • T Level in Agriculture, Land Management and Production
Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level
More Information


You may be able to get into this job through an arborist or a forest operative intermediate apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
More Information


You may be able to start as a ground worker, supporting a qualified tree surgeon. You could then progress by completing further training to use chainsaws, ropes, ladders and harnesses.

You can access these types of courses from private training providers and further education colleges.


It can be useful to get some experience of tree work by volunteering with conservation organisations or horticultural groups. For example, you can contact The Tree Council, the National Trust and the Woodland Trust about opportunities.

More Information

Professional and industry bodies

You can join the The Arboricultrual Association for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find more details about working with trees through The Arboricultural Association and the Royal Forestry Society.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • physical skills like movement and co-ordination
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • customer service skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

  • be able to cope with working at height
  • have a Certificate of Competence, if you carry out hazardous tasks using a chainsaw

You may need a driving licence and access to a vehicle to travel to jobs.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

On a day-to-day basis, you could:

  • identify hazards posed by trees
  • assess tree health and treatment
  • climb trees to cut back or remove branches
  • plant trees and plants
  • cut down and remove trees and stumps
  • cut logs and branches
  • service equipment like chainsaws and chippers
  • produce tree survey reports for clients
  • deal with clients and complete admin tasks

Working environment

You could work in parks and gardens, on the streets, in woodland or on rail tracks.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers, at height, dusty and physically demanding.

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

Career path and progression

With qualifications and experience, you could progress to supervisor or manager. You could also start your own business.

You could move into recreational tree climbing, taking people into treetops as an outdoor activity.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Arborist apprenticeship
  • Wage: £15,600.00 Annually
Apprentice Arborist
  • Wage: £11,700.00 Annually

Find apprenticeships near you

Courses In England

Introduction to Arboriculture ( Tree Surgery ) Award Level 1 (Companion Course)
  • Start date: 03 January 2023
  • Location: Acton
BTEC Technical Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture
  • Start date: 04 September 2023
  • Location: Bridgwater

Find courses near you

Jobs In the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

How to Become a Tree Surgeon (Including Tips and FAQs) • BUOM

By Indeed Editorial Team

August 19, 2021

If you are passionate about the environment and love working outdoors, you can find a career as a tree surgeon . The tree surgeon's role is to take care of tree health and provide tree conservation services. Understanding what the job duties of an arboretum surgeon entail and the requirements to become one can help you further your career as an arboretum surgeon. In this article, we will explain what a wood surgeon is, what they do, what their job prospects are, as well as provide information on how to become a wood surgeon and answers to frequently asked questions.

Who is a wood surgeon?

A tree surgeon is a horticultural service engineer who specializes in tree care and cultivation services. They have strong tree climbing skills and knowledge of power tools to perform tree care services. Tree surgeons use their knowledge and skills to assess the health of trees and provide tree care services to restore or maintain health. Tree care services include:

  • Planting and replanting: tree growers use their growing experience to plant and replant trees in conditions that promote good health for the trees and their environment.

  • Pest Control: Tree surgeons provide pest control services to eliminate pests that can affect tree health.

  • Tree felling: Arborist surgeons perform tree felling, felling trees to remove them if they are dead or if a client requests the removal of a healthy tree.

  • Stump Removal: To completely remove a tree after it has been cut down, the surgeon must remove the stump.

  • Pruning: Tree surgeons use pruning, the act of pruning or pruning trees to keep trees healthy.

What does a tree surgeon do?

A tree surgeon climbs and cuts trees using power tools and equipment to provide tree care services. They also evaluate the tree's health for conservation purposes. Their daily duties include:

  • Preparation of improvement plans

  • Creation of offers and accounts for customers

  • Creating reports on the survey of trees

  • Inspection of all documents for insurance and responsibility

  • Operation of heavy equipment 9,000

  • Climbing trees to extreme heights for tree care

  • Use of personal protective equipment

  • Compliance with all safety procedures and protocols


Apply for the Certified Tree Care Professional (CTSP) program.

The Tree Care Professionals Association offers a Certified Professional Tree Care Safety Program to prepare tree surgeons for all aspects of safety at work. At least three years of experience in tree care and safety work such as first responder or instructor is an eligibility requirement for candidates applying for the non-degree program. Applicants with a two- or four-year degree must have experience in the field through an internship or apprenticeship.

Once a candidate is admitted to the program, they may be required to submit a workbook with answers to critical thinking exercises related to tree care in order to attend safety and behavior seminars. Each workshop has three sections and may take one day. The CTSP program requires the completion of safety and behavioral seminars in order to be eligible to take the certification exam and become a certified tree care safety professional.

