Overview of the role

Managing peri-urban and urban trees.

Details of standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in local authorities, highway authorities, private arboricultural consultancies, private commercial arboricultural companies, parks, arboretums, charities, housing associations.

The broad purpose of the occupation is managing peri-urban and urban trees including writing and implementing proactive strategic plans to enhance the environment to benefit people, air quality, biodiversity, amenity and the built environment, while mitigating risk to people, buildings and property from trees by coordinating proactive inspections and undertaking tree work operations within an appropriate time-scale.

An overarching focus of the role is being able to advise tree owners of how to ensure they are adhering to their Duty of Care while complying with relevant legislation, regulations and statute and common law. These include, but are not limited to, the Highways Act, Town and Country Planning Act, Countryside Act, Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, Occupier’s Liability Act and Local and National Policy. Developing tree policies and strategies that can be adopted to provide management guidance and plans for individual tree management and can be relevant to a large geographic area which incorporate management of a large number of trees (e.g. highways, parks, estates, housing sites, etc.). Strategies would include emergency planning for extreme weather events and outbreaks of threats to the immediate and wider tree population - such as the identification of a pest, pathogen or disease.

Another key function of a Professional Arboriculturist is designing and specifying tree planting plans and advising planning policy related to trees on development sites. In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with colleagues, the general public, stakeholders, clients, landowners, lawyers, insurers, contractors, politicians and civil servants. Other professionals that a Professional Arboriculturist will have regular contact with are highways engineers; town planners; utility providers and contractors; landscape architects; ecologists; architects; and street lighting engineers to name but a few.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for:

  • Managing a team of tree professionals
  •  Assessing tree health and risk at a strategic level, focused on tree populations rather than individual trees.
  • Managing contractors including contract oversight and adherence to contract terms and conditions.
  • Managing complaints
  • Understanding and applying law relating to trees
  • Managing tree survey and inspection regimes to ensure work delivery and discharge of legal Duty of Care
  • Creating and implementing planting programmes in relation to amenity, ecosystem services and replacement for development, managing and writing policy and strategy relating to these issues
  • Financial management and resourcing, including income generation.

Typical job titles include:

Arboretum curator Green leaf Arboricultural manager Green leaf Contract delivery manager Green leaf Principle constultant Green leaf Principle tree officer Green leaf Senior arboricultural consultant Green leaf Senior arboricultural officer Green leaf Senior tree officer Green leaf Tree manager Green leaf Urban tree manager Green leaf

Occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 Provide advice and consultancy about trees including tree management, health, the law, risk and the role of trees in development to the public, clients, other professions and colleagues. Advise on amenity, peri-urban and urban tree planting and management; trees with special value (e.g. ancient, historic context, rare, visually important) and the impact of developments and new infrastructure in relation to trees.

K1 K2 K4 K5 K7 K8 K11 K16 K19 K20 K22 K25 K27 K31 K33

S1 S3 S5 S10 S11 S13 S15 S16 S17 S23 S27 S28 S29

B1 B5

Duty 2 Able to act as an expert witness on amenity, peri-urban and urban tree related matters.

K2 K4 K5 K7 K8 K11 K16 K21 K22 K25 K27 K28 K33

S1 S3 S5 S10 S13 S15 S16 S17 S19 S27

B1 B2 B3

Duty 3 Advocate for incorporating professional tree expertise in green infrastructure design and peri-urban and urban planning. Contribute to green infrastructure innovations and actively promote the benefits of trees within planning policy including air quality.

K2 K6 K8 K9 K10 K11 K16 K17 K25 K33

S1 S5 S8 S12 S13 S27 S28 S30

B1 B2 B3

Duty 4 Research, collect and interpret data on trees by recording and capturing data related to site factors, plant health, amenity value, natural capital, ecosystem services, suitability, risk, community perspectives, threats and historical value.

K4 K8 K11 K13 K23 K30 K31

S2 S4 S6 S10 S13 S25

Duty 5 Contribute to the development and implementation of tree management plans and strategies, where applicable, incorporating reference to legislation, regulation, policy and best practice (e.g. national planning policy, local and regional planning policy) including resilience and emergency planning for extreme weather events.

K2 K3 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K15 K16 K17 K19 K20 K25 K27 K28 K29 K30 K31

S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S8 S12 S13 S14 S15 S17 S18 S23 S27 S28 S29 S30

B1 B2 B3 B5

Duty 6 Lead on delivering proactive tree management that includes managing quality of tree works (in accordance with 'British Standard 3998 (BS3998): Tree work Recommendations'), community/stakeholder engagement, environmental impact and health and safety. Reference to Duty of Care, Highways Act and New Roads and Street Works Act.

