So, you asked yourself: what does an arborist do compared to a tree surgeon? In other words, what is the job profile of an arborist when compared to a tree surgeon? This article explores what exactly an expert Tree Surgeon does and what an Arborist can do. This is to act as a comparison of the two so that you’ll be able to know what’s the difference. 

Who is an Arborist?

An arborist is a term for someone who deals with trees, shrubs, and palms. An Arborist is a special kind of tree surgeon that specializes in any kind of tree problem this may include the health of your trees, trimming, pruning, fertilizing, treating, or any other concerns; like pest infestation and anything else that you might need it.

An arborist is also one who specializes in reducing invasive tree species that threaten new development.

Monster Tree Service is the place to go for dependable tree service. From tree care to tree pruning to tree removal, arborists can handle it all.

Necessary skills of an arborist

Arborists are highly skilled people, so to work as an arborist, you will need several skills that you can learn at school or on the job. You will need to be;

Mental fitness

It is important because arborists often have to make decisions quickly, especially when they are working at great heights or with heavy equipment.

Physical fitness 

This job involves a lot of climbing, lifting, and other physical activities. Arborists also often have to work in all weather conditions. If you are exposed to the elements for long periods, it is also essential that you dress appropriately.

Good communication skill

It is also important for people who want a career as an arborist to have good communication skills. This is because they may have to give instructions to other team members who are helping them in their work activity. It can also be helpful if they have good customer service skills because they may have to meet and communicate with new people all the time.

Good Knowledge of trees

Arborists must be able to recognize trees by type and age, understand their biology, and also know how to diagnose them when they have problems.

Good use of equipment/tools

They also must know how to use tools such as chainsaws, clippers, and loppers properly to avoid injury or damage to the tree. 

Knowledge of safety guidelines 

In addition, they must know safety guidelines so that they can protect themselves while working at heights or around heavy equipment. Arborists typically know local laws regarding a particular place before bringing down any tree.

Tree Surgeon

No one likes to be in the dark when it comes to tree surgeons. That’s why I did some extensive research to compile the following information on who these people are and what they do.

Tree surgeons are professionals trained in the care and maintenance of trees and plants, primarily for urban environments. Tree surgeons are also called tree doctors, arborists, or tree care experts.

Skills required to be a tree surgeon.

To help you decide whether tree surgery is the right path for you, we’ve put together a list of skills you’ll need to have.

A tree surgeon is a person who specialized in the care of trees. They are also known as arborists or arboriculturists.

In modern-day society, trees are becoming increasingly important to humans. Not only do they provide clean air, but they are also used as a source of food and medicine, while they can even be used to create products such as paper and timber. Trees also play an important part in the culture and many religions use them as a symbol of beauty, strength, and immortality.

As you can imagine, dealing with plants that have been around for thousands of years is no easy task, so becoming a tree surgeon requires a lot of hard work and dedication. Here are some skills that every good tree doctor needs:

Physical fitness

The most obvious skill required to be a tree surgeon is physical fitness. You will need to be fit enough to climb trees, and you will also have the strength required to chop down large branches and lift heavy pieces of equipment. For this reason, you should make sure you have plenty of time in your schedule for exercise, which means taking up sports like rugby or skiing. If you’re not the sporty type, then lifting weights at the gym is a good alternative.

Not scared of heights

Tree surgeons use special equipment like ropes and spikes to climb up the side of trees easily. This means that they must be comfortable with heights and also be able to deal with any unexpected situations which may arise at height, such as falling branches or sudden bad weather.

Good operating skills

Tree surgeons also use heavy machinery, such as chainsaws and chippers, which can be dangerous if handled incorrectly. Tree surgeons are trained on how to use these machines safely before they start doing real jobs with them, but the training never stops – they will learn new techniques throughout their careers.

Other skills required to be a tree surgeon are:

Good physical fitness.

Good hand-eye coordination.

Climbing ability.

The ability to work safely with dangerous chemicals.

The ability to work as part of a team.

Good communication skills, both verbally and in written form.

What an Arborist does compare to a Tree surgeon.

The main difference between an arborist and a tree surgeon is the level of training required to perform the job. According to broken, a tree surgeon is someone who has received no more than three months of training, which equips them with the skills needed to climb trees and prune branches, While an arborist has completed an apprenticeship or course in arboriculture. This person will have a much higher level of knowledge about trees, as well as what is needed to care for them.

An arborist will have studied tree biology and they will be able to provide advice on all aspects of tree care including:

  • The diseases that affect trees and how these can be treated.
  • How best to prune a tree so that it continues to grow healthily.
  • The type of soil and conditions a particular species of the tree needs to thrive.

While Tree surgeons may provide services such as:

  • Tree pruning
  • Tree felling
  • Tree stump grinding


In basic terms an arborist and tree surgeon are both involved in the maintenance and management of trees, however, their job duties differ slightly.

We hope that our article has helped to clarify the difference between an arborist and a tree surgeon, so you have a better idea of what to expect from each. Greater knowledge always leads to more informed decisions when it comes to hiring one over the other, so feel free to use this information wisely.

Richard Maxwell

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