4. Obtain credentials from the International Society of Forestry (ISA).

ISA offers several certificates and credentials for tree care professionals to provide candidates with the relevant knowledge to properly provide tree care services. You can become a Certified Arborist or Certified Tree Climber to gain experience as a successful tree surgeon. To obtain this credential, the candidate must pass the arborist or arborist examinations to demonstrate and apply their knowledge in the field.

5. Seek additional certifications

Candidate tree surgeons can earn additional certifications in CPR and first aid, machine operation, and tree risk assessment. While certifications are not required to become a tree specialist, these certifications can give a candidate a competitive edge due to the knowledge provided by each certification and qualification program. Tree care certification programs often promote continuing education and ask tree surgeons to take re-certification exams to maintain their credentials.

Average salary and job prospects for a tree surgeon

A tree surgeon can earn an average salary of $45,356 per year. Their salary may depend on their place of work, level of education and authority. Jobs with similar job responsibilities as a tree surgeon, such as trimmers and tree pruners, may be on the rise. 11% during 2019-2029

Tips for Becoming a Tree Surgeon

When pursuing a career as a tree surgeon, consider the following tips:

Build physical strength

It is important for tree surgeons to be physically fit to perform their job duties. The daily tasks of a tree surgeon include lifting heavy equipment, climbing trees, and operating heavy machinery at high altitude. You can prepare for the physical demands of a tree surgeon position by establishing a rigorous exercise schedule, incorporating weight lifting into your workouts, and eating a healthy diet.

Familiarize yourself with power tools

Tree surgeons use a variety of equipment to trim, remove and replant trees. They can use chainsaws, axes, stump grinders, and cranes. Having experience or being familiar with how to operate these power tools and equipment can increase your credibility with a hiring manager looking for the right candidate for a tree surgeon position.

Raise your health and safety awareness

Health and safety awareness can help tree surgeons when faced with hazardous work-related situations. Tree surgeons use health and safety knowledge to follow safety protocols and keep the public safe. It is important to understand the importance of good health and safety precautions to minimize the risk of accidents at work.

Frequently asked questions about tree surgeons

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about tree surgeons:

What jobs are similar to being a tree surgeon?

The position of a tree surgeon can be challenging because it involves accepting various safety risks, tree climbing skills, and meeting fitness and health requirements. Outdoor job seekers may prefer to work in a natural environment with less risk and physical requirements, but still be able to work with trees. Some jobs similar to being a tree surgeon include:

  • Botanist

  • Gardener

  • Landscape designer

  • park ranger

  • 9003

    Tree surgeons work outdoors. Their working conditions can be dangerous as surgeons must climb trees to great heights using heavy equipment to provide tree care services. A wood surgeon works full-time and requires about 40 hours a week. They may have to work weekends or change their work schedule depending on the weather. Tree surgeons can work in difficult weather conditions such as rain, snow and extreme heat in summer.

    What skills and qualifications do tree surgeons have?

    Tree surgeons often have different qualifications and skills to be successful in their role. The tree surgeon is qualified in tree care services, safety procedures, and the operation of tree care equipment. They also have the following skills:

    • Teamwork

    • Time management

    • Attention to detail

    • Written and verbal communication

    • Ability to remain calm in stressful situations

    Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

    Who is an arborist and how does he make our life safer? Before that, no one in Russia knew about it. And even now, few people know. All this, of course, does not mean that until the middle of the 19In the 1990s, trees were dying en masse from terrible diseases - then forest pathologists looked after them. They are also "tree doctors": they can find out the cause of the disease by the size and color of the spots on the leaves, they easily recognize all kinds of parasites. And yet they are rather epidemiologists: they monitor the state of entire forests, a tree for them is only a unit of phytocenosis. But the arborist is, of course, a personal doctor who is responsible for the health of an individual organism and knows the characteristics of each of his patients.

    Our hero Alexei Antsiferov is one of the first Russian arborists. He is not just a forest pathologist who announced that from now on he has an individual approach to each tree. Alexey is a certified specialist who has learned a new profession according to the Western European Tree Worker system.

    - For arborists, such training as a residency for doctors is not necessary, but in the end it gives certain advantages, - explains Alexey. - Improves skills, makes it possible to work with more complex equipment, for example, with an aerial platform - a mobile platform with which you can climb to the very top of a tall tree. And of course, it opens the way to work abroad.

    - Is it difficult to study in such a program?