K1 K2 K4 K5 K6 K9 K10 K13 K14 K15 K17 K18 K19 K23 K24 K25 K28 K29 K32

S1 S6 S8 S9 S12 S17 S18 S19 S20 S21 S23 S24 S25 S26 S27 S28 S30

B1 B3 B4 B5

Duty 7 Manage amenity tree survey and inspection regimes taking into account duty of care and foreseeable risk to people, buildings and property to determine appropriate mitigation options.

K1 K2 K5 K6 K8 K10 K11 K14 K16 K17 K20 K24 K25 K28 K32

S1 S5 S8 S12 S17 S18 S19 S20 S21 S24 S26 S27 S28 S29

B1 B4

Duty 8 Survey and inspect trees in complex and unusual circumstances for example ancient or veteran trees, those that are rare, those that are of historical or cultural importance or those involved in subsidence.

K1 K2 K4 K5 K7 K8 K11 K13 K16 K19 K20 K22 K25 K27 K30 K33

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S10 S11 S13 S15 S16 S17 S22 S23 S28 S29

B1 B2 B3 B5

Duty 9 Inform the development process by adhering to the Town and Country Planning Act while undertaking surveys and producing detailed 'British Standard 5837 (BS5837): Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction' reports, produce high quality plans and associated guidance for professional planners, architects and engineers in relation to trees, e.g. Tree Surveys, Arboricultural Impact Assessments (AIA), Arboricultural Method Statements (AMS), Tree Preservation Order and Conservation Area advice / guidance.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K8 K10 K11 K16 K17 K22 K25 K26 K30 K33

S1 S4 S5 S8 S10 S13 S14 S16 S17 S27 S28

B1 B5

Duty 10 Utilise tree data via defined software (Tree Management Databases, Computer Aided Design (CAD), Building Information Modelling (BIM)) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to inform strategic amenity tree management and policy to aid with influencing decision makers.

K2 K8 K11 K13 K23 K25 K31

S6 S13 S25 S27 S28


Duty 11 Evaluate and act in accordance with current legislation (statutory and common law), best practice, relevant case law and regulations related to trees.

K2 K5 K20 K25 K31

S1 S2 S17 S28 S29

B1 B5

Duty 12 Design and specify amenity, peri-urban and urban tree planting plans by incorporating ‘right tree, right place’ methodologies; identification of suitable sites; appropriate tree species selection; materials; planting and after care; biosecurity; provenance of tree stock; implementing knowledge of current National House Building Council (NHBC) guidance for trees in relation to buildings; and adhering to 'British Standard 8545 (BS8545): Trees: from nursery to independence in the landscape.'

K2 K3 K5 K7 K8 K17 K19 K20 K27 K30

S1 S3 S4 S14 S15 S23 S29

B1 B2 B3 B5

Duty 13 Manage tree work operations such as felling, aerial pruning and planting; to include planning, resourcing, procurement (contract creation and tendering for contracts in line with UK and EU regulations and legislation) and management of contractors, health and safety, environmental considerations, access and quality enforcement with reference to BS3998, relevant legislation and regulations, Risk Assessment procedures and arboricultural best practice guidance.

K1 K5 K9 K12 K13 K14 K17 K18 K23 K25 K26 K28 K29 K30 K32

S4 S6 S7 S8 S9 S11 S17 S20 S21 S22 S24 S25 S26 S27 S30

B1 B3 B4 B5

Duty 14 Identify and manage tree pests, pathogens and diseases including prevention, management of spread and regulatory reporting. Identify and evaluate future threats to UK trees. Manage the impact of tree pests, pathogens and diseases on amenity trees, human health, ecosystems and the wider environment.

K1 K3 K5 K6 K7 K8 K13 K22 K27 K28 K33

S1 S3 S6 S9 S10 S11 S12 S14 S15

B3 B4

Duty 15 Manage the promotion of the organisation and its products and services. Manage relationships with members of the public, other professionals, other professions and key stakeholders.

K15 K16 K17 K25 K26

S5 S17 S18 S22 S27

B1 B2 B3

Duty 16 Manage directly employed or contract workforce and volunteers, including work culture, workforce planning, motivation, quality, health and safety, skills, recruitment, retention, training and development.

