Arborists manage and care for trees in our urban environment. The Climbing Arborist program is the second of three sequential trades credentials in arboriculture. A climbing arborist's job focuses on tree work such as pruning, disease control, structural support, and tree removal.
The Climbing Arborist Apprenticeship links learning and employment by providing apprentices the opportunity to further their education, while maintaining full-time employment in the arboriculture industry. An apprenticeship is established when an employer and employee complete, sign and register an Apprentice and Sponsor Registration form with the Industry Training Authority (ITA, www.itabc.ca) Apprentices may also apply to the ITA for work-based training completed before the apprenticeship is established. Refer to www.itabc.ca for information.
Climbing Arborist apprentices attend one 8-week long technical training session at the Langley campus of KPU. Topics include aerial lift operations, tree identification, tree pests and disease management, pruning, tree support, rigging, climbing, aerial rescue, job planning, and risk assessment. The curriculum used for technical training has been developed and approved by the arboriculture industry.
Journeypersons in arboriculture are in demand. Municipal parks departments and the large private arboriculture industry sector require certified climbing arborists to fill a significant number of positions.
KPU apprentice training schedules and waitlists are published on Kwantlen Course Search. Additional apprenticeship training opportunities are listed on Trades Training BC; this is the hub for BC's Public Trades Training Programs & Services.
In addition to applicable tuition fees, students will incur expenses for the following:
- school supplies
- safety footwear (in conformance with WorkSafeBC regulations)
- climbing gear
- rain gear
- field trips
- accommodation and food
Financial Supports for Apprentices
Apprentices may be eligible for financial support for the in-class portion of their training through the EPBC Apprentice Program Financial Supports. Application to this program must be made four to six weeks prior to the start of technical training. Information is available through WorkBC.
Apprentices must apply separately for Employment Insurance (EI) Benefits no later than the last week of work, or during the first week of training, or they will not be eligible to receive EPBC Apprentice Program Financial Supports. EI information can be obtained by visiting Service Canada.
Students interested in this apprenticeship program should have a strong desire for hands-on outdoor work, enjoy nature and living things, be concerned about the environment, and have entrepreneurial talents. Individuals with allergies to dust, pollen or plant products, or specific chemicals should be aware of the potential impact on their health. Physical fitness and a healthy back are required for a successful career in arboriculture. Apprentices may work with plant protection products.
After completing the technical training and logging 1800 hours of work experience, an apprentice will need to complete a practical assessment to gain their Certificate of Qualification. Contact HortEducationBC for more information on the practical assessment at www.horteducationbc.com.
Faculty's website: kpu.ca/science
Department's website: kpu.ca/hort
The following requirements apply:
- Completed KPU Apprentice Registration
- Active apprentice registration in the BC Apprenticeship system.
- Valid Trade Worker Identification number from the Industry Training Authority (ITA-ID). If you do not have an ITA-ID, you will need to complete an apprenticeship registration form through the ITA (www.itabc.ca) prior to enrolling. To determine your eligibility please consult with the Industry Training Authority.
- Completion of Arborist Technician
- Grade 10 or equivalent, including English 10, Math 10 and Science 10 is recommended
Note: International student enrollment requires approval of the Dean.
Note: AARB courses are assessed Tuition Category 2.b.2 tuition and fees for domestic students. KPU Tech does not permit students to register in Apprenticeship Levels out of sequence.
- Regulations, Safety, and Site Inspection
- Tree Identification
- Management of Pests and Diseases
- Rigging, Climbing, and Cutting Trees
- Safe Aerial Operations and Aerial Rescue
Upon successful completion of an apprentice level, KPU will report your technical training completion information to the Industry Trade Authority (ITA) in order for the ITA to determine credit towards your designated apprenticeship.
Apprentices will study and practice the skills required to become a successful arborist technician. The arborist technician works primarily from the ground and supports climbing arborists and field arborists. They will practice using larger equipment such as chippers and stump cutters and will learn to work around bucket trucks. Apprentices will work with chainsaws. They will learn basic rigging techniques and be introduced to climbing equipment. Apprentices will begin to develop plant identification skills and will prune a variety of smaller trees, shrubs, vines, and groundcovers.
Prerequisite(s): 1. Valid Trade Worker ID Number (ITA ID #) 2. Active apprentice registration in the BC Apprenticeship system 3. Class 5 Driver’s license 4. English 10 or better preferred 5. Additional requirements mandated by the Industry Training Authority may be required, contact Apprenticeship Services for information
A Climbing Arborist has a working knowledge of a variety of different tree species and can identify them using a variety of methodologies. Apprentices will identify a variety of tree species common to British Columbia using several different methodologies. Apprentices will describe the morphological characteristics of a variety of common trees, including buds, leaf scar, stems, bark, inflorescences, leaf arrangement and morphology, and growth habit. The apprentice will also select appropriate trees for planting on site conditions and assess the trees prior to installation. (Lines D7, D13)
Climbing Arborists occasionally assess options and apply appropriate actions to solve abiotic disorders of trees in a safe and effective manner. The apprentice will be able to assess trees for common abiotic tree disorders, including assessment of soils and tree structural conditions. The apprentice will apply basic actions such as pruning, wound tracing and treatments to mitigate abiotic tree disorders. (Lines D7, D10)
The Climbing Arborist apprentice will identify and diagnose common woody plant pests and diseases in British Columbia. The apprentice will select and install structural supports in trees to reduce tree failure, reduce tree hazards, and improve structure for tree restoration purposes., according to Industry standards. (Lines D8, D9, D11, D14)
The Climbing Arborist must understand factors and associated risks influencing the safe execution of the job and to develop safe procedures. The apprentice will learn to identify and understand all factors and associated risks influencing the safe execution of the job. The apprentice will learn to develop and communicate a safe job plan. The apprentice will prune a wide variety of trees while using appropriate techniques and tools. (Lines I1,2,3, D12)
Climbing Arborists must to know the legislation and regulations that pertain to their work on to the job site. The apprentice will use rigging techniques to remove large trees or portions of trees in confined locations or when surrounded by obstacles with a low impact focus, according to Industry standards and the authorities having jurisdiction. The apprentice will safely use various cutting techniques in aerial situations to remove tree parts. (Lines F5,6, A5,6)
Climbing Arborists will regularly asses the work site for a variety of risks including specific ground risks, tree risks, and weather risks. Apprentices will formulate and communicate risk management plans. They will learn to select appropriate climbing equipment and inspect it for safety. (Lines A5, A6, I1,2,3,D12,G2-5)
This online version of the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Calendar is the official version of the University Calendar. Although every effort is made to ensure accuracy at the time of publication, KPU reserves the right to make any corrections in the contents and provisions of this calendar without notice. In addition, the University reserves the right to cancel, add, or revise contents or change fees at any time without notice. To report errors or omissions, or send comments or suggestions, please email Calendar.Editor@kpu.ca