Overview of the role

Undertake tree inspections and surveys.

Details of standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in arboricultural, utility, facilities management and grounds maintenance organisations. These include local authorities, arboricultural consultancies, estates, commercial organisations and charities. 

The broad purpose of the occupation is to undertake tree inspections and surveys, recording information on tree management databases and to evaluate each tree individually. Although evaluating a tree requires balancing a wide range of factors and is complex and varied by nature, Arboriculturists focus on well-defined and more commonly found situations. The Arboriculturist would be supported when dealing, for example, with ancient or veteran trees, those that are rare, those that are of historical or cultural importance or those involved in subsidence.  They supervise contractors undertaking specified tree works and can check for the safety of the site and quality of work.

Arboriculturists comply with legislation in relation to trees including making sure relevant authorities have approved work to be undertaken. They provide tree related advice – management and law. They manage woodland, having oversight of budgets, make grant applications and preparing quotes. They manage clients and engage with the public.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with colleagues, the general public, stakeholders, clients, landowners, lawyers, insurers, budget holders and organisations managing built infrastructure (for example utility companies, highways, street lighting, waterways, railways).

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for:

  • Assessing tree health and risk
  • Managing contractors
  • Dealing with complaints
  • Understanding and applying law relating to trees
  • Planning and prioritising survey requirements to ensure work delivery and discharge of legal Duty of Care and to prepare and assess planning applications
  • Complying with legislation and regulation regarding trees, woodlands and forests to include tree preservation orders, conservation zones, felling licenses and other designations.

Typical job titles include:

Arboricultural consultant Green leaf Arboricultural officer Green leaf Arboriculturist Green leaf Arborist sales representative Green leaf Assistant tree officer Green leaf Junior/assistant arboricultural consultant Green leaf Tree officer Green leaf

Entry requirements

There are no statutory entry requirements for the arboriculturist apprenticeship and no entry requirements have been defined to keep this flexible for employers.  Parts of the industry are likely to require a level 2 or 3 arboricultural qualification or arborist apprenticeship and associated practical experience.  Other sub sectors a related level 2 or 3 qualification or higher-level qualification from anther industry sector may suffice. 

Occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 Advise about trees including tree management (for example pruning, watering, tree protection, roots), health, the law (for example tree preservation orders, conservation zones), risk and the role of trees in development to the public, clients and colleagues.

K1 K2 K3 K6 K7 K10 K11 K18 K19 K21 K22 K27 K29

S1 S3 S8 S11 S12 S13 S19 S25 S31

B1 B2 B3 B5

Duty 2 Interpret and deliver tree / woodland management plans with reference to the role of trees in national / local planning policy and the context in regard to development proposals.

K10 K20 K24 K25 K26 K30 K36

S13 S15 S16 S17 S18 S25

B3 B5

Duty 3 Survey tree populations in relation to design, demolition and construction including species identification, protections, size measurements, condition management recommendations, assessment of ‘useful life’ and quality assessments.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K18 K19 K21 K22 K33 K35 K36 K37

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11 S12 S13 S14 S24 S25 S28 S29 S30 S31

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 4 Survey trees to enable management for example for tree health, condition risk or aesthetic purposes.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K13 K14 K15 K18 K19 K21 K22 K33 K35 K37

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11 S12 S13 S14 S24 S25 S28 S29 S30 S31

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 5 Inspect individual trees including identification, pests and diseases, health, defects, planning requirements, risk, site / location factors and recommendations for future actions / monitoring.

K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K18 K19 K20 K21 K22 K23 K24 K25 K26 K27 K28 K29 K30 K31 K32 K37

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S28 S29 S30 S31

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 6 Identify and respond to tree pests and diseases for example reporting, biosecurity measures, nursery stock selection, removal, treatments.

K3 K4 K5 K9 K11 K21 K22

S6 S11 S12 S14 S24 S30 S31

B1 B5

Duty 7 Use tree management software including databases and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

K1 K13

S1 S9 S10

Duty 8 Enforce legislation and regulation regarding trees, woodlands and forests to include tree preservation orders, conservation zones, felling licenses and other designations.

K8 K15 K17 K20

S13 S17 S18 S26

B1 B2 B3

Duty 9 Supervise tree work operations to specification for example planting, felling and maintenance operations, to include health and safety on site, environmental, access and quality of works.

K8 K10 K15 K16 K20 K24 K25 K26 K28 K30 K31 K32 K34

S2 S4 S6 S13 S15 S16 S17 S18 S20 S21 S22 S23 S26

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 10 Supervise contractors, including motivation, quality of work, coordination of resources, health and safety. Develop relationships with customers, stakeholders and colleagues.

