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Operate on sick trees to remove disease, dead limbs, and sagging branches.

What does an Arborist do?

Arborists are basically tree doctors. After all, trees can get sick just like people. And when they do, it’s your job as an arborist to make them better.

Typically employed by forests, parks, arboretums and landscaping companies, as well as lumber companies, government agencies, and environmental nonprofits, you do many of the same tasks as doctors but with trees and shrubs instead of people. That is: You examine patients, diagnose illnesses, treat symptoms, administer medications, and in extreme cases perform surgery.

Often you do tasks as simple as fertilizing and pruning. Just as frequently, however, you’re involved with complicated endeavors, such as removing diseased trees from parks, quarantining trees inside forests that have fatal pest infestations, or spraying trees that are susceptible to fungal, bacterial, and viral infections.

You might be a generalist who treats all types of trees and blights. On the other hand, you might specialize in particular species, such as firs or fruit trees, or in specific diseases, such as beech bark disease, canker rot, or anthracnose.

Regardless, your goal is always the same: You make sure your patients — individual trees as well as whole forests — are healthy, happy and thriving.