    - Personally, I had no difficulty with this. I am a biologist by education, and I already knew much of what we were taught. I have always been interested in plants. He defended his PhD on bird cherry, worked for several years at the All-Russian Research Institute of Horticulture named after I. V. Michurin. I learned about arboristics from the Living Forest magazine, I decided to try myself in this area ... and everything worked out.

    Treat the cause, don't cut the effect

    In arboristry, like in medicine, there are both surgeons and therapists. The former cut trees, cut off their branches, fill hollows, the latter loosen and fertilize the soil around the tree, treat the crown with biostimulants to increase immunity.

    - In our professional environment, not so long ago we came to the conclusion that we need to move from surgery to therapy. Surgery treats only the consequences, while therapy treats the cause. And if it is not eliminated, new problems will appear every year, the arborist notes.

    - Medicine has gone through about the same evolution... Do arborists adhere to the principle of "do no harm" like doctors?

    - Of course, it is just as fundamental for us. After all, you can heal a tree so that it dies. You need to know how to properly handle it. You can't heal one and hurt the other. We, like doctors, follow the development of technologies and try to master them - to move from outdated methods to new, safe and effective ones.

    - Can you give examples?

    - Take bloodletting from a person. Today, this is an unacceptable method of treatment: it is not only useless, but also dangerous. In arboristry, too, there are obsolete methods. Previously, for example, it was believed that hollows should be sealed and cleaned to healthy wood. Now this is being abandoned, because in this way we will not increase the stability of the tree, but, on the contrary, we can break through the barrier that protects the trunk from the spread of rot. In addition, hollows are homes for squirrels, birds, some insects and microorganisms.

    - Is there anything else in common in the treatment of a person and a tree?

    - You can compare the processes of filling a diseased tooth and shallow damage to a tree trunk - the mechanisms are very similar. First, the wood is cleaned, like a tooth with a drill; then we treat the wound with an aqueous solution of a fungicide, and put a cotton swab soaked in an antiseptic on the tooth. Just like dentists, when we place a filling, we paint over it to match the color of the bark. For this, there are brushes and a special set of paints. If necessary, we model the roughness of the bark structure. That is, our work is also creative: we need to make the tree look aesthetically pleasing.

    - It is clear about similar treatment processes. Do trees have diseases, just like human ones?

    - Trees get sick with cancer. - Alex thinks and looks out the window. Branches sway behind the glass. Healthy, with fresh only pouring greens. - But we have a different physiology, so there is very little in common between human and tree diseases. There are simply diseases similar in name. Cancer of trees is called disproportionate development of cells, swelling. But sometimes it proceeds in a different way: for example, with black cancer it does even without swelling. Even in trees, dropsy is often observed, only it manifests itself differently than in people. In general, there are no absolutely similar diseases in terms of symptoms; nevertheless, we represent different kingdoms of wildlife.

    - Which trees are your most frequent patients?

    - Hard to say. Spruces are severely affected by bark beetle, lindens by thyrostromosis, horse chestnuts by Ohrid miner, elms by the Dutch disease of elm species - grafiosis, ash trees by ash narrow-bodied emerald borer. This is such an insect.

    - It has a beautiful name ...

    - Yeah, the pest itself is also beautiful, but it kills ash trees en masse. Here in the Aptekarsky garden in Moscow there was once a huge curtain of ash trees. A team of arborists and plant pathologists diagnosed that all the trees there were affected by the emerald borer. While obtaining permission for processing from the pest, its larvae mercilessly ate the wood. Now there is not a single ash tree in the most beautiful botanical garden of the capital - the affected trees have dried up and have been cut down.

    - How do trees feel when they get sick?

    - A tree has no nervous system, the arborist emphasizes every word. That is, it cannot experience pain. But maybe, having received information about their ailments, they can transmit impulses. Recently, scientists hypothesized that the tree has receptor cells that allow it to understand what is happening inside the trunk. So the tree knows that it is rotting from the inside, and tries to fight it, forming a protective barrier against stem rot. Coniferous trees lay a layer of resinous substances, deciduous - phenolic compounds. As a result, very dense fragments are formed. And if the arborist tries to clean out the hollow, he will break through this barrier, and the rot will go to healthy tissues. By healing a tree in this way, the arborist can make a medical mistake, which can no longer be corrected: the patient will die.

    Tree cardiogram

    - A tree can't come to the doctor for help, - Aleksey nods at the same green branches outside the window of his office. - Therefore, we, their doctors, go to patients ourselves. And besides, the tree is not able to complain about what worries him. Since it is mute, we ourselves are trying to uncover its secrets.

