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Summary Report for:
37-3013.00 - Tree Trimmers and Pruners

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.

Sample of reported job titles: Arborist, Ground Worker, Groundsman, Line Clearance Foreman, Plant Health Care Technician, Tree Care Foreman, Tree Climber, Tree Trimmer

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Tasks  |  Technology Skills  |  Tools Used  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Supervise others engaged in tree trimming work and train lower-level employees.
  • Operate boom trucks, loaders, stump chippers, brush chippers, tractors, power saws, trucks, sprayers, and other equipment and tools.
  • Climb trees, using climbing hooks and belts, or climb ladders to gain access to work areas.
  • Clean, sharpen, and lubricate tools and equipment.
  • 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.
  • Prune, cut down, fertilize, and spray trees as directed by tree surgeons.
  • Hoist tools and equipment to tree trimmers, and lower branches with ropes or block and tackle.
  • Operate shredding and chipping equipment, and feed limbs and brush into the machines.
  • Load debris and refuse onto trucks and haul it away for disposal.
  • Inspect trees to determine if they have diseases or pest problems.
  • Cable, brace, tie, bolt, stake, and guy trees and branches to provide support.
  • Collect debris and refuse from tree trimming and removal operations into piles, using shovels, rakes or other tools.
  • 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.
  • Remove broken limbs from wires, using hooked extension poles.
  • Trim jagged stumps, using saws or pruning shears.
  • Transplant and remove trees and shrubs, and prepare trees for moving.
  • Spray trees to treat diseased or unhealthy trees, including mixing chemicals and calibrating spray equipment.
  • Plan and develop budgets for tree work, and estimate the monetary value of trees.
  • Water, root-feed, and fertilize trees.
  • Apply tar or other protective substances to cut surfaces to seal surfaces, and to protect them from fungi and insects.

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Technology Skills

  • Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook Hot technology
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel Hot technology
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word

Hot technology Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.

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Tools Used

  • Aerial working platform truck — Boom trucks; Bucket trucks
  • Augers — Agricultural augers
  • Axes — Limbing axes
  • Backhoes — Loader backhoes
  • Blocks or pulleys — Rope blocks
  • Dump trucks — Brush trucks; Chipper trucks
  • Ear muffs — Protective ear muffs
  • Ear plugs — Protective ear plugs
  • Facial shields — Protective masks
  • Fall protection lanyard — Safety lanyards
  • Flatbed trailers — Cargo trailers
  • Front end loaders — Wheeled front-end loaders
  • Garden chainsaw — Tree trimming chainsaws
  • Garden shredder — Chipper shredders
  • Grab hooks — Climbing hooks
  • Hacksaw — Hacksaws
  • Hand sprayers — Handheld sprayers
  • Hard hats
  • Hedge clippers — Long-handled clippers
  • Ladders — Pole ladders; Tripod ladders
  • Lifts — Truck-mounted lifts
  • Light trucks or sport utility vehicles — Work trucks
  • Lopper — Loppers
  • Material lifting clamp — Hand-held grab hooks
  • Mixers or agitators — Chemical mixers
  • Pocket knives — Pruning knives
  • Power chippers — Brush chippers; Stump chippers
  • Power saws — Cordless power saws; Hydraulic stick saws
  • Power trimmers — Gas hedge trimmers
  • Protective gloves — Work gloves
  • Pruning saw — Pole pruners; Pole saws; Tree pruning saws
  • Root cutter — Root pruners
  • Safety boots — Non-slip boots
  • Safety glasses — Protective safety glasses
  • Safety harnesses or belts — Tree climbing saddles
  • Safety shoes — Tree climbing spikes
  • Secateurs or pruning shears — Bypass pruners; Hand pruners; Hydraulic pruners; Power pruners
  • Shovels — Garden shovels
  • Soil probe — Soil sampling probes
  • Sprayers — Hydraulic chemical sprayers; Mist sprayers
  • Swivel carabiner — Swivel carabiners
  • Tape measures — Measuring tapes
  • Wedges — Felling wedges

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Knowledge

  • Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Transportation — Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • 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.

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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.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
  • Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Abilities

  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • Depth Perception — The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Gross Body Equilibrium — The ability to keep or regain your body balance or stay upright when in an unstable position.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Gross Body Coordination — The ability to coordinate the movement of your arms, legs, and torso together when the whole body is in motion.
  • Rate Control — The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
  • Spatial Orientation — The ability to know your location in relation to the environment or to know where other objects are in relation to you.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Stamina — The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Auditory Attention — The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
  • Dynamic Strength — The ability to exert muscle force repeatedly or continuously over time. This involves muscular endurance and resistance to muscle fatigue.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Speed of Limb Movement — The ability to quickly move the arms and legs.
  • Time Sharing — The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

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Work Activities

  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • 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.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Operate grounds maintenance equipment.
  • Drive trucks or other vehicles to or at work sites.
  • Instruct staff in work policies or procedures.
  • Supervise maintenance workers.
  • Clean equipment or supplies.
  • Trim trees or other vegetation.
  • Treat greenery or surfaces with protective substances.
  • Remove debris from work sites.
  • Inspect landscaping to determine treatment needs.
  • Install equipment to protect or support trees.
  • Provide information about landscaping services or costs.
  • Prepare chemicals for work application.
  • Estimate maintenance service requirements or costs.
  • Irrigate lawns, trees, or plants.
  • Plant greenery to improve landscape appearance.

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Work Context

  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 97% responded “Every day.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 93% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 94% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 91% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 82% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 80% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 80% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 69% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 64% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 67% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 68% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others — 48% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 56% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 60% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Exposed to High Places — 65% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 54% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Time Pressure — 53% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection — 55% responded “Every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 45% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 44% responded “Very important results.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 66% responded “Every day.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 40% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Telephone — 54% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 43% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • In an Open Vehicle or Equipment — 49% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 45% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 36% responded “Very important.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 53% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 41% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Consequence of Error — 51% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 34% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 42% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 37% responded “Important.”
  • Spend Time Keeping or Regaining Balance — 34% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running — 42% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 28% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 36% responded “Every day.”
  • Physical Proximity — 34% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
  • Spend Time Climbing Ladders, Scaffolds, or Poles — 35% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Exposed to Whole Body Vibration — 27% responded “Every day.”
  • Level of Competition — 34% responded “Moderately competitive.”

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Education These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
Related Experience Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
Job Training Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, forest firefighters, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.
SVP Range (4.0 to < 6.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
46   High school diploma or equivalent Help
42   Less than high school diploma
7   Associate's degree

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: R

  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

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Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

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Work Values

  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2016) $16.84 hourly, $35,030 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2016) 55,000 employees
Projected growth (2016-2026) Faster than average (10% to 14%) Faster than average (10% to 14%)
Projected job openings (2016-2026) 7,400
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2016)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016 wage data external site and 2016-2026 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2016-2026). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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