Job Detail


Location: Chaska, MN
Salary: Starting Salary: $66,500 - $76,900 annually); depending on education/certification/experience and internal equity

The University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in partnership with the Department of Horticultural Sciences in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, is one of the nation’s premiere university-based public gardens. The Arboretum’s extensive landscapes across its 1,200 acres, includes 49 display and specialty gardens, 44 plant collections representing 6,100 taxa of plants including the nationally accredited pine and ornamental grass collections, and native and restored woodlands, grasslands, and wetlands. The Arboretum is home to the Department of Horticultural Sciences’ thriving research programs in fruit and woody landscape plant breeding, responsible for over 150 plant introductions since 1908 including the Honeycrisp Apple and the ‘Lights’ series of azaleas.

As a member of the Horticulture and Collections Department, the Arboretum’s Arborist assists with development, oversight, and implementation of all aspects of the Arboretum’s arboriculture program. The Arborist works alongside fellow members of the horticulture department rotating through plant collections evaluating plant health and assessing and executing the required care measures including the unique pruning needs of each specimen. The Arborist position executes and oversees tree maintenance involving extensive climbing and aerial lift operation, tree removals, hazard tree assessments and implementation of corrective measures, IPM practices, and coordination and oversight of arboriculture contractors and other tasks as needed as part of the full horticultural operation. The Arborist position directs the work of others assisting with arboricultural tasks as assigned, ensuring proper personnel and work site training and safety. The successful candidate is expected to engage fully in the professional activities of the Arboretum and work collaboratively with colleagues on efforts across the institution. Required to work in all weather conditions in all seasons; may require evening and weekend work as needed.

Tree Pruning, Maintenance, and Removal (60%) 
Prune trees across the Arboretum’s diverse collections using the highest standards for structural and maintenance pruning with a focus on overall plant health; inspect trees for other maintenance needs and report and assist with corrective measures.   
Climb with rope and saddle, operate aerial lift, deploy necessary rigging, and coordinate with ground support operations to ensure a safe work site in alignment with industry standards for best practices.
Maintain, repair, and operate specialized arboriculture equipment including but not limited to hand-tools, ground and climbing chainsaws, aerial lift, and brush chipper, and winches. 
Perform small and large-scale tree removals and coordinate and oversee arboriculture contractors as needed.
Regularly inspect paths, roads, and other high visitation areas for tree care needs.
Oversee others involved in arboriculture tasks including staff, interns, and volunteers ensuring proper training and safety. 
Respond to severe weather events, inspecting landscapes for tree damage and overseeing clean-up operations. 

Planting and Plant Health Care (30%)
Work with Plant Health Specialist and others on various plant health care assessments and treatments, including but not limited to, root system investigations, decay assessments, retrenchment pruning, and other tree preservation measures. 
Perform proper planting and other tree establishment tasks.
Perform tasks as part of integrated pest management program, including pest and disease monitoring, treatment implementation (application of pesticides including trunk injections), and all required record keeping.
Install, inspect, and maintain cabling, bracing, and lightning protection systems.

Additional Operational and Institutional Support (10%)
Assist with tasks across the full horticulture operations including watering, weeding, mulching, shrub pruning, work in natural areas, and other duties as assigned.
Assist curatorial staff and researchers with plant condition assessments, collection of propagation material, recording keeping, research support and advisement, and other related evaluations.
Advise on tree protection measures for construction projects.
Assist with full scope of snow removal operations including shoveling and various equipment operations.  
Perform assigned duties as an essential staff during weather related and other emergencies situations impacting the Arboretum’s normal operations
Assist with education and outreach activities, special events and other institutional programs. 
Other related job duties as assigned.


Bachelor’s in arboriculture, horticulture, or related field. 
A minimum of five (5) years’ experience in the field of arboriculture, including three (3) years experience as a climbing arborist (including rope and saddle techniques and aerial lift operation); or a combination of related education and work experience to equal at least nine years.
Must have and maintain a valid MN driver’s license with ability to obtain and maintain Class A Commercial Driver's License (CDL) within one-year of employment.
Within six (6) months of employment, must possess and maintain Arborist Certification by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and a Minnesota Noncommercial Pesticide Applicator’s license.
Must be able to perform manual labor, including daily tree climbing, frequent lifting/carrying/transporting loads up to 80 lbs.
Specialized training in the use of equipment used in the arboriculture field, such as but not limited to, ropes, saddles, lifts, chainsaws, brush chippers, and associated personal protective equipment (PPE’s). 
Excellent computer, recordkeeping and documentation skills.

Five (5) years’ experience as professional climbing arborist
Previous work experience in public horticulture including parks, arboreta, botanical garden or similar operations.
Ability to operate equipment related to grounds management functions, including front-end loaders, tractors, and pickup truck mounted snow plows, leaf blowers, riding and push mowers, string trimmers, salt/sand spreaders, snow blowers, and dump trucks.
Strong knowledge of temperate tree and shrub identification
Familiarity and ability to learn and apply to technical and safety standards of the American National Standards Institute (A.N.S.I) for Arboricultural Operations including A.N.S.I. A300 pruning standards and A.N.S.I. Z133 safety standards in order to ensure safe work practices.
May be required to obtain other related licenses and/or certifications including ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ).

Employer Info

3675 Arboretum Dr
Chaska, Minnesota 55318


  • Climber
  • Caretaker

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