K8 K10 K15 K16 K18 K20 K24 K25 K26 K27 K28 K29 K30 K31 K32 K34 K37

S4 S6 S8 S13 S15 S16 S17 S18 S19 S20 S21 S22 S23 S26

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 11 Provide good customer service, deal with complaints and identify new opportunities for income generation. Promote the organisation, products, services or activities and the benefits of trees, woodlands and forests.

K23 K27 K28 K29

S19 S23 S27

B1 B2 B3

Duty 12 Work within defined budgets. Assist with sourcing of additional funding for example through grant applications. Write estimates and quotes for work. Develop costings for jobs.

K24 K25

S15 S16

B1 B3

Duty 13 Follow systems and processes required by the organisation and report on information from those systems to monitor organisational performance.

K24 K25 K26 K37

S15 S16 S26


Duty 14 Engage local communities in tree care and management.

K20 K30

S17 S18

B1 B2



K1: British Standards relevant to arboricultural works including 3998 (tree works) and 5837 (trees in relation to design, demolition and construction). Back to Duty

K2: Principles of tree growth, physiology, characteristics and reaction to pruning. Back to Duty

K3: The life stages of a tree including propagation techniques, aging process, deadwood habitats and veteran tree management. Back to Duty

K4: Characteristics of tree pests and pathogens, their impact on the tree health and performance, and management responses. Back to Duty

K5: Principles of soil science. Back to Duty

K6: Hazard assessment methodologies in relation to a single tree. Back to Duty

K7: Basic principles of woodland management. Back to Duty

K8: Types of tree works related to tree form, function, and client expectation, their specification and implications for tree health, safety and aesthetics. Back to Duty

K9: Classification of trees and their taxonomy; application of nomenclature (including cultivars where appropriate) per scientific convention. Back to Duty

K10: Implications of legislation and industry best practice guidance when undertaking tree work operations and their impact on team management, policy and process for example H&S Act, specialist training requirements, Working at Height, LOLER, PUWER, AFAG, COSSH. Back to Duty

K11: Considerations when planting trees including planting systems, site factors, species selection, protection, aftercare and British Standard 8545 Back to Duty

K12: Tree bracing styles, systems and uses. Back to Duty

K13: Tree inventory systems and their uses. Back to Duty

K14: Types of advanced diagnostic systems and their purpose in assessment of tree risk. Back to Duty

K15: The legal framework around trees including statutory protection for trees and penalties associated with breaches of legislation and regulations. Back to Duty

K16: Health and Safety legislation and regulations; principles related to work placed risk assessment and management, including method statements. Back to Duty

K17: Conflicts between trees and the built environment including damage (direct or indirect) to infrastructure and subsidence. Back to Duty

K18: Benefits of trees (for example climate change adaptation, carbon sequestration, human health and wellbeing) and how these could influence management decisions. Back to Duty

K19: Tree valuation systems, methodologies and their purposes. Back to Duty

K20: The role of an arboriculturist and how this occupation collaborates with other professions for example engineers, land managers, ecologists, landscape architects and planners. Back to Duty

K21: The principles for resilient tree populations and the application of biosecurity. Back to Duty

K22: The characteristics of ancient trees, veteran trees and trees of historical or cultural significance. Back to Duty

K23: Sources of information on funding schemes for tree planting and management Back to Duty

K24: Project Management principles including working within budget, systems and processes. Back to Duty

K25: Contractual terms and processes for example the role of the client brief, the fee proposal, the scope and the instruction. Back to Duty

K26: Tendering, procurement processes and scoring systems. Back to Duty

K27: Principles and use of different communication tools. Back to Duty

K28: Principles of customer service including confidentiality, data management, complaints and use of social media. Back to Duty

K29: Principles of sales and marketing both direct service promotion and indirect industry promotion. Back to Duty

K30: Roles of different stakeholders for example client, public, councillors in management of trees and techniques for engaging with the community. Back to Duty

K31: Staff and team management principles including motivation, performance and work quality. Back to Duty

K32: Principles of equality, safeguarding and diversity. Back to Duty

K33: Principles of managing and supporting meetings. Back to Duty

K34: Sources of information and techniques to research, collate and analyse arboricultural information and data. Back to Duty

K35: The purpose and function of tree management plans and strategies and their implications for tree management. Back to Duty

K36: Methods for establishing and monitoring quality standards for tree work operations. Back to Duty

