Certificate In Arboriculture

Learn and work in arborculture - study form home with highly qualified and experienced tutors. Get a solid foundation for a career working with tree establishment or maintenance.

Course CodeVHT090
Fee CodeCT
Duration (approx)600 hours

It's Easy to Enrol

Select a Learning Method

I am studying from...

Enable Javascript to automatically update prices.

All prices in Australian Dollars.

Click on Enrol Now to See Our Payment Plans Available. No Obligation.

Courses can be started at any time from anywhere in the world!

Arboriculture is more than just removing trees.

What do you need to know to work in today's arboriculture industry?

  • To choose the right tree for the right spot
  • To be able to identify a range of trees
  • To establish trees for healthy growth
  • To maintain trees for longevity
  • To treat damaged trees
  • To remove dangerous or over-crowded, or damaged tree

How will this course help you?

  • It covers all the above points and gives you the knowledge skills and confidence to work in Arboriculture as an employee or to set up your own business. 
  • If you are already working in the industry it gives you flexible learning (at home!) So you can continue to earn a wage as you learn. 


  • Work with an established arborist
  • Start up your own business
  • Work in tree assessment and reporting
  • Work as support staff in the industry
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.

see below.

If you are currently enrolled in this course - it is still very relevant, nothing has changed as far as content goes. If you have not received all your units and would like to take advantage of choosing from a broader range of electives .

SPEAK WITH OUR STUDENT SERVICES STAFF: studentservices@acs.edu.au


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Certificate In Arboriculture.
 Arboriculture I BHT106
 Horticulture I BHT101
 Plant Selection And Establishment BHT107
 Arboriculture II BHT208
 Trees For Rehabilitation BHT205
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 1 of the following 4 modules.
 Australian Native Trees VHT115
 Deciduous Trees BHT244
 Plant Protection BHT207
 Environmental Assessment BEN301

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

Prepare Before and After You Plant Trees

Consider The Site

Does it have any particular problems which should be treated?

  • Hard clay soils need to be loosened up by cultivation, or by adding soil conditioners such as lime or gypsum, or by incorporating organic matter, such as well rotted manures and compost.
  • Sandy soils can sometimes dry out too easily or be low in nutrients. To overcome these problems add well rotted manures or compost, or wetting agents.
  • Check soil pH (the degree of acidity or alkalinity). Most plants prefer a slightly acid or neutral soil (pH of about 6 to 7.5). Some plants such as Camellias, Azaleas, Daphne and Citrus prefer a pH that is a little more acid than this (less than 6), while other plants (eg. Lilacs) prefer a pH slightly more alkaline. Simple test kits can be readily obtained from nurseries, garden centers, etc. You can then either choose plants that like the pH of your soil/growing media, or you might alter the pH to suit the plants you wish to grow. pH can be raised by the addition of lime, or lowered by the addition of acidifying materials such as Manures, Sulphate of Ammonia, or Sulphur powder (only for small areas as it is relatively expensive).
  • Provide wind breaks or channel winds with fences or planting, to both protect tender plants and ensure good ventilation (If the garden is totally enclosed, air movement is restricted, and that can result in an increase in diseases.
  • If necessary, select plants to grow that will tolerate or even prefer periods of shade.

Build Up the Soil

Before you even start a new garden, make sure the soil is in top condition. Make sure drainage, nutrition, the soil type (e.g. sandy, clayey), and the structure of the soil is suitable for the plants you wish to grow. This may involve laying drainage pipes; applying fertilizers, gypsum (to improve the structure of clay soils) or lime; or digging in manure & compost. Thoroughly get rid of existing weeds.

Use Healthy Plants

Healthy plants are more likely to resist damage from pests and diseases, and more likely to recover if they are attacked. The roots and top growth of the plant should be well developed. There should be no deformed growths (eg: twisted, distorted leaves, swellings on roots). Avoid plants with badly marked leaves. Don't use plants contaminated with insects or other pests. Seeds and bulbs should be fresh, free of abnormal markings or any rots.

Keep thing Clean

Remove any diseased fruit, flowers, leaves, or other plant parts, and burn them (do not compost them or let them lay on the ground!). Wash soil off paths, pavers, concrete areas - soil tracked from one area to another may spread disease. Sit plants in containers on stones or paving, or on top of a couple of bricks (not directly on top of soil). This minimises movement of pest & disease organisms from the soil up into the pot. Keep hoses, particularly the nozzles stored off the ground, ideally on a reel or rack to minimise contact with the ground where they may come in contact with disease organisms.

Maintain Nutrients and Water

Do not over water or underwater...both are as bad as each other! Over watering (waterlogging) is indicated by yellowing of the lower leaves, sometimes wilting and eventually dropping of the lower leaves. Under watering is indicated by browning of the tips and foliage generally, and at times by severe wilting and leaf drop. Lack of nutrients is indicated by a slow rate of growth, and in severe cases, by discolouration patterns on leaves.

In small gardens you need to keep the deepest roots moist; otherwise you will encourage roots to come to the surface in search of water. Do this by giving the garden a good soaking less often, rather than frequent light irrigations. A drip irrigation system is ideal for this purpose.

Inspect Plants

Look at the growing tips first. The young growth will indicate general vigor (or lack of it). The soft tips are also the area of the plant most commonly attacked. Look for dieā€‘back, discolouration of leaves or wood, distortion of growth, rots, eaten or broken tissue. If pest or disease problems are noticed then treat them as soon as possible to prevent further decline in the health of the plant/s, and to minimise the likelihood of the problem spreading.

The Arboriculture Industry 

Trees can be an asset or a liability.

When they are growing well, they are an asset; improving the environment providing protection from weather extremes, adding to the aesthetic of an area, and some can even provide us with timber, food or other crops. When a tree dies or causes damage to buildings or drains, it can become a major headache.

For most people, tree management is complicated, requiring specialist knowledge, skills and equipment.

  • Keeping a tree alive and healthy, requires a lot of knowledge
  • Pruning or removing a tree can be dangerous and beyond what any ordinary person could or should attempt.
  • Lopping, stump removal and other specialised jobs requires machinery, and the know how to use that machinery
  • Every tree species is different, and needs to be treated differently.

This course provides an excellent grounding for a career where knowledge is critical to career and business success.

It is a unique course, that teaches you to identify problems and come up with sensible solutions based upon sound horticultural practice, science, and appropriate management.  It is a very solid training, from an international team of horticulture and arboriculture experts.


Good, professional arborists are always in demand so long as people grow trees. These days most people understand the importance of trees to our environment as a consequence more trees are being planted every day; and the more trees we grow, the more demand there is for arborists.

Need assistance?

Start Now!


Rosemary Davies

Leading horticultural expert in Australia. Rosemary trained in Horticultural Applied Science at Melbourne University. Initially she worked with Agriculture Victoria as an extension officer, taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (c
Bob James

Horticulturalist, Agriculturalist, Environmental consultant, Businessman and Professional Writer. Over 40 years in industry, Bob has held a wide variety of senior positions in both government and private enterprise. Bob has a Dip. Animal Husb, B.App.Sc.,
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.
Jacinda Cole

B.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 year
Growing Conifers
The great thing about conifers is they look good all year round. Most of them are grown for foliage, and in general, foliage remains the same pretty well all year. Unlike other trees and shrubs, you do not have a month of attractive ?owers, followed by an
Growing Trees & Shrubs for Small Gardens
Turn even the smallest space into a great place. This e-book is an essential guide for any gardener who wants to make the most of a small garden, balcony, verandah or courtyard.
Trees and Shrubs
Useful for students, tradespeople already working in the field, or the home gardener who needs a quick reference when choosing plants for a garden.
What to Plant Where
A great guide for choosing the right plant for a particular position in the garden. Thirteen chapters cover: plant selection, establishment, problems, and plants for wet areas. Shade, hedges and screens, dry gardens, coastal areas, small gardens, trees an