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What Is a Tree Trimmer and How to Become One

What Is a Tree Trimmer?

A tree trimmer, also known as an arborist, manages the health, maintenance, and appearance of trees by pruning diseased or damaged limbs. Tree trimmers work in a variety of locations such as residences, schools, hospitals, hotels, and indoor mall gardens. Utility companies often contract tree trimmers to clear trees that are close to power lines and remove any debris in the area. Some businesses hire tree trimmers as part of a site’s annual landscaping maintenance. Duties include the use of manual and power tools along with scaffolding equipment, and the operation of heavy machinery, like boom trucks.

How to Become a Tree Trimmer

The qualifications for becoming a tree trimmer include a high school diploma and a valid driver’s license. Most employers also require potential employees to pass a drug test and background check. Some individuals pursue an associate degree in forestry or arboriculture to secure more lucrative employment opportunities. You can also obtain certification from the Tree Care Industry Association to increase your marketability. Most tree trimmers get the bulk of their experience from on-the-job training. Having physical stamina and following proper safety precautions are necessary skills for this career because of its higher risk of injuries.

Tree Trimmer Job Description Sample

With this Tree Trimmer job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for a Tree Trimmer role.

Job Summary

Our company is looking for a Tree Trimmer to join our landscaping team. In this role, you will plant, transplant, remove, and trim trees on behalf of various clients. You must feel comfortable applying fertilizers and operating power tools such as chainsaws and chippers. Our ideal applicant is a certified ISA arborist with has a Class A or B CDL. You will use rigging to climb trees safely, so you should also have at least two years of tree climbing experience. A skills test will be administered to determine eligibility and pay level. All applicants must pass a drug test and background check.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Plant, transplant, or remove trees
  • Use rigging to climb and trim trees safely
  • Remove broken branches or limbs from roofs or other structures
  • Inspect trees for signs of damaging pests
  • Safely apply fertilizer and other chemicals
  • Remove brush, trimmings, and other debris
  • Explain tree care techniques to property owners or managers
  • Assist with traffic control if necessary

Requirements and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or GED certificate
  • ISA arborist certification preferred
  • Tree climbing experience (2-4 years)
  • Landscaping experience a plus
  • Familiar with power tools, including aerial lifts, chainsaws, and wood chippers
  • Valid driver's license (Class A or B CDL preferred)
  • Physical stamina