Qualification - Advanced Certificate Applied Management (Arboriculture)

Course CodeVBS001
Fee CodeAC
Duration (approx)900 hours
QualificationAdvanced Certificate

Learn How to Work on the Management Side of Tree Care

This course is ideal for people wanting to learn about or establish their own arboriculture business or to advance in an existing one. Students will gain valuable knowledge about how to run a successful business, as well as develop marketing and horticultural skills. 

This is a great course for those people already in the horticulture industry who want to specialise in aboriculture, and manage or supervise staff.

Duration: 900 hours

Accredited by International Accreditation and Recognition Council


This course is comprised of:

*Core studies - Four units (400 hours) of compulsory subjects for all students.

*Elective studies – Three stream units for the development of knowledge in arboriculture

*Project – a workplace project of 200 hrs relevant to your field of study. The project specifically aims to provide the student with the opportunity to apply and integrate skills and knowledge developed through various areas of formal study. The outline on this page presents one option of how this can be completed -but you should be aware....this is a flexible component to the course, and other options are possible.
Contact the school for more information.




Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Qualification - Advanced Certificate Applied Management (Arboriculture).
 Business Operations VBS006
 Industry Project BIP000
 Management VBS105
 Marketing Foundations VBS109
 Office Practices VBS102
 Workshop I BGN103
Stream ModulesStudied after the core modules, stream modules cover more specific or niche subjects.
 Arboriculture I BHT106
 Arboriculture II BHT208
 Trees For Rehabilitation (Reafforestation) BHT205

Note that each module in the Qualification - Advanced Certificate Applied Management (Arboriculture) is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

What You Will Do

  • SUMMARY OF COMPETENCIES DEVELOPED Here is just some of what you will do.....
  • Distinguish between plants in order to identify at least 50 trees.
  • Develop a standard tree report form, customised for surveying the condition and use of trees in your locality.
  • Explain how to treat three specified soil related problems that can effect trees.
  • Develop a twelve month program, for managing a health problem detected by you in an established tree.
  • Demonstrate bridge grafting across a bark wound.
  • Distinguish between different methods of pruning including:
    • Canopy reduction
    • Cleaning out
    • Topiary
    • Espaliering
  • Determine the minimum equipment required to commence business as a tree surgeon.
  • Compare three different chainsaws, to determine appropriate applications for each.
  • Determine legislation which is relevant to a specific arborist in a workplace which you visit.
  • Explain how to plant a specified advanced-sized tree on a specific site.
  • Explain tree injection, including the technique and applications.
  • Identify five situations where trees require strengthening operations to be carried out.
  • Compare four different ways to control roots which invade underground pipes.
  • Calculate the cost of removing a specified tree.
  • Determine five appropriate tree species suited to a specific site visited and analysed.
  • Devise a method for removing a tree, including tree felling and stump removal.
  • Analyse three specimens of mature trees, from each of five different genera, to detect any patterns in problems occurring in those trees.
  • Develop criteria for the establishment of a tree plantation on a specific site which addresses; site restrictions, cost and function.
  • Compare different approaches to land rehabilitation, to determine strengths and weaknesses of alternative options on a site to be rehabilitated.
  • Determine techniques to maximise plant development in land rehabilitation situations.
  • Explain the different ways of producing seedling trees for land rehabilitation purposes.
  • Determine appropriate plant establishment programs.
  • Develop procedures to care for plants, during establishment in an hostile environment.
  • Manage the rehabilitation of degraded soil.
  • Explain the effect of plants on improving a degraded site, both physically and chemically.


Arborists today use both mechanical and manual tools. Obviously, power tools can do more work faster; but for precision work, manual tools are still a very important part of the tool box.

The more important manual tools include the following:

Secateurs are also sometimes called 'pruning shears' or 'hand pruners'. There are many types of secateurs available, and in most cases you get what you pay for. The cheaper models at the local hardware shop may be suitable for one or two jobs, but if you want something that is going to last, be prepared to pay a bit more.  Some manufacturers make secateurs of different sizes for different sized hands.  Some even make left-handed models.  If you have lost secateurs in the past then use cheaper makes and replace them more often.  It is just as easy to leave a good pair in the compost heap as a cheap pair.  

