“It’s important for women to be seen working in the industry to promote gender equality and diversity. ”
In honor of International Women’s Day, the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) is sharing stories about women in the arboriculture profession throughout the month of March to honor their contributions to the industry.
Like many before her, Julie Tucker came into the arboriculture industry by accident. While in college, Tucker saw an arboriculture demonstration where students were climbing the rafters in the school pub.
“It was it really was the first career that I saw that really inspired me to get into the workforce and go to school,” she said.
Tucker graduated from Sir Sandford Fleming College in Ontario, after first studying parks and recreation, then moving into forestry, and eventually including arboriculture as well. She is an ISA Certified Arborist ® and holds the Tree Risk Assessment Qualification.
Over her 19 year career, Tucker said there have been many notable moments. She is particularly proud of her time as a tree climbing competition competitor and even participated in the North American and International Tree Climbing Competitions. However, her time competing was short lived.
“I was in a car accident where I was left with some injuries and I couldn’t compete the way I used to so I had to adapt into a new direction which is really how I got into the volunteer side of things,” she said. “It was something I could do and something I was passionate about still and I could be involved. I think overcoming that challenge was just being able to adapt and grow in a different way and being open to a new experience.”
Since moving to the volunteer side of Tree Climbing Competitions, Tucker has had the opportunity to serve her community in many ways. She volunteered with the North American and International Tree Climbing Competitions and worked with the OTCC Committee which eventually led to chairing the committee for a number of years. She was also elected in 2019 to serve as the president of the ISA Ontario Chapter Board. She still currently serves on the board of directors.
“Serving as the chapter president was a position that was 10 to 15 years in the making,” she said. “To get there, as well as chairing the Ontario tree Climbing Competition, has been incredibly fulfilling.”
Tucker’s accomplishments continue into her professional life as well. Today she is not only the owner of ARBministrative Solutions, a company she began a year ago, she works with several other agencies as well. One of which, the Ground Worker Training Program, is a government funded program where Tucker works as the technical training coordinator. She also works with Arboriculture Canada as their public training manager. Additionally, Tucker successfully wrote two preservation bylaws for her city.
Tucker said that it’s important for women to be seen working in the industry to promote gender equality and diversity.
“I think its incredible important for equal opportunity and for balance as well as for inspiration for others looking to get in the industry,” she said. “It has changed a lot over the 19 years I’ve been in the industry. There are a lot of places I go now where there is a 50-50 ratio and it’s amazing to see. I think there’s still hesitation when women are looking to get in the industry, so I believe that seeing women out there doing amazing jobs and letting them know they too have the opportunity and can go places in the career is incredibly important for others to see.”
Looking to the future, Tucker said she is excited to see what’s to come.
“It’s been an incredibly fulfilling journey and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next,” she said. “I’m only in my first year of business ownership and I’m sure there will be more challenges to come and I’m looking forward to seeing what challenges that will bring. I’m doing more with training and I’m giving back through education which I think is important because I’ll be able to give back to the industry that has given me so much.”
Check out the other Women in Arboriculture profiles.