Tree Surgeon or Arborist using safety ropes and a chainsaw up a tree

Forestry and Arboriculture Apprenticeships in Devon

Forestry and Arboriculture

There are hundreds of career opportunities in forestry and arboriculture. In a forest of hundred and thousands of trees, no two leaves are alike; and no two journeys along the same path are alike in the forestry and arboriculture industry. Success in this Apprenticeship is a result of hard work, learning from failure, loyalty and persistence. Forestry and arboriculture play a crucial part to a healthy environment; planted forests absorb carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere. … they protect soil, provide habitat for wildlife and clean the air by absorbing carbon dioxide.


It takes special training and skills to know how, and when, to fell or prune a tree, coppice, turn branches into wood chip, re-plant and so on. If you pursue a career in the forestry and arboriculture industry you’ll be wearing a hard hat, climbing a tree and asking your team to pass you a chainsaw. But it’s not just about climbing trees, hanging from ropes and hacking off branches. Tree surgeons use their expert knowledge of trees to conduct inspections, plan practical work, and provide advice to organisations that are looking to develop certain areas of land where trees may be affected.

“A lot of arborists behave like little boys before a climb – eyes shining like a kid at Christmas, Being up there in the canopy, it’s almost like being in a meditative state because you have to be so focused. Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye and the results can be pretty nasty.”

Your day to day responsibilities could include; preparing sites, planting trees and providing appropriate protection and maintenance, operating a chainsaw, felling and harvesting material, processing timber and disposal of residues, maintaining machines and equipment used in forestry and arboriculture. You may also learn to climb, perform aerial rescue and operate a chainsaw from a rope and harness. Apprenticeships are a well-respected and recommended route into this sector.

Progression Routes

Career opportunities are diverse including running your own forestry, contracting or arboriculture/tree surgery, contributing to efforts to tackle issues as varied as climate change and social exclusion, as well as conserving rare wildlife and producing sustainable timber.

Devon Woodland

There are hectares and hectares of woodland in East and North Devon. Which gives apprentices in the forestry and arboriculture industry the opportunity to fulfil a successful career in this area. Bellever Forest, Chapel Wood, Knapp Copse Nature Reserve to name a few. Working outdoors in Devon will inspire you, it puts you in direct contact with nature and life force, not just the landscape but the vitality of the world around you.

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