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Qualification - Certificate in Arboriculture

Course CodeVHT090
Fee CodeCT
Duration (approx)600 hours

    Learn How to Grow, Care For & Manage Trees

    Trees are the longest living organisms on earth, they benefit the community and improve our quality of life in almost immeasurable ways. They create the oxygen we breathe, reduce air and water pollution and uptake water to help reduce storm water run-off. They also provide shade, beauty, sound barriers, windbreaks and reduce summer urban heat.

    If a tree is growing in a favourable environment and its genetic make-up also favours that environment it will be healthy and grow to optimum size and shape. A knowledgeable arborist understands that this is not always the case and sometimes, through environmental or other factors, trees will need help. They will also know that working with trees is about more then felling them; once a tree is removed it cannot be put back! 


    • Introduction to Arboriculture
    • Planting and Establishment
    • What To Plant Where
    • Plant Selection
    • Diagnosis Of Problems
    • Treating Tree Problems
    • Chemicals and Trees
    • Planning and Managing A Garden
    • Pruning Ornamental Trees & Shrubs
    • Pruning Fruit Trees
    • Pruning, Lopping Thinning & Shaping Large Trees
    • Bracing
    • Arboricultural Materials & Equipment
    • Tree Felling and Stump Removal
    • Cavity Work

    Work with confidence in the arboriculture sector

    This course develops the knowledge and skills needed to work in arboriculture, and provides essential background training in plant identification, selection and care.

    • 6 specific modules - no time wasted on useless courses
    • Get horticultural and arboriculture knowledge and skills
    • Study from home - no hassles, save time and money
    • Work with confidence and passion
    • Learn all aspects of tree care

    Recognised by the International Accreditation and Recognition Council (IARC)

    This certificate focuses on the culture and care of trees, providing a sound foundation for any working or hoping to work with tree establishment or maintenance. Unlike many other courses in arboriculture, this course also provides a broad foundation across all aspects of horticulture.

    “An entry level course – it enables you work with confidence in the arboriculture sector. Rather then just learning how to cut down trees (as is the case in so many courses in this sector) This course also covers general horticultural knowledge - very important in the general care of trees it also helps to expand the services you are able to offer.” - Adriana Fraser Cert.Hort., Cert.Child Care, Adv.Cert.App.Mgt., Cert IV Assessment and Training, Adv.Dip.Hort, ACS Tutor.


    Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Qualification - Certificate in Arboriculture.
     Arboriculture I BHT106
     Horticulture I BHT101
     Arboriculture II BHT208
     Trees For Rehabilitation (Reafforestation) BHT205
    Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 2 of the following 5 modules.
     Eucalypts VHT117
     Plant Selection And Establishment BHT107
     Conifers BHT230
     Deciduous Trees BHT244
     Plant Protection BHT207

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

    What Tree Suits the Site?

    When selecting a tree for any position there are two considerations to make:

    1. What is the best variety? -consider several reasonable options.
    2. What is available? -sometimes your preferred option is not available; so you may need to accept a different choice.

    The health, growth and establishment a plant is largely determined by three interconnected factors:

    • The suitability of selected plants to the conditions in which they are expected to grow.
    • The use of optimum plant establishment techniques.
    • The maintenance regime or its ability to grow with little further input after planting. 

    A well-selected plant is more likely to survive establishment and be easily maintained.  

    The first thing to consider with plant selection is the conditions where the plant is expected to grow.  Environmental factors that influence the selection of plants include:

    • Climate – plants that originate from the same or a similar climate will be suited to the conditions.  Extreme conditions such as snow and drought will prevent some plants from being grown in a given area.    
    • Latitude – the closer to the equator means that temperatures are likely to be hotter and day lengths will be more even (variation in day length triggers flowering in some plant species).  
    • Altitude – areas at higher altitudes generally experience cooler temperatures.
    • Oceans and lakes – large bodies of water alter growing conditions by moderating temperatures.
    • Soil – soil type, drainage and nutrition.
    • Winds – strength and direction.
    • Microclimate – factors that influence growing conditions in a specific area such as shade from large trees, reflected heat from hard surfaces and buildings, protection from winds by fences
    • Water – rainfall and irrigation.
    • Pests and diseases - some plants are more resistant than others.
    • Weeds - these compete for water and nutrients.
    • Human activities – pedestrians walking on turf, children playing ball games, vehicles, etc.  


