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Urban Forestry

This program focuses on the "non-climbing" aspects of urban forestry and landscape care. You can help make our cities a better place to be after completing the Urban Forestry Certificate.

Program Information

Start Date

September 03, 2024

Domestic Availability

Accepting Applications

International Availability


Program Code



In Person


Ontario College Certificate


Frost Campus

Program Contact

Tom Mikel

Program Coordinator

Domestic Tuition

$2296.86 per semester*

International Tuition

$8724.02 per semester*

*Domestic tuition amounts shown are from the 2023-2024 academic year and are subject to change.

*International tuition amounts shown are from the 2023-2024 academic year and are subject to change.

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Canadian Students

View Curriculum

Trees clean the air and provide much needed "green" relief from the concrete jungle.

You will learn how to care for urban trees and tree canopies, and gain a basic understanding of the landscape industry. As an Urban Forestry graduate, you'll be able to work maintaining and preserving trees and shrubs in the urban landscape and green spaces of our communities