Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Arborists

Have you ever wondered who to call about that tree that really needs a prune but is too tall to reach yourself? Or how to get rid of the pesky stump in the back yard? You may need an arborist!

What is an arborist and when do you call one? 

Sometimes referred to as tree doctors, arborists harbor a wealth of knowledge about the natural environment they work in. More technically, it’s the professional practise of arboriculture, which is the cultivation, management and study of trees, shrubs and vines alike. 

Arborists are the people often hanging from the treetops with hardware and harnesses whilst pruning large trees in your neighbourhood. This blog will cover everything you’ve ever wanted to know about aborisits, including how to become one in Australia.

Photo by John Torcasio on Unsplash

What do arborists do?   

Arborists specialise in all things tree related. You need a tree to be cut down? Call an arborist. If you have a tree to be trimmed back, call an arborist. Is your tree looking unhealthy? Call an arborist. We could go on for ages, but in short, if there is anything wrong with your trees… call an arborist. 

They are the tree doctors of the professional world, equipped with a wealth of knowledge about how to maintain, treat and even plant any type of tree you can think of. A good arborist can diagnose an unhealthy tree just by taking a look at it, then treat it accordingly. 

The most common reason people need an arborist is to cut or trim a tree which is too large for them to do on their own. These professionals have all the equipment to cut down/trim trees safely — without damaging your property or the health of the tree.

Services an arborist may offer:

  • Consults and advice.
  • Fallen tree removal.
  • Tree lopping and pruning.
  • Emergency tree services. 
  • Stump grinding.

How much does an arborist cost? 

The cost an arborist depends on the job at hand. Naturally, lopping a smaller tree is likely to cost you less than cutting down a giant gumtree. For smaller trees, the hourly rate is around $40, with the average job taking around 3 hours to complete. This rate increases with the size of the tree and tasks at hand. 

Do arborists do topiary?

Topiary is not a service typically offered by arborists, this is a specialisation of some gardeners and landscapers.

How to Become an Arborist in Australia

Being an arborist is more than just climbing trees and chopping them down all day. To be an arborist in Australia, you need certain qualifications and certificates to ensure safety and job quality. 

To become an arborist in Australia, you’ll need to complete a traineeship and certificate III in Horticulture (Arboriculture). This can be done though your local TAFE or government registered training provider. 

Do you need a licence to operate as an arborist? 

In recent months, the Australian Arboriculture Governing Body launched the Australian Arborist Industry License, allowing qualified arborists to be recognised nationally. Whilst this license is optional, it is recommended.

How much do arborists make?

An arborist in Australia can expect to make $61,000 annually on average. Naturally, this amount will vary depending on location and experience. 

Entry-level arborists are likely to make around $23 an hour in their initial year, seeing pay rises thereafter until reaching the average wage. Arborists are often contractors or sole traders therefore often paid on hourly rates, or per job, rather than a salary.

Do your trees need a trim? Get in contact with your local arborist today on Localsearch.com.au.


Katrina Stapleton

Senior Digital Content Specialist

Katrina Stapleton is a Senior Digital Content Specialist at Localsearch with a background in social media and marketing. Although most of her experience lies in the entertainment sector, Katrina has written content for a vast array of industries including tourism, hospitality, retail and property development. Katrina is an avid dog lover, who finds a way to weave her fur-baby, Mylo, into most conversations. Aside from being a self-confessed bookworm, Katrina can often be found checking out the Gold Coast's latest coffee nook, paddle-boarding or baking up a storm in her free time — all with Mylo by her side, of course! As a Senior Digital Content Specialist, Katrina enjoys sharing her knowledge and passions on the Localsearch Blog.