Job Detail

City Arborist

Location: Lancaster, PA
Salary: $50,000-$95,000


See job listing and apply here.


Primary Functions and Job Details

This position serves as one of two highly-trained tree professionals in the City of Lancaster. This position is responsible for planning, organizing, and directing all activities related to the acquisition, planting, growing, management, maintenance, and removal of trees on City properties and rights of way.  This position also provides comprehensive service and expertise to residents of the City of Lancaster as it pertains to the management of the City’s urban forest.
The employee must have professional training, knowledge, and demonstrated ability in executing industry-accepted planting, pruning, and removal practices, as well as demonstrated mastery of tree risk assessment standards and safety requirements for arboricultural operations. Work is performed under the general supervision of the Manager of Parks and Public Property and in close collaboration with the Urban Forester. Assignments are received and administered orally and in writing.

Examples Of Essential Duties

  • Responsible for safe, timely, and effective maintenance of the City's shade trees to mitigate hazardous conditions, promote tree health, and protect people and property.
  • Enforces policy, rules, regulations, and permitting procedures per City Trees Ordinance and Tree Manual. 
  • Monitors the health of the City’s tree population; diagnoses tree problems caused by pests, diseases, and injuries and develops responsive strategies; assesses tree risk and performs tree care operations, identifying dangerous/hazardous trees, poorly maintained trees, and improperly selected tree species and planting locations. 
  • Oversees, directs, coordinates, and schedules the work activities of City crews and/or third-party contractors involved in the permitted acquisition, planting, maintenance, pruning, care, and removal of City shade trees. 
  • Assures safe work practices in accordance with industry standards and provides or otherwise coordinates training(s) as are necessary for City personnel involved in right of way or other public property tree care. 
  • Responsible for establishing an annual work plan and budget, based on the results of ongoing assessments of the City's trees, and assists in the administration of said budget within fund allocations. 
  • Develops, writes, and administers long- and short-term maintenance schedules for trees on City properties, determines operating procedures and recommends operating policies, and coordinates the annual tree acquisition and planting programs. 
  • Makes complicated shade tree maintenance decisions in both a planned and reactive manner, within the context of resource allocation and the prioritization of work.
  • In conjunction with the City Urban Forester, provides technical expertise, insight, and recommendations on matters before the City Shade Tree Commission.
  • Conducts tree surveys of City parks and public property to collect tree inventory data; gathers and analyzes information, determines recommendations, and prepares reports. 
  • Maintains a computerized filing and record-keeping system of tree inventory data, service requests, and work histories, including tree assessment, maintenance, monitoring, pruning, and/or removal activities. 
  • Coordinates unit operations, with other City functions and government agencies where applicable, and obtains the materials and equipment necessary to complete assigned projects and objectives.
  • Conducts performance evaluations for direct reports and takes disciplinary action in accordance with City policy and the applicable collective bargaining agreement when necessary. 
  • Assists in performing maintenance and routine repairs of equipment. 
  • Applies and supervises the safe and legal application of pesticides and insecticides. 
  • Provides advice to residents regarding proper care of their shade trees, as needed, and promotes tree preservation, planting, and conservation efforts; provides permitting guidance related to tree work; conducts investigations and resolves reported complaints or concerns. 
  • Coordinates special tree-related events such as the Arbor Day Ceremony and selection of the annual City Christmas tree.

Typical Qualifications

Education, Training and Experience

Bachelor’s degree in forestry, urban forestry, landscape architecture, or horticulture, plus three (3) years of increasingly responsible experience in tree maintenance services; OR 

A high school diploma or equivalent, supplemented by accredited training in arboriculture and tree maintenance, forestry, urban forestry, or horticulture, plus five (5) years of increasingly responsible experience in tree maintenance services; OR

Any equivalent combination of education and qualifying experience substituted on a year-for-year basis. 

A minimum of two (2) years of supervisory experience is preferred. 

Licenses and Certificates

Current certification as an arborist in good standing through the International Society of Arboriculture is required. 

Possess, or have the ability to obtain within two (2) years of hire, the Tree Risk Assessment Qualification through the International Society of Arboriculture. 

Possess, or have the ability to obtain within five (5) years of hire, certification as a Municipal Specialist through the International Society of Arboriculture. 