K1 K14 K16 K23 K24 K25 K28 K32

S1 S5 S7 S14 S16 S19 S20 S21 S24 S25 S27

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 17 Financial management to include budgeting, financial reporting and, where applicable, sourcing funding (for example Urban Tree Challenge Fund). Generate income including developing business cases, identifying market / audience, quality, customer service, managing targets and developing opportunities.

K12 K25 K26 K29

S7 S22 S26 S27

B1 B2 B3

Duty 18 Manage systems and processes, including specialist tree management databases, to drive improvements and utilise relevant information to manage and influence organisational change, enhancing business performance and service delivery.

K7 K13 K23 K31

S2 S6 S25




K1: Techniques for undertaking tree works to industry safety standards, including British Standard 3998 (as updated), relevant to the site and operation including complex, valued and unusual trees. Back to Duty

K2: Principles and regulation for managing trees in the context of design, planning and construction including British Standard 5837 (as updated) for the relevant site and operation, including complex, valued and unusual trees. Back to Duty

K3: Factors for planting and establishing trees to independence in the landscape for example designations, soil type, landscape type, biosecurity, tree population resilience, ecosystem services and local ecology, safety standards and regulations, (for example British Standards 8545 as updated) and best practice guidance (for example from the Arboricultural Association, the Institute of Chartered Foresters, National Tree Safety Group, Forest Research) Back to Duty

K4: Tree inspection and assessment methodologies and equipment including up to date available technology Back to Duty

K5: Legislation, regulation and best practice guidance (for example from Arboricultural Association, Institute of Chartered Foresters, National Tree Safety Group) in relation to trees and their management. Back to Duty

K6: Purpose and components of proactive tree strategy incorporating risk assessment methodologies and emergency planning for extreme weather events. Back to Duty

K7: Tree classification, nomenclature (for natural and cultivated plants), species requirements, vulnerabilities and characteristics. Back to Duty

K8: Benefits of trees for people, air quality, nature, the environment, ecosystem services and natural capital. The concept of green infrastructure design within planning and the role of trees in planning policy. Back to Duty

K9: Woodland management principles and techniques for supporting amenity and biodiversity. Back to Duty

K10: The role of policy and strategy in local, organisational and national governance. Back to Duty

K11: Tree valuation methodologies, their benefits, weaknesses and use for different purposes. Back to Duty

K12: Sources of funding and income for arboricultural activities (including grant funding) and techniques for writing businesses cases and grant applications. Back to Duty

K13: Functions and value of tree management systems and software. For example: GIS, CAD, MS Products, Building Information Modelling (BIM) Back to Duty

K14: Legislation, regulation and guidance in relation to Health and Safety for people, machinery, tools and equipment (for example Working at Height, LOLER, PUWER, AFAG, COSSH) to include principles of workplace risk assessment and management, and the production of method statements. Back to Duty

K15: Methods for community and stakeholder engagement, their value and techniques for evaluating results. Back to Duty

K16: Communication techniques (for example written, listening, oral) and tools (for example social media, presentation software). Back to Duty

K17: The arboricultural profession and how other professions are, or could be, aligned with arboriculture. Back to Duty

K18: Requirements of tendering and procurement processes. For example, rules of financial limits, legal challenge, managing contractors and or clients, and forms of contracts. Back to Duty

K19: Soil science and interaction between trees, biotic factors and soil type. Back to Duty

K20: Interaction of trees with the built environment including direct or indirect damage to infrastructure, SuDS (Sustainable drainage systems), rooting volumes, utilities and subsidence. Back to Duty

K21: Responsibilities and requirements of acting as an expert witness including understanding the role of the expert witness in legal proceedings. For example, their duty to the court and being aware of CPR (Civil procedure rules) Part 35. Back to Duty

K22: Properties of ancient trees, veteran trees and trees of historical or cultural significance and the implications for tree management and planning decisions. Back to Duty

K23: Principles of managing organisational systems and processes. Back to Duty

K24: Principles of managing people. Back to Duty

K25: Principles of relationship management and techniques for managing own performance. Back to Duty

K26: Principles of providing sales and marketing services to clients. Back to Duty

K27: Principles of managing tree pests and diseases. Back to Duty

K28: Principles of tree population management including survey and inspection regimes. Back to Duty

K29: Principles of managing finances and budgets. Back to Duty

K30: Techniques for creating and interpreting maps and plans. Back to Duty

K31: Research, data collection and analysis techniques, including reliable sources of arboricultural information. Back to Duty

K32: Principles of project management. Back to Duty

K33: Tree structure, physiological and metabolic processes and implications for management. Back to Duty


S1: Provide professional advice including on legal frameworks and environmental legislation. Back to Duty