    Taking with us two large boxes and a special bag with tools, we go out to the yard of "Healthy Les" - the company where Alexey works. The basic arsenal of an arborist is very diverse: hacksaws, secateurs, chisels, a set of brushes, sealant, garden pitch, varnish-balm, fungicide, sprayer, work gloves, mosquito and tick spray, uniform and ... an umbrella.

    - Umbrella in case of bad weather for us, not for the trees, of course... - the arborist laughs. - It is not included in the standard set of equipment.

    At the first meeting with a tree, you need to measure its parameters: trunk diameter and height. This is done with a measuring fork, consisting of a ruler with two scales, and a small, palm-sized instrument called an altimeter. Next, they find out the residence of the tree - its GPS coordinates, as well as the breed or species - by external signs. The next stage is a visual assessment of the patient's condition. Three parameters are taken into account: the state of the trunk, crown and root system.

    - Visually it can be difficult to identify the problem, - Alexey frowns. - It is also not always possible to detect a disease in a person by external signs - one has to resort to instrumental diagnostics, to conduct tests. So it is with the tree.

    - That is, if the inspection did not reveal anything, you use the instruments?

    - Exactly. The next step is usually to use a resistograph and an arbotome. They allow you to look inside the tree and determine its real state: the size, position and configuration of rot, the thickness of the remaining walls of the wood. After all, we are interested not only in the health of the tree, but also in potential risks for people: if the trunk is very rotten, it can suddenly collapse.

    One of the boxes that Antsiferov took outside contains a resistograph. It looks like a fantastic weapon of some extraterrestrial civilization - a long and narrow parallelepiped, at one end you can see a thin drilling needle, closer to the opposite end there is a handle, like a machine gun.

    Having positioned the device at chest level, Alexey drills a tree trunk - a crackling device comes to life in the box. A tape with some kind of schedule quickly crawls out of it.

    - Sounds like an electrocardiogram, doesn't it? - smiles Antsiferov. - This is a resistogram. In the laboratory, I process this data and recognize areas of healthy and rotten wood. If the graph shows a dip in density, then there is rot - I highlight this area in red. Healthy is marked in green. Thus, we can infer the immunity of the tree and predict the spread of rot.

    - I see, but what is an arbotome, what is it for?

    - He has the same goal: to look inside the tree, to assess the degree of its accident rate. But the principle of operation of this device is different. Its main element is a pulse sensor. In fact, this is the brain of an arbotomy, - Alexei takes out a white box from the second box, twists it in his hands. - There are several such sensors, inside each sensor there is a microcircuit that processes signals. The sensors are fixed along the circumference of the trunk, hit each with a hammer, and the signals are sent to the computer in the form of a tomogram. Then I look and determine: the speed of sound transmission is high - the area is healthy; if the sound goes slowly, then the wood is rotten. Each such fragment on the tomogram is painted with different colors.

    - Which device is more convenient?

    - Most of the time I use a resistograph. With an arbotomy, the diagnostic process takes longer, and as a result, data is output only in one plane. With a resistograph, I can drill through the barrel several times at different heights, which means I can get more accurate data. And even then, with a clear conscience, prescribe the correct treatment for your patient.

    VIP patients

    - I had to work in interesting places: from historical parks and gardens to cemeteries and Red Square... - lists Alexey Antsiferov.

    - In the graveyard, seriously?

    - Well, yes, but what? There are trees there, and they need to be treated from time to time. Once I examined very old pine trees in a cemetery. Large, beautiful, but grew right in the center of the grave. Among them there were no particularly sick and rotten ones, all were strong.

    - Did you have to remove them?

    - No, it worked out, fortunately.

    - And who did you look after on Red Square?

    - I worked with trees around St. Basil's Cathedral: there grow a large oak, lilac, mountain ash, linden, birch.

    - Is everyone alive and well?

    - Recommended to replace the drying rowan. It grew in a tub in poor conditions: the soil was very frozen. Instead, he advised planting bird cherry - the most winter-hardy tree, the range of which reaches right up to the Arctic Ocean.

    - Do you often go on business trips? Probably, there are not very many arborists in our country.

    - So it is, not enough yet. My colleague and I from the company regularly visit unique trees of cultural, historical and natural value within the framework of the state program "Trees - Monuments of Wildlife".

    - Do you remember all your VIP patients?

    - Of course! We recently flew to the Crimea, where we examined two rare trees. The first is the Suvorov oak. According to legend, Generalissimo Suvorov himself sat under it, but after examination it turned out that the tree was only 186 years old. By the way, we determine the age not by eye, but by studying age cores. We select them with the help of a Pressler drill. We analyze already in our dendrochronological laboratory using the LINTAB scientific complex. This oak grows in a rather beautiful place, near the city of Belogorsk. One and only oak in the entire steppe space, and even against the backdrop of white mountains. Films about the Indians were often filmed there. A picturesque place, and the tree itself is picturesque, - Alexey recalls fondly. - It turned out to be in good condition, without rot. So, a few dry branches that we recommended to cut. It is also the thickest tree in Russia.

