Those who have worked with trees can do multiple jobs within this field. There are two kinds of jobs under this, arborists vs tree surgeons. They are often mentioned interchangeably.

In reality, they are actually a bit different.

Formal education is more required for Arborists. Whereas, field experience plays a major role with tree surgeons.

Both these jobs might overlap and it depends on the company that provides tree services.

Both these jobs have a requirement of extensive experience and knowledge of working with various kinds of trees.

What Does an Arborist Do?

If you are here to compare tree surgeons to arborists, you have to think this way: Arborists are especially like tree doctors.

They go through extensive training to become a certified arborist in their specified field, like:

  • Courses related to growth patterns of trees, the biology of trees, etc.
  • A long certification program working under Arboriculture’s International Society
  • Final examination post the program has to be successfully cleared or passed
  • To maintain the certification one has to continue the education

Arborists generally assess various conditions of trees.

For example, if the trees are showing signs related to an insect infestation or a disease.

Arborists can diagnose the disease accurately and they create a plan of treatment accordingly.

Arborists can even detect the science of tree diseases before they can really take hold of the tree. Arborists are the ones who also recommend the plantation site of a tree.

Typically based on the environmental surroundings and the type of tree.

In general, they take the diagnosis and put it forward to a tree surgeon. The tree surgeon will decide the treatment course from there.

The Duties of a Tree Surgeon


Arborist vs Tree Surgeon


Unlike an Arborist, a tree surgeon does not have so many qualification requirements. But if one really wants to be a productive tree surgeon. They should have extensive knowledge and experience.

A tree surgeon must know to prune and trim a tree properly (any kind of tree). This is much like performing surgery on a human or an animal.

Pruning and trimming is an exceedingly precise process. And this needs to be performed by an experienced hand.

A tree surgeon that has quality experience should be able to work in dangerous or difficult situations and this work should not be done by any random person.

Arborist vs Tree Surgeon

Tree surgeons are especially for precise tree removal and not just trimming or pruning. They well know the procedure to cut a tree down making sure that it does not damage any other trees

 Worst-case scenario, crash onto a building. Other duties that a tree surgeon might perform include:

  • Removing dying or already dead limbs of trees
  • They have to perform a cleanup after any storm recedes
  • They have to brace a tree
  • They have to grind stumps as well
  • They should know how to care for trees and manage their appearance

Overall, tree surgeons and arborists both share a very important role. Maintaining the overall tree’s health and the tree’s happiness.