    Opportunities in this growing industry include employment in private specialist contracting businesses, self-employment, local and state government positions. Activities include the maintenance and care of trees and large shrubs in private gardens, public parks, reserves, bushland reserves, recreational areas, industrial complexes, housing estates and institutions.

    This certificate focuses on the culture and care of trees, providing a sound foundation for any working or hoping to work with tree establishment or maintenance. Unlike many other courses in arboriculture, this course also provides a broad foundation across all aspects of horticulture.

    Meet some of our academics

    John Mason Parks Manager, Nurseryman, Landscape Designer, Garden Writer and Consultant. Over 40 years experience; working in Victoria, Queensland and the UK. He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world; author of more than 70 books and editor for 4 different gardening magazines. John has been recognised by his peers being made a fellow of the Institute of Horticulture in the UK, as well as by the Australian Institute of Horticulture.
    Maggi BrownMaggi is regarded as an expert in organic growing throughout the UK, having worked for two decades as Education Officer at the world renowned Henry Doubleday Research Association. She has been active in education, environmental management and horticulture across the UK for more than three decades. Some of Maggi's qualifications include RHS Cert. Hort. Cert. Ed. Member RHS Life Member Garden Organic (HDRA) .
    Diana Cole B.A. (Hons), Dip. Horticulture, BTEC Dip. Garden Design, Diploma Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Life Long Learning Sector), P.D.C. In addition to the qualifications listed above, Diana holds City & Guild construction qualifications and an NPTC pesticide spraying licence (PA1/PA6). Diana runs her own landscape gardening business (Arbella Gardens). Active in many organisations including the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers.
    Gavin ColeB.Sc., Cert.Garden Design. Landscape Designer, Operations Manager, Consultant, Garden Writer. He was operations manager for a highly reputable British Landscape firm (The Chelsea Gardener) before starting up his own landscaping firm. He spent three years working in our Gold Coast office, as a tutor and writer for Your Backyard (gardening magazine) which we produced monthly for a Sydney punlisher between 1999 and 2003. Since then, Gavin has contributed regularly to many magazines, co authored several gardening books and is currently one of the "garden experts" writing regularly for the "green living" magazine "Home Grown".

    Check out our eBooks

    Organic GardeningCreate a healthy, well-balanced garden. Attract abundant beneficial insects to pollinate your plants. Have healthy, fertile, organic soils teeming with life. Use this book as a guide to establish lush gardens laden with fruit, vegetables, herbs and ornamentals - without the use of chemicals. The ebook covers: soils and nutrition, pest and disease, natural weed control, conservation and recycling. 179 pages, 170 colour photos
    Trees and ShrubsA great little encyclopaedia that is valuable for students, tradespeople, or the home gardener needing a quick reference when selecting garden plants. It covers the care and culture of 140 commonly grown genera of trees and shrub, plus many hundreds of species and cultivars. 169 colour photos 94 pages
    Trees & Shrubs for Small GardensGet it right the first time - choose plants for small places that will enhance property values, and that won’t become a costly nightmare later! This invaluable book covers trees for small gardens, balconies, verandas or courtyards; 46 genera of small trees, 80 shrub genera and hundreds of species. 74 pages, over 150 colour photos
    OrchidsA colourful guide for students, home gardeners and orchid enthusiasts. The first part deals with growing orchids, and the second covers dozens of orchid genera, and hundreds of cultivars. Explore orchids as cut flowers, container plants, indoor plants and outdoor garden plants, in both tropical and temperate climates, across the world.