    - Really? The thickest tree in the country was considered like a tulip, which grows in Sochi. Although... this was probably before the annexation of Crimea.

    "Yeah," the arborist nods. - The Suvorov oak, although it consists of four fused trunks, gives 965 cm in girth. The girth of the tulip oak is exactly 65 cm less.

    - Besides oak, what kind of tree was examined in the Crimea? You talked about two unique plants.

    - Nikulin's walnut. It grows in the Demerdzhi mountain range. It is this nut that appears in the film "Prisoner of the Caucasus": Dunce climbed on it and threw nuts at Shurik from there. Tourists often go to this tree, so it is unwell.

    - The sociopath tree…

    - If you take it as a metaphor, yes. Trees really do not benefit from communicating with a lot of people. Of course, not because they are sociopathic: I repeat, plants do not have a nervous system and psyche. It’s just that people always flock to such monument trees in droves, which is why the soil is very compacted - the roots lack oxygen and moisture.

    - And how does this affect the tree?

    - It weakens and begins to shrink. This is exactly what is happening with Nikulinsky Nut. It is necessary to cut dry branches, aerate the soil and treat the crown with biostimulants to maintain immunity. Aeration is loosening the soil with a special injector, similar to a jackhammer with a hollow pin. It drives compressed air into the dense soil.

    There is no pity, there is love

    - Do you like the pace of your work? The need to be mobile, to wander around different cities?

    - You know, the Chinese philosopher Confucius said, "Find a job you love and you won't have to work a day in your life." And I found a job!

    - That is, she suits you completely, is the salary enough?

    - Of course, I would like more, like any person. I think that Roman Abramovich also lacks his funds, - Aleksey chuckles. - But in general, I do not complain about the financial situation.

    - Would you treat trees without money? Here you go, let's say, through a forest or a park and notice a sick tree. What will you do: stop and find out what's the matter, or pass by?

    - When I work in the parks, I notice not only my patients - the trees I was called to - but also other plants that need treatment. I show them to the park staff. Those adequately perceive my advice and invite experts. But, of course, just like that, without an application from the park, none of us, arborists, has the right to carry out treatment - this is punishable by law.

    - After all, what motivates you personally to work: profit or pity for the patient?

    - I'm definitely not surveying out of pity, but out of love for nature. And I do not only deal with trees that need to be pitied. I like that my work is useful. Recently I went to the Epiphany Monastery to check something. A few years ago I examined an emergency, dangerous tree there: it had a large slope, a lot of rot, and besides, it stood near the roadway. I recommended removing it. Otherwise, it would have killed someone or damaged a nearby transformer box.

    - Did you listen?

    - So I went to check. To my relief, the tree was no longer there. And judging by the fact that the transformer box remained intact, it was removed without waiting for the fall. In addition to medicine, I also work as an independent forensic expert. I also have the corresponding certificate. As part of such examinations, I mainly establish the causes of drying or falling trees. And after the completion of the trial, I always contact the customers to find out how the case ended. I am very pleased that in almost one hundred percent of cases the decisions reflect the results of my expertise: justice and law triumph.

    - Surely you had to unravel complex and mysterious stories. Will you tell me this?

    - Yes, sometimes there are downright detective cases. A few months ago I did an interesting examination. The situation is as follows: a birch tree fell on the car - it was late autumn, there were no leaves on the trees. The defendant stated that the fallen tree was alive, and the plaintiff, the owner of the crushed car, argued that the birch had stood dry all summer. Drill cores were taken from the stump left by the fallen tree to establish the truth. And the same - from a neighboring living birch. The cores were compared and by the method of cross-dating they scientifically proved that the fallen birch dried up three years ago and had to be removed a long time ago. The court ordered the defendant to fully compensate the plaintiff for moral and material damage. In general, my work brings positive results, and it gives me pleasure. I am happy that, as an arborist, I save the lives of not only trees, but also people.


    Aleksey Antsiferov - biologist, candidate of agricultural sciences. Full member of the Russian Geographical Society. Certified European Tree Worker. Leading expert of the Center for Wood Expertise.

    Arboristry is a separate direction in plant growing. It is a set of evidence-based measures for the care of trees and shrubs of various species and species. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, during the period of the urbanization explosion, forest biologists began to pay special attention to urban plantings.

    Learn more