Tree Trimmers and Pruners

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Also known as:
Pruner, Tree Pruner, Tree Specialist, Tree Surgeon, Tree Trimmer

ABOUT TREE TRIMMER OR PRUNER CAREERS
Video transcript

Pruners learn their skills on the job, but they must possess a talent that is difficult to teach - a good eye for creating even lines and a balanced appearance. A pruner usually works for a landscaping firm or garden service and uses hand and power tools to trim and shape bushes, shrubs, and trees.

Satisfying the customer and the boss is important, so you have to work quickly and carefully. Once a hedge has been cut, you can't put the branches back again!

To be a pruner, you have to be strong. This work requires long hours on your feet, bending, twisting, and using heavy, noisy equipment. Allergies to certain plants could be a big problem. This is a seasonal job in many parts of the country. It's not hard to find work as a pruner, but the pay is low. It's a job some people take during the summer, while pursuing other goals like a high school or college degree.

More permanent positions for pruners are available at places with a lot of plants to care for, like golf courses, cemeteries, nurseries, and parks departments. Some pruners with lots of experience and artistic vision can create decorative shapes from bushes or trees.

SNAPSHOT
Using sophisticated climbing and rigging techniques, cut away dead or excess branches from trees or shrubs to maintain right-of-way for roads, sidewalks, or utilities, or to improve appearance, health, and value of tree. Prune or treat trees or shrubs using handsaws, hand pruners, clippers, and power pruners. Works off the ground in the tree canopy and may use truck-mounted lifts.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
LOW
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
LOW
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
HIGH
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
MED
Daily tasks

Provide information to the public regarding trees, such as advice on tree care.

Clear sites, streets, and grounds of woody and herbaceous materials, such as tree stumps and fallen trees and limbs.

Climb trees, using climbing hooks and belts, or climb ladders to gain access to work areas.

Supervise others engaged in tree trimming work and train lower-level employees.

Hoist tools and equipment to tree trimmers, and lower branches with ropes or block and tackle.

Operate boom trucks, loaders, stump chippers, brush chippers, tractors, power saws, trucks, sprayers, and other equipment and tools.

Load debris and refuse onto trucks and haul it away for disposal.

Cut away dead and excess branches from trees, or clear branches around power lines, using climbing equipment or buckets of extended truck booms, or chainsaws, hooks, handsaws, shears, and clippers.

Trim, top, and reshape trees to achieve attractive shapes or to remove low-hanging branches.

Trim jagged stumps, using saws or pruning shears.

Collect debris and refuse from tree trimming and removal operations into piles, using shovels, rakes, or other tools.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Transportation Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
TOP SKILLS
Operation and Control Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Instructing Teaching others how to do something.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.