There are three main types of secateurs:

By-pass Secateurs
These rely on a scissor-type action to cut through plant material. They have a sharp upper blade which cuts against a sharp lower blade to make a clean, precise cut.  These are the most difficult type of secateur to keep very sharp. Furthermore if the blades are not kept tightly aligned stringy growth can jam the blades; this is can be very annoying!  

Anvil Secateurs
These have a sharp upper blade that cuts against a lower anvil. These secateurs can crush woody material if they are blunt but they are very easy to keep sharp and they are much less likely to jam than by-pass secateurs.

Parrot-beak Secateurs
These have rounded blades that use a scissor-like action. Use care with these, as they can be dangerous.

When cutting, force the blade straight through the wood in a single action. Avoid twisting the secateurs, as this can strain the blades. Also avoid cutting through woody stems that are too large as this will likely result in a poor cut, bark injury and damage the secateurs. Instead select a more suitable tool.  There is a new type of secateurs on the market that have a ratchet mechanism that enables you to cut through much larger stems with less effort.

Pruning Knife
A pruning knife can be used for paring saw cuts and other wounds to create a smooth surface which heals better. Pruning knives can also be used to prune trees, in particular young trees. A pruning knife can either have a fixed or a folding blade. The blade should be of hardened steel and securely fastened into the handle. A curved blade is generally preferred. Efficient use of a pruning knife requires notable skill.

Loppers are also called long-handled pruners. The blade shape resembles secateurs but they are considerably larger with very long handles. Loppers are used for pruning heavier branches.

There are several types of loppers available, ranging from the single-jointed type which can cut through branches of up to 3cm in diameter, to compound pruners which have a stronger cutting force due to levers or a slot arrangement. Compound pruners allow larger branches to be cut without requiring a cut from several sides, as would be needed with single-jointed pruners. When selecting compound pruners, it is recommended to choose those with steel handles that run through the full length.

The handles on loppers may be short or long. Telescopic or extendable loppers are also available the handles of which can be made longer when needed.  

Pole Pruners

Pole pruners allow pruning of branches 4m or more above the ground. Although they usually cannot cut through branches more than 2.5cm in diameter, they are very useful. Some pole pruners have a rope which is directly fastened to a lever on the opposite side of the cutting blade. These have minimal compounding and only allow pruning of smaller branches, but there are telescopic versions available which can enable them to have great reach. Other pole pruners have a rod running to another arm that additionally compounds the cutting effort. These have a greater cutting force, but they can be heavier and more difficult to manipulate. It is important to keep the blade clean and well-sharpened.  Long pole pruners can be heavy and are very difficult to control if they are not almost vertically above you.  This means that you need to be very careful that falling branches to not fall on you.

Hand Saws
Hand saws are required for cutting large branches. These may have coarse, wide-set teeth and do not stick when cutting into green wood like carpenter's saws do. There are two main types of saw: bow saws and pull-saws.  Bow saws have a blade that can be easily removed by pulling back part of the handle.  This removes the tension from the blade which then comes off the fixing pins.

Some pull-saws have retractable blades that can be folded into the handle. Others have fixed blades. Pull-saws get their name form the fact that they only cut on the pull stroke and they often have a slightly curved blade making them cut more efficiently.  They are great for getting into 'hard to reach' places around the tree canopy. Select a saw with a blade made of high quality, hardened, chrome-plated carbon steel.  Also select a model of folding saw that has a good positive catch on the blade.  This will prevent the blade form folding onto you fingers, which is very painful.  You can get pull saws that attach to a pole.  These can be very useful for larger trees and avoid the need for ladder work.  As with the pole pruners, be careful not to stand directly underneath branches that you are removing.

Check out our eBooks

It's Easy to Enrol

Select a Learning Method


$2,156.00Payment plans available.

Courses can be started at any time from anywhere in the world!

Need Help?

Take advantage of our personalised, expert course counselling service to ensure you're making the best course choices for your situation.