K37: Methodologies, techniques and tools for inspection and measurement of trees. Back to Duty


S1: Tree inspection including assessment of health, defects, safety risks, site factors, planning requirements and aesthetics. Back to Duty

S2: Interpret maps and plans. Back to Duty

S3: Assess tree risk to inform decision making. Back to Duty

S4: Specify arboricultural works. Back to Duty

S5: Select advanced diagnostic equipment for tree risk assessment. Back to Duty

S6: Select biosecurity protocols. Back to Duty

S7: Follow instructions and processes. Back to Duty

S8: Write arboricultural reports. Back to Duty

S9: Use software-based tree management systems, including associated laptop and handheld remote working equipment. Back to Duty

S10: Produce plans using digital mapping software (for example GIS). Back to Duty

S11: Select and use different formats to communicate information (for example table, image, map, text, graph). Back to Duty

S12: Collect, research and analyse arboricultural information and data including reliable information sources. Back to Duty

S13: Advise on implications of arboricultural policy, legislation, regulation and best practice including local and national planning policy. Back to Duty

S14: Identification of tree species, their characteristics and requirements for healthy growth. Back to Duty

S15: Manage projects including working within budget, systems and processes. Back to Duty

S16: Produce quotations or tenders including defining a scope/specification of work. Back to Duty

S17: Foster professional relationships with clients, customers and colleagues and engage with the community. Back to Duty

S18: Negotiate with colleagues and stakeholders to achieve desired outcomes. Back to Duty

S19: Communicate information to technical and non- technical audiences using a range of techniques. Back to Duty

S20: Take meeting notes or minutes. Back to Duty

S21: Seek further information from managers, supervisors or colleagues, when necessary. Back to Duty

S22: Create and evaluate relevant risk assessments and method statements for arboricultural operations. Back to Duty

S23: Provide customer service. Back to Duty

S24: Identify soil type, properties, condition and implications for tree health. Back to Duty

S25: Value trees as assets for both amenity and ecosystem service provision. Back to Duty

S26: Establish and monitor quality standards for tree work operations. Back to Duty

S27: Promote the organisation, products, services or activities. Back to Duty

S28: Collect tree data including taking measurements. Back to Duty

S29: Make tree management recommendations verbally. Back to Duty

S30: Identify tree pests and pathogens, assess impacts on tree health and suggest management responses. Back to Duty

S31: Assess tree planting practices. Back to Duty


B1: Act with integrity, for example being open and transparent in dealing with clients and respecting their confidentiality. Take full responsibility for your actions. Back to Duty

B2: Communicates with others and takes into account cultural sensitivities and business practices Back to Duty

B3: Act professionally, providing a high standard of service based on sound business evidence. Back to Duty

B4: Adopt and promote a safety culture within the organisation and acts with regard to health, safety and wellbeing for self and others. Back to Duty

B5: Embed sustainable working practices. Back to Duty


English and Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Professional recognition

This standard aligns with the following professional recognition:

  • Arboricultural Association for Technician Member
  • Chartered Institute of Horticulture for Membership

Additional details

Occupational Level:


Duration (months):



This apprenticeship standard will be reviewed after three years

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 4
Reference: ST0921
Version: 1.0
Date updated: 02/12/2022
Approved for delivery: 14 September 2021
Route: Agriculture, environmental and animal care
Typical duration to gateway: 30 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £14000
LARS Code: 660
EQA Provider: Ofqual

Find an apprenticeship

Contact us about this apprenticeship

Employers involved in creating the standard: Barcham The Tree Specialists Barrell Tree Consultancy Bartlett Tree Experts Beachwood Trees and Landscape Ltd Capel Manor College Central Tree Services Ltd Cleveland Tree Surgeons Cormac Ltd Dorset Council EOS Contracting GA Butler & Sons Ltd Glendale Services Ground Control Hi Line Kevin Patton Tree Surgeon Ltd London Borough Barnet London Borough Lambeth Martin Lennon Arboricultural and Forestry Consultants Oxfordshire County Council Pryor & Rickett Ringrose Tree Services Rob Keyzor Tree Surgeons & Arboricultural Consultants Root and Branch Consultants Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Sedgemoor Tree Services Seed Arboriculture Ltd Street Tree Limited The Environment Partnership SSE Total Trees Tree Life Tree Maintenance Ltd Treework Environmental Practice Tretech Arbboricultural Services Trueman Tree Services Ltd

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.0 Approved for delivery 14/09/2021 Not set Not set

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