Possession of, or ability to obtain within twelve (12) months of hire, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Public Applicator’s license for the application of pesticides (Categories 00 – Core, 06 – Ornamental and Shade Trees, and 10 – Right-of-Way & Weeds). 

Valid Pennsylvania Driver's License, Class B is required. 

Environmental Conditions 

Work is performed in City parks, open spaces, and along active City streets where shade trees exist.

Employee may be exposed to dust, dirt, fumes, vibrations, noise, hazardous chemicals, adverse work, extreme temperatures, and weather conditions.

Work is often performed at heights exceeding 20’ above ground level.

Employee may be exposed to biting/stinging insects and poisonous vegetation present in and around trees and tree debris. 

Employees must be willing to work outdoors and in all types of weather.

Duties are typically performed, depending on the season, weekdays from 7:00 am to 3:30 pm.

Emergency calls are to be expected, as is holiday and weekend work.

Safety Equipment Used or Needed

Personal Protective Equipment including but not limited to hardhats, gloves, safety glasses, ear protection, rain gear, steel toed safety shoes, rain boots and respirators.

Fall arrest equipment and safety harnesses/rigging. 


Requires lifting up to 50 to 100 lbs.

Requires standing outdoors for long periods.

Works around motorized or moving equipment, vehicles, and machinery.

Requires working long hours and must be available to handle emergency situations after hours, weekends and holidays.

This description was prepared to indicate the kinds of activities and levels of work difficulty required of positions in this class. It is not intended as a complete list of specific duties and responsibilities.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Thorough knowledge of safe practices related to Public Works operations, including but not limited to knowledge of proper use of personal protective safety equipment, e.g. fall protection, ear protection, eye protection, etc.

Thorough knowledge of arboriculture, plant pathology, and entomology as applied to tree maintenance. 

Thorough knowledge of the operations, equipment, procedures, tools, materials, and best management practices used in tree planting, removal and maintenance.

Thorough knowledge of tree identification, mensuration, and health/vigor assessment. 

Ability to develop, implement, and administer shade tree management plans and procedures. 

Considerable knowledge of public administration principles and practices as applied to the operation of assigned programs.

Ability to oversee, direct, coordinate, and schedule the work activities of a diverse crew. 

Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing in order to provide direction and instruction to various personnel. 

Proven ability to take accurate measurements and perform basic mathematical and geometric calculations (e.g. length/height, area, volume, etc.)

Proven ability to use motorized hand-held equipment such as chainsaws, impact drivers, etc. 

Proven ability to use hand tools such as screwdrivers, hammers, ratchets, wrenches. 

Demonstrated mastery of various arborist knots and the use and care of ropes/rigging as applied to tree maintenance.  

Thorough knowledge and experience in vertical tree care operations with the ability to perform tree maintenance tasks at moderate-to-high heights (25 to 75 feet) from ropes/rigging and/or a vehicle-mounted hydraulic bucket. 

Ability to lift and carry 50 to 100 pounds of tools, equipment, and materials, including tree limbs and debris, daily. 

Ability to perform work that requires physical dexterity on a daily basis. 

Ability to perform job functions around moving machinery, including chainsaws and chipper machinery, and in work zones featuring active vehicular traffic nearby. 

Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with supervisors, subordinates, co-workers, vendors, contractors, and the general public. 

Ability to utilize hand-held electronic communication devices (e.g. smartphone, tablet, etc.) as well as applicable software, including but not limited to email and a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS), to communicate effectively and report upon work performed.

Ability to prepare and present written and oral reports and speeches on a one to one basis or in groups and public meetings.

Proven ability to read, write, speak and comprehend English is required; multi-lingual capabilities (orally and in writing) is preferred.

Ability to operate a vehicle with hitch-mounted trailer on private and public streets is required.

Proven ability to work well under pressure and to maintain positive interactions with both external and internal customers.

Proven ability to work as part of a team and to collaborate successfully with others is required.

Proven ability to adapt to new or changed situations and to show flexibility in making improvements in work processes and operations is required.

See job listing and apply here.


Employer Info

120 North Duke Street
Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17602


  • Municipal
  • Supervisor

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