Thinking of Becoming a Tree Surgeon?
Before one even considers a career as a tree surgeon / arborist there are many things one should be aware of!
- It is physically, highly demanding - you will physically change shape in the course of a couple of years!
- One cannot let the weather put you off - rain, hail or shine, you will be out there climbing trees.
- It can take a long time before you become proficient enough of a groundsman/climber to earn good wages.
- Tree surgery is a young manís game - I know a guy who is still climbing at the age of 49 but even he is less acrobatic and using the ladder a bit more frequently!
- It is very dangerous (arguably the most dangerous profession) and often involves working at considerable heights.
Saying all that it is a fantastically rewarding profession in that you work outside, it is healthy, no tree or job is the same, you meet different people, and you can supply yourself with firewood and wood chips for a lifetime.
The tree and timber industry is a vast and growing business. Arboriculture is the planting, care and maintenance of trees and woodlands. Forestry is the science and practice of managing forests and woodlands. To be a tree surgeon, you must be prepared to work outdoors, be comfortable operating large, heavy machinery, enjoy working in a team and in particular, you must be interested in protecting and managing the environment.
It is TreeSurgery.comís view, that a tree surgeon can do all the theory in the world but the only way you will learn to be good and safe in tree surgery is through experience and by learning from a good tree surgeon who can teach you good tree surgery practice. You will also learn a lot from your own mistakes and gain confidence over the years.
This does not mean however that learning at a college is unnecessary. Quite the contrary - it is invaluable and essential!! The combination of theory and practical experience is ideal. Click on the link for a current list and details of tree surgery and tree surgery related courses:
Other Tree Surgery and Arboricultural Jobs
Good groundsmen do the following:
- Plan the job with the climber before they start work
- Keep the climbers ropes free and untangled
- Watch the climber and anticipate what the climber needs by way of tools and machinery
- Keep ropes clear from chainsaws, obstructions and work mates
- Put up adequate signage for the job and take every precaution
- Refuel saws and sharpen chains - away from the working area
- Keep all working equipment in a safe zone clear from falling debris
The basic qualifications to be a groundsman in NPTC certificates are:
- CS 30 Maintain the chainsaw
- CS 31 Fell Small trees 200mm-380mm
- CS 32 Fell and Process Medium Trees 380mm-760mm
- CS 33 Fell Large Trees 760mm upwards
- CS 34 and 35 Process windblown trees
- CS36 Cross cut and stack procedure
In order to be an excellent groundsman it is useful to have experience in climbing so that you can perform aerial rescue and anticipate a little better what to do.
The basics for climbers are:
- CS 38 Climb trees and perform aerial rescue
- CS39 Operate a chainsaw from rope and harness
- CS40 Carry out Pruning Operations
More Experienced Groundsmen and Climbers
- CS41 Sectional felling operations
For more information on relevant training courses, go to www.nptc.org.uk.
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