S2: Collect and evaluate arboricultural information and research papers including the identification and analysis of data trends. Back to Duty

S3: Identify trees and their site requirements. Back to Duty

S4: Create and interpret maps and plans. Back to Duty

S5: Communicate technical and non-technical information using various methods and formats. Including verbal, written and electronic (methods) and graphs, tables, images and maps (formats). Back to Duty

S6: Use GIS and CAD software. Back to Duty

S7: Create business cases. Back to Duty

S8: Interpret policy, legislation, regulation and organisational best practice. Back to Duty

S9: Procure arboricultural services through a contract awarding or a tendering process. Back to Duty

S10: Inspect trees in relation to abiotic and biotic tree health, structure, physiological condition and suitability for location. Back to Duty

S11: Specify tree works to achieve defined objectives and which promote long-term tree health, quality standards, biosecurity measures, tree risk management and nuisance management. Back to Duty

S12: Create a tree strategy to include application of tree risk management principles to inform decision making. Back to Duty

S13: Apply tree valuation methods to inform decision making. Back to Duty

S14: Specify tree planting and aftercare requirements. Including species selection, technical planting guidance and planting plans. Back to Duty

S15: Identify existing and potential threats of tree pests and diseases; and plan management actions to prevent, treat and mitigate their impact on people, trees and habitats including any relevant legislation. Back to Duty

S16: Choose the appropriate tree health and stability measuring and or monitoring technology (for example structural stability assessment equipment, biological activity monitors). Back to Duty

S17: Manage own performance, identifying improvements and training requirements. Seek clarification when necessary, know limits of expertise and when specialist input is required. Back to Duty

S18: Engage stakeholders impacted by changes to trees and manages their expectations. Back to Duty

S19: Manage tree survey and inspection regimes for the strategic management of trees. Back to Duty

S20: Find solutions in challenging and complex situations. Back to Duty

S21: Lead and manage projects with multiple stakeholders. Back to Duty

S22: Promote the organisation, products or services. Back to Duty

S23: Assess and evaluate soil in relation to tree establishment, growth and health. Back to Duty

S24: Manage employees, contractors or volunteers including compliance with employment legislation, health and safety, inclusion, performance, quality, training, recruitment, development and evaluation of processes to improve the efficiency and productivity of others. Back to Duty

S25: Manage organisational systems. For example recording, monitoring or reporting systems. Back to Duty

S26: Set, monitor and manage budgets Back to Duty

S27: Manage professional relationships and interactions with others including negotiation, collaboration, advocacy, chairing and participating in meetings. Back to Duty

S28: Advise on the management of trees in the context of design, planning and construction. Back to Duty

S29: Advise on the management of trees in relation to the built environment. Back to Duty

S30: Assess the type, purpose, benefits, condition and quality of woodland. Back to Duty


B1: Act with integrity, for example being open and transparent in dealing with clients and stakeholders, including confidentiality. Back to Duty

B2: Communicate respectfully with clients, stakeholders and colleagues and take into account diversity, inclusivity and equality. Back to Duty

B3: Act in a professional manner including taking responsibility for own actions and being respectful of others. Back to Duty

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

B5: Embed sustainable working practices and systems aligned with carbon reduction targets and other environmental policies 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.

Other mandatory qualifications

BSc Arboriculture (integrated degree)

Level: 6 (integrated degree)

Professional recognition

This standard aligns with the following professional recognition:

  • Institute of Chartered Foresters for MICFor
  • Arboricultural Association for Professional
  • Chartered Institute of Horticulturists for Membership

Additional details

Occupational Level:


Duration (months):



this apprenticeship will be reviewed in accordance with our change request policy.

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 6
Degree: integrated degree
Reference: ST0922
Version: 1.0
Date updated: 19/11/2021
Approved for delivery: 12 November 2021
Route: Agriculture, environmental and animal care
Typical duration to gateway: 36 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £22000
LARS Code: 665
EQA Provider: Office for Students
Employers involved in creating the standard: Barcham The Tree Specialists Barrell Tree Consultancy Bartlett Tree Experts Beachwood Trees and Landscape 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 Consultancy 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 Skills & Education Group Street Tree Limited The Environment Partnership SSE Total Trees Tree Life Tree Maintenance Ltd Treework Environmental Practice Treetech Arboricultural Services Trueman Tree Services Ltd

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.0 Approved for delivery 12/11/2021 Not set Not set

Crown copyright © 2024. You may re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. Visit www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence

Is this webpage useful?

Thank you for your feedback

Tell us about your experience