Learn skills to help you towards becoming an arborist

An ideal course for people wishing to gain a foundation knowledge of tree care and maintenance.
If you work on properties where tree care is needed such as public gardens or grounds management, public parks or related areas, then this course may be of great value. It is also suitable for people wishing to add tree pruning and care to existing skills such as in landscape gardening or garden maintenance.

This course develops your skills and understanding in diagnosis and treatment of tree disorders, whether pests, diseases, nutritional or water problems, or something else. You learn about the standard tree surgery practices, to prune and train both young and established trees, and safety measures to follow.

Begin your journey to becoming a Tree Expert


Trees are potentially far greater problems in landscapes than shrubs. If a shrub blows over, it creates a bit of a mess and a gap in the garden bed. If a tree blows over, it can destroy half the garden, make a large hole in the roof of a house, or crush your new car. Trees, like people, can be hurt, they can get sick, and sooner or later they will die. They need to be fed and watered, and they do need "doctoring" if their life is to be extended to the fullest. Some trees, like some people, are hardier and never seem to become ill. In the same way, however, many trees have "medical" problems which no one seems to notice until it is too late! 



 There are eight lessons in this module, as follows:

1. Introduction to Arboriculture - Trees in the garden, Planting in the right position, Choosing the right variety, Choosing the right specimen, How to plant different types of trees, Transplanting, Tree Guards, Using a Tree Report Form

2. Tree Biology - Tree growth, Photosynthesis, Respiration, Transpiration, Vernilisation, What makes foliage change colour, Tree physiology, Roots, Stems, Leaves, Bud types, How a tree grows, Vascular tissue, Cambium, Xylem, Phloem, Secondary growth, Growth rings, Heartwood, Sapwood, Compartmentalisation, Water and plant growth, Growth rate factors, Arboricultural terminology

3. Soils In Relation to Trees - Fertilising, Compacted soils, Tree health and drainage, Treating soil over winter, Changed soil levels around trees, Measuring pH, Measuring soil organic content, Measuring water content, Determining fertiliser solubility, Testing affect of lime on soil, Laboratory testing of soils, Soil texture, Measuring salinity, Soil horizons, Soil Naming, Soil nutrition, Fertilisers, etc

4. Diagnosing Tree Problems - Tree health disorders, Frost protection, Minimising frost and wind damage, Mulch and frost, Mistletoe Diagnosing problems, Conducting a Tree inspection

5. Tree Surgery - Tree surgery-do you need it, Review of techniques, Tree surgery safety, Safety and the worker, Public safety, Safety regulations, Cavity treatments, Bracing, Cabling, Propping, Bark wounds, Tree climbing techniques, Knots, Anchoring points, etc.

6. Pruning of Trees - Pruning objectives, Removing branches, Crown cleaning, Crown thinning, Crown reduction, Crown lifting, Crown renewal, Fruit tree pruning, Felling a whole tree, Felling sections of a tree, terminology.

7. Arboriculture Equipment - Secateurs, Hand saws, Power tools, Safety with electricity, Engine and tool maintenance, Chain saws, Hedge trimmers, Ladders, Harnesses, Ropes, Pole belt, Spurs, etc

8. Workplace Health and Safety - Duty of Care, Lifting & manual handling, Protective equipment, Handling tools and machinery, Auditing tools and equipment

Duration: 100 hours


  • Describe measures to provide healthy trees in different situations, including appropriate plant selection.
  • Explain tree biology, including morphology, anatomy and physiology, as it relates to arboriculture.
  • Develop procedures to manage soils for improved tree growth.
  • Develop procedures for managing health disorders with trees, including environmental, pest and disease problems.
  • Determine surgical techniques commonly used in arboriculture to repair damage to plants
  • Explain tree surgery techniques commonly used in arboriculture to prune growth.
  • Determine appropriate equipment for arboricultural practice.
  • Determine appropriate workplace health and safety practices for an arboricultural workplace


  • Distinguish between plants in order to identify at many different trees.
  • Develop a standard tree report form, customised for surveying the condition and use of trees in your locality.
  • Explain how to treat three specified soil related problems that can effect trees.
  • Develop a twelve month program, for managing a health problem detected by you in an established tree.
  • Demonstrate bridge grafting across a bark wound.
  • Distinguish between different methods of pruning including:  - Canopy reduction -Cleaning out -Topiary -Espaliering
  • Determine the minimum equipment required to commence business as a tree surgeon.
  • Compare different chainsaws, to determine appropriate applications for each.
  • Determine legislation which is relevant to a specific arborist in a workplace which you visit.


Every Tree Is Different

There are two things you need to know to be successful in arboriculture:

1. You must know the techniques that are used to establish, maintain, and remove trees. This involves tree planting, soil management, pest control, disease management, pruning, tree surgery, tree felling, and much more
2. You must also know thew differences between different trees. Different species are going to grow in different ways, need to be treated in different ways, and are able to be grown for different reasons. Some grow fast; but others are slow. Some have more brittle wood, and can be more of a safety risk when working around or climbing them. Some are more susceptible to certain diseases than others. The normal lifespan of a tree can vary greatly between species; and the tendency for roots to cause damage can be just as variable.


Opportunities After Study

When you complete this course it will add to your hort6iculture knowledge base. It may be of value to people working in the following areas:


  • Tree care
  • Tree surgery
  • Tree maintenance
  • Landscape gardening
  • Garden design
  • Garden maintenance

It may also be useful for people wishing to start up their own tree care business




Just go to the top of this page for pricing and enrolment options. If you have any questions you can contact us now, by:
Phone (UK) 01384 44272, (International) +44 (0) 1384 442752, or

Email us at [email protected]