The Chief Arborist is responsible for maintaining the health of trees in the Arboretum's living collections with particular emphasis on mature trees. The Chief Arborist is responsible for developing, implementing, and supervising all aspects of arboricultural work in the Arboretum's living collections. He/she is responsible for maintaining specified standards of presentation which meet established institutional priorities. He/she must be able to perform physically demanding tasks. The Chief Arborist is the primary advocate for arboricultural programs in the Arboretum and plays an active role in staff and budget allocations for this area. Contributes to the outreach arboriculture consulting program and the continuing education program. Reports directly to the Director of Horticulture.
Maintain the health of trees in the Arboretum's living collections, especially mature trees. Duties include: pruning, fertilizing, irrigating, and regular inspection of plants for structural, cultural or pest-related problems using accepted IPM principles.
Climb and prune trees using established safety procedures and latest tree pruning techniques.
Develop and review strategies for managing important trees in the Arboretum's living collection. Prepare and supervise daily and weekly work schedules. Prepare plans for the pruning and removal of trees as required.
Cooperate with plant records staff in maintaining appropriate curatorial standards including accessioning, deaccessioning, IPM monitoring, and tree maintenance records.
Supervise the Assistant Arborist to accomplish the goals of the Arborist Section. Recruit, instruct, and supervise Walter Root Arborist Intern as well as volunteers and seasonal staff to accomplish the goals of the Arborist Section. Duties include: interview and selection, scheduling of daily tasks, teaching arboricultural techniques, teaching safe operation of equipment, counseling and evaluation.
Climb and remove trees; install cables and lightning protection devices when necessary.
Operate chain saws, brush chipper, log splitter, backhoe, and other special equipment. In addition, perform light maintenance on equipment, including sharpening of saws and cleaning of vehicles.
Teach courses in the Arboretum's Education Department for amateurs and professionals. Participate as an instructor in training programs for interns. Publish articles and lecture on topics related to arboriculture to both the general public and professional audiences.
Contribute to Arboretum’s revenue generation by working with outreach arborists on a variety of projects.
Participate in the Arboretum's special events, such spring members’ event, department special project days, etc.
Perform other duties as assigned.
An Associate's degree in horticulture or related plant science field, bachelor's degree highly desirable, or an equivalent combination of education and experience. A minimum of five years of climbing experience is required. Familiarity with arborist equipment is necessary. Organizational skills are essential. Proven teaching skills are essential and writing experience is highly desirable. Applicant must have a valid driver's license, arborist certification, and a Pennsylvania commercial pesticide applicators certification.
Typically standing or walking, bending, crouching, stooping; frequent lifting 25 lbs. or more; occasionally lifting 25-50 lbs.; climbing ladders / scaffolds; using tools requiring high dexterity; requires protective devices.
Exposure to chemicals; outdoor exposure to weather; high noise environment; high dust, dirt, grease environment; requires extensive safety training & protective devices; exposure to moving machinery.