17 Arborist Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from an arborist, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

An arborist is a professional who cares for and maintains trees. Arborists are responsible for diagnosing and treating tree diseases and pests, assessing tree health, and providing advice on tree care. They may also be involved in the planning and design of landscapes, and the construction of arbors, pergolas, and other structures made from wood.

If you’re interested in becoming an arborist, you’ll likely need to go through an interview process. In this article, we’ll provide you with some tips on how to answer common arborist interview questions. We’ll also provide you with a list of questions that you may be asked during your interview.

Are you comfortable working at heights?

This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer that you are comfortable with heights and have experience working at them. If you haven’t worked at heights before, consider talking about a time when you were uncomfortable with heights but overcame your fear or how you feel more confident now.

Example: “I am very comfortable working at heights. I started out as a tree climber, so I was always working at heights. Now, I work primarily on the ground, but I still climb trees occasionally for maintenance purposes. I find it’s important to stay in shape and practice my climbing skills regularly so I can be prepared if I need to go up into a tree.”

What are some of the most important skills for an arborist?

Employers ask this question to make sure you have the skills necessary for the job. They want someone who is physically fit, has good problem-solving skills and can work well with others. When answering this question, list some of the most important skills for an arborist. Explain why these are important.

Example: “Physical fitness is one of the most important skills for an arborist. You need to be able to climb trees safely and efficiently. I also think communication skills are essential. You often work in teams, so it’s important that you can communicate clearly with your coworkers. Finally, safety is a top priority. You should always follow safe practices when working on a tree.”

How do you determine the health of a tree?

This question can help the interviewer determine your knowledge of tree health and how you use that information to make decisions. Use examples from your experience to show how you evaluate a tree’s overall health, including its roots, leaves and branches.

Example: “I look at several factors when determining the health of a tree. First, I examine the color of the leaves on the tree. Healthy leaves are green, while yellow or brown leaves indicate a problem. Next, I check for signs of pests like beetles or caterpillars. Finally, I inspect the bark for any discoloration or damage.”

What is the most challenging project you’ve worked on as an arborist?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your experience and how you handle challenges. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a specific project that was challenging but also rewarding in the end.

Example: “The most challenging project I’ve worked on as an arborist was when I had to remove a large tree from a residential property. The homeowner was very attached to the tree, so we spent quite some time discussing what would be best for the tree before deciding to remove it. It took several days of work with my team to complete the job, but the homeowner was happy with the results.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to deal with a difficult client or customer.

An interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your customer service skills. They want to know how you would handle a challenging situation with a client or customer and whether you have the ability to diffuse conflict. In your answer, try to focus on your problem-solving and interpersonal skills.

Example: “In my previous position as an arborist, I had a client who was very particular about their trees. They wanted me to trim all of their trees in a specific way, but it wasn’t necessarily the best method for those trees. Instead of telling them that they couldn’t do something, I explained why what they were asking for wouldn’t be beneficial for the tree. I showed them pictures of other trees that we trimmed in a similar way and talked through the benefits of our methods. By explaining things to them, they understood and agreed to let us continue working.”

If hired, what would be your priorities during the initial assessment phase?

The interviewer may ask you this question to gauge your experience and expertise as an arborist. Your answer should include a list of the tasks you would perform during the initial assessment phase, such as inspecting trees for damage or disease, identifying any safety hazards and determining whether tree trimming is necessary.

Example: “During the initial assessment phase, I would first inspect all trees on site to determine if they have any visible signs of damage or disease. If so, I would recommend removing the infected tree immediately to prevent it from spreading to other healthy trees. Next, I would check for any safety hazards caused by the trees, such as low-hanging branches that could pose a threat to pedestrians. Finally, I would evaluate each tree’s overall health and decide whether trimming is needed.”

What would you do if you noticed signs of infestation or disease on a tree you were tasked with inspecting?

This question can help the interviewer assess your problem-solving skills and ability to make decisions. Your answer should show that you are able to use critical thinking skills to solve problems, prioritize tasks and communicate with clients about any issues you find on a tree.

Example: “If I noticed signs of infestation or disease on a tree, I would first inspect the entire tree for other signs of damage. If there were no other visible signs of damage, I would take samples from different parts of the tree to send to a lab for testing. This helps me determine whether the tree is healthy enough to remain in its current location or if it needs to be removed.”

How well do you work with others, both in teams and as part of larger projects?

Working as an arborist often requires working with others, both in teams and on larger projects. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the interpersonal skills necessary for success in their role. In your answer, share a story about how you worked well with others in the past. Explain what made that experience successful.

Example: “I’ve always been passionate about trees, so I decided to pursue a career as an arborist. To get my education, I attended a two-year program at a community college where I learned from professors and classmates alike. My fellow students were all very passionate about trees, too, which helped us work together to solve problems and learn new things.”

Do you have experience using tree climbing equipment?

This question can help the interviewer determine your experience level with using tools and equipment to complete a job. If you have previous experience, share what kind of equipment you used and how comfortable you are using it. If you don’t have any experience, you can talk about your willingness to learn new equipment if hired.

Example: “I’ve worked with several different types of tree climbing equipment in my career so far. I’m most comfortable using harnesses, ladders and ropes. I also know how to use pulleys and winches for lifting heavy objects.”

When is it appropriate to remove a tree?

This question can help the interviewer determine your knowledge of tree removal. It’s important to show that you know when it’s necessary and how to do it safely. You can answer this question by giving an example of a time when you removed a tree from someone’s property.

Example: “Removing trees is something I only do as a last resort, but there was one instance where I had to remove a large oak tree from a client’s yard. The roots were growing into their foundation, which could have caused major damage if left alone. We carefully cut down the tree and hauled away all of the debris.”

We want to make sure our clients feel comfortable communicating with our arborists. What is the best way to get feedback from a client about a tree?

An interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your customer service skills. They want to know how you interact with clients and what steps you take to ensure the client feels comfortable giving feedback. In your answer, explain that you would first listen to their concerns and then offer solutions or recommendations for future care of the tree.

Example: “I always make sure to communicate with my clients before I start any work on a tree. This allows me to get an idea of what they expect from the tree and gives them the opportunity to share any concerns they have. If there are any issues with the health of the tree, I will let them know so we can discuss possible solutions. For example, if the tree is too close to power lines, I might recommend removing it instead of trimming it.”

Describe your process for pruning a tree.

This question is a great way to test your knowledge of pruning and how you approach the task. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe each step in detail so that the interviewer can see how much experience you have with pruning trees.

Example: “The first thing I do when approaching a tree for pruning is inspect the entire tree for any damage or disease. If there are any issues, I’ll address them before moving on to pruning. Next, I’ll look at the overall health of the tree and decide which branches need to go. Then, I’ll use my tools to cut away the unwanted branches and remove them from the area.”

What makes you qualified for this position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your background and experience. They want to know what you can bring to their team that other candidates might not have. Before your interview, make a list of all the skills you have that are relevant to this position. Focus on hard skills like equipment knowledge and soft skills like communication.

Example: “I’ve been working as an arborist for five years now, so I have plenty of experience in this field. In my previous role, I worked with many different types of trees and plants. I also gained valuable experience by taking online courses through the Arborists Association. These courses helped me learn new techniques for caring for trees and plants.”

Which tree species do you know best?

This question can help the interviewer determine your level of expertise. You can answer this question by naming a tree species you have worked with in the past and explain why it’s one of your favorites.

Example: “I’ve worked with many different types of trees, but I find that oak trees are my favorite to work with because they’re so strong and sturdy. They’re also easy to climb, which makes them great for pruning or removing dead branches. Oak trees are common in most areas, so I’m comfortable working with them no matter where I am.”

What do you think is the most important aspect of tree care?

This question can help the interviewer determine your knowledge of tree care and how you prioritize tasks. Your answer should show that you understand what’s important in this field, such as safety, customer service or environmental conservation.

Example: “I think the most important aspect of tree care is safety. I always make sure to use proper equipment when climbing trees and follow all safety protocols. Safety is also why I am passionate about educating others on tree care. If more people knew how to properly care for their trees, they could avoid accidents and keep themselves and their property safe.”

How often should trees be inspected?

This question can help the interviewer determine your knowledge of proper tree care. It is important to show that you understand how often trees should be inspected and when it’s necessary. In your answer, explain what factors influence inspection frequency and provide an example of a time when you performed frequent inspections.

Example: “In my previous position, I inspected trees every three months during the growing season and once per year in the winter. This was because we were able to spot any issues with the trees before they became serious enough to require immediate attention. However, if there are any changes in the health of the tree or its environment, such as new construction nearby, then I would recommend inspecting more frequently.”

There is a disagreement among your team about how to handle a tree project. How do you resolve the issue?

An interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your leadership skills and how you resolve conflicts. In your answer, try to show that you can work with others and come to a resolution.

Example: “I would first make sure everyone understands the situation and then I would help them find a solution together. If they are still having trouble coming up with an agreement, I would offer my opinion on what I think is best for the project. I would also encourage them to do the same so we could all agree on a plan of action.”


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