Tree Trimmers and Pruners
37-3013.00

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, Climber, Grounds Worker, Groundsman, Laborer, Plant Health Care Technician, Tree Climber, Tree Trimmer, Trimmer

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Operate shredding and chipping equipment, and feed limbs and brush into the machines.
  • Operate boom trucks, loaders, stump chippers, brush chippers, tractors, power saws, trucks, sprayers, and other equipment and tools.
  • 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.
  • Clean, sharpen, and lubricate tools and equipment.
  • Hoist tools and equipment to tree trimmers, and lower branches with ropes or block and tackle.
  • 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.
  • Trim, top, and reshape trees to achieve attractive shapes or to remove low-hanging branches.
  • Load debris and refuse onto trucks and haul it away for disposal.
  • Inspect trees to determine if they have diseases or pest problems.
  • Provide information to the public regarding trees, such as advice on tree care.
  • Trim jagged stumps, using saws or pruning shears.
  • Clear sites, streets, and grounds of woody and herbaceous materials, such as tree stumps and fallen trees and limbs.
  • Collect debris and refuse from tree trimming and removal operations into piles, using shovels, rakes, or other tools.
  • Cable, brace, tie, bolt, stake, and guy trees and branches to provide support.
  • Plan and develop budgets for tree work, and estimate the monetary value of trees.
  • Prune, cut down, fertilize, and spray trees as directed by tree surgeons.
  • Remove broken limbs from wires, using hooked extension poles.
  • Water, root-feed, and fertilize trees.
  • Install lightning protection on trees.
  • Scrape decayed matter from cavities in trees and fill holes with cement to promote healing and to prevent further deterioration.
  • Spray trees to treat diseased or unhealthy trees, including mixing chemicals and calibrating spray equipment.
  • Apply tar or other protective substances to cut surfaces or seal surfaces and to protect them from fungi and insects.
  • Transplant and remove trees and shrubs, and prepare trees for moving.
  • Split logs or wooden blocks into bolts, pickets, posts, or stakes, using hand tools such as ax wedges, sledgehammers, and mallets.
  • Harvest tanbark by cutting rings and slits in bark and stripping bark from trees, using spuds or axes.

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Technology Skills

Hot technology
Hot Technologies are requirements most frequently included across all employer job postings.

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Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — 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 watercraft.
  • 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 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.
  • Monitoring 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.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • 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.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • 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.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • 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.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 91% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 84% responded “Every day.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 67% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 78% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 71% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 68% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 68% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 55% responded “Very important results.”
  • Contact With Others — 69% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 63% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 46% responded “Extremely important.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 69% responded “Every day.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 48% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 49% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 38% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
  • Telephone — 57% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to High Places — 48% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 48% responded “Very important.”
  • Consequence of Error — 30% responded “Serious.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 46% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 43% responded “Every day.”
  • Time Pressure — 46% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 37% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 32% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Level of Competition — 32% responded “Highly competitive.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 30% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 32% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 40% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running — 37% responded “About half the time.”
  • Physical Proximity — 55% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 33% responded “Very important.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 37% responded “Not important at all.”
  • In an Open Vehicle or Equipment — 30% responded “Every day.”

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Experience Requirements

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, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, tellers, and dental laboratory technicians.
SVP Range
3 months to 1 year of preparation (4.0 to < 6.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
State licenses
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

Skills

  • Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Operations 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.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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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.

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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 57%
     
    responded: Less than high school diploma required
  • 37%
     
    responded: High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info
  • 4%
     
    responded: Some college, no degree requiredmore info

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • 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.
  • 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 that there is a problem.
  • 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.
  • Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • 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.
  • Dynamic Strength — The ability to exert muscle force repeatedly or continuously over time. This involves muscular endurance and resistance to muscle fatigue.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Gross Body Equilibrium — The ability to keep or regain your body balance or stay upright when in an unstable position.
  • Stamina — The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • 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.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Gross Body Coordination — The ability to coordinate the movement of your arms, legs, and torso together when the whole body is in motion.
  • 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).
  • 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.

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Interests

Interest code: R
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • 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 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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Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$22.58 hourly, $46,970 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2021)
63,700 employees
Projected growth (2021-2031)
Slower than average (2% to 3%)
Projected job openings (2021-2031)
9,100
State trends
Top industries (2021)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2021-2031 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2021-2031). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

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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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