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Urban Forestry

Algonquin College
1 year
Full time
Diploma / certificate
Scholarships available
On campus
Fall 2020
Algonquin College

Program description

Urban Forestry

Provide environmental, social and economic benefits in today`s society with a career in forestry.

In the one-year Urban Forestry - Arboriculture Ontario College Certificate program, you experience a hands-on education exploring arboriculture science with tree care skills.

You acquire the skills and knowledge related to a range of tree care services provided by professional arborists, including:

  • Tree climbing
  • Tree identification
  • Tree pruning
  • Tree removal
  • Tree fertilization
  • Tree planting
  • Diagnoses and management of tree diseases

Spend the majority of your time in the program outdoors, in a variety of weather conditions and heights. Working on real trees, practice climbing techniques and learn to become proficient in the use of arborist-related equipment including chainsaws, chippers and stump grinders. Develop foundational tree identification and safe tree climbing skills through theoretical, laboratory and hands-on learning. Participate in workplace scenarios that replicate actual challenges faced by arborists. In classroom and labs settings, examine tree science and arboriculture practises, such as planting, pruning and removal.

Admission requirements

Program eligibility

  • English, Grade 12 (ENG4C) or equivalent with a grade of 60% or higher.
  • International applicants must provide proof of the subject specific requirements noted above along with proof of either: (IELTS / TOEFL) IELTS-International English Language Testing Service (Academic) Overall band of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each band; OR TOEFL-Internet-based (iBT)-overall 88, with a minimum of 22 in each component: Reading: 22; Listening: 22; Speaking: 22; Writing: 22.
  • Applicants with international transcripts must provide proof of the subject specific requirements noted above and may be required to provide proof of language proficiency.

Should the number of qualified applicants exceed the number of available places, applicants will be selected on the basis of their proficiency in English and mathematics.

Success factors

This program is well-suited for students who:

  • Enjoy physical activity and working outdoors.
  • Are willing to work in extreme weather conditions.
  • Are comfortable workings at heights exceeding 25M (80 feet).
  • Are able to lift one`s own weight.
  • Have an affinity to working with trees and shrubs.
  • Work well in a team environment.
  • Enjoy problem solving.
  • Possess good communication skills.

Does this course require proof of English proficiency?

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Program content

Core courses include:

Level: 01

  • Communications I
  • Basic Tree Climbing
  • Equipment Operations and Maintenance
  • Tree Sciences and Practices
  • Advanced Tree Climbing
  • Dendrology

Level: 02

  • Arboriculture Practices
  • Tree Removal
  • Forest Entomology and Pathology
  • Urban Soils
  • Tree Pruning Techniques

Tuition fees

For more information about tuition fees, please visit the college website. 

Scholarships & funding

For more information about scholarships, please visit the college website.



Ontario College Certificate

Learning outcomes

  • Explain principles and procedures relating to urban forests and ecosystems to inform clients` decision-making when selecting tree sites, species and planting procedures.
  • Treat trees by considering the relationship between tree anatomy, physiology and urban soil conditions to maintain tree health and management.
  • Recommend and apply integrated treatments and preventative care to promote healthy trees.
  • Use complex climbing systems with basic industry-recognized fall protection techniques to climb and prune trees safely while addressing tree wound reactions in juvenile and mature trees.
  • Implement proper tree maintenance and safe removal procedures in accordance with industry standards, policies, and legislation.
  • Employ safe operational and maintenance procedures for arborist-related hand tools and large equipment in accordance with recognized standards.
  • Prepare reports and field records in compliance with industry regulation and established policies and procedures.
  • Utilize industry related personal protective equipment and safe working practises to ensure optimum health and safety of self, team members and the environment.
  • Apply the fundamentals of hazardous tree assessment, tree appraisal and tree risk management in order to implement safe and appropriate harm reduction actions and procedures.
  • Identify and apply discipline-specific practices that contribute to the local and global community through social responsibility, economic commitment and environmental stewardship.

Continuing studies

If you choose to pursue further education, you are ready to write the College of Trades (COT) exemption exams for some college courses.

Career opportunities

There are employment opportunities in a wide variety of areas such as:

  • Commercial tree service companies
  • Public utility companies
  • City, county, and other government agencies
  • Landscape maintenance firms
  • Nurseries
  • Garden centres
  • Industrial complexes
  • Private estates
  • Theme parks and resorts
  • Arboretums
  • Botanical gardens
  • Tree research centres
  • Golf courses

Graduates may find a career as a(n):

  • Head arborist
  • Crew leader
  • Arborist
  • Arborist assistant
  • Climber
  • Apprentice climber
  • Consulting arborist
  • Ground staff member

About this institute

Algonquin College

Algonquin College

Consider Algonquin’s unique campuses Algonquin College offers an experience that includes personalized learning and industry-ready skills through field-work, work placement and co-op. Employers value the combination of theory and experiential learning, at Algonquin College you get it all. In addition...

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Why study at Algonquin College

Canada ranked #1 study abroad country

Canada has been ranked the #1 study abroad country in the world for 2020! Known for its untouched natural beauty, friendly and welcoming locals, and a culture of tolerance and diversity, Canada is a clear choice for students looking to study abroad.

Contact info

Algonquin College

1385 Woodroffe Avenue
K2G 1V8 Ottawa Ontario


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