How To Become A Tree Surgeon

Do you think tree surgery may be a career for you? Becoming a tree surgeon isn’t easy and it requires a number of key skills, personal qualities and qualifications in order to carry out the position professionally. However, if you’re considering becoming a tree surgeon, read on for more information about how to get started.


Personal Qualities


Tree surgery is very physically demanding and requires high levels of concentration at all times. Therefore, if you want to become a tree surgeon, you’ll need to have the right personal qualities to undertake this work. 


You’ll need to have a love for the outdoors (whatever the weather), great communication and teamworking skills, good coordination, physical fitness, and the ability to operate machinery - it’s also a great idea not to be afraid of heights!  


Relevant Qualifications


In terms of qualifications needed to become a tree surgeon, you might not need any to begin training, however, there are courses that can help: 


University Degrees


There are a range of university degrees that can be obtained in arboriculture, forestry, countryside management, forest management or woodland ecology conservation. 


To access these degrees, it’s likely you’ll need 1 or 2 A levels or equivalent for a foundation degree or 2 to 3 A levels or equivalent for a degree.


College Courses


As well as university degrees, several college courses are available, including a Level 2 Certificate in Arboriculture, a Level 2 Work-based Trees & Timer, a Level 2 Felling and Processing Trees, a Level 3 Diploma in Forestry and arboriculture, or a T-Level in Agriculture, Land Management and Production. 


According to the Government’s website, for Level 2 courses, you’ll usually need two or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 2 (A* to D). For a Level 3 course, you’ll likely need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C). And for a T Level, you’ll probably need 4 or 5 GCSEs and grades 9 to 4 (A* to C).




There may also be a route to become a tree surgeon via an apprenticeship. You can find out more about availability on the Government’s website.


On-the-job Learning


You may not always need academic qualifications to become a tree surgeon, on-the-job learning and volunteering is also a very valid route into a career in tree surgery. Gaining real, practical experience can aid you here. 


Furthering Your Skills As A Tree Surgeon


The training and qualifications don’t necessarily stop once you’re qualified! There are still a  number of industry qualifications that may be required to work at height, with machinery, or on your own. This will include certificates in chainsaw maintenance, competence in felling trees, competence in aerial cutting of trees etc.


There are also professional bodies that provide training courses for tree surgeons including the Arboricultural Association and the Royal Forestry Society.


Hopefully, the question of ‘how to become a tree surgeon’ is a little clearer, and you’re more aware of the skills and attributes you’ll need for the job. To find out some more information about what tree surgeons do, and what the job entails, read our latest blog post: What is a tree surgeon?


Here at CHC Tree Care, all our staff are fully qualified and hold the relevant certifications for any arboricultural work we undertake. For more information, get in touch with us.

How To Become A Tree Surgeon
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