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What to Consider Before Becoming a Tree Surgeon

If you’re in search of a career that will keep you physically active, and that will see you spend most of your working hours out in the open air, then you might be tempted to train as a tree surgeon. This is a calling that might seem quite straightforward, but it’s one that requires a surprising degree of dedication and training, and one that poses a not-insignificant degree of safety risk.

Let’s take a closer look at this occupation, and see what it’s really all about.

What does the job entail?

A tree surgeon is a professional who maintains trees. This means conducting surveys, removing unwanted branches, treating diseases, and dealing with any unsightly stumps. They can also plant entirely new trees, theoretically changing the entire look of a given plot overnight.

Tree surgery is a skilled profession, and if you’re good at it you can expect to earn around £40,000 per annum, depending on where in the UK you’re located. You’ll need to be physically capable, and have strong attention to detail and concentration. Basic people and customer-service skills will also pay off.

The dangers of the job

Tree surgery often tends to involve climbing trees, and working at height in general. This obviously presents the possibility that you’ll fall. You’ll also be working with sharp tools, some of them powered. A chainsaw is something that requires considerable respect, care and attention if you’re going to wield it safely and effectively.

To give yourself the best chance of avoiding an injury, it’s almost always a good idea to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment. This means safety harnesses for when you’re climbing the tree, and protective work gloves for when you’re handling timber. You should be sure that any equipment you do wear doesn’t interfere with your ability to handle the tree you’re working with.

How to Become a Tree Surgeon

You need professional training in order to start working as a tree surgeon. The best approach is typically a short course followed by a lengthy apprenticeship. The consequences of any failure can be disastrous.

One possible route is to start work on the ground, as a landscape gardener, and then gradually shift yourself into the adjacent career path. Tree surgeons rarely work alone; they’re often accompanied by less experienced workmates who’ll be able to learn the ropes without taking on the danger.

If you want to be recognised as a tree surgeon, and to be able to demonstrate your skillset to would-be customers and clients, then you might join the Arboricultural Association. This is a body set up to represent the interests of just about every professional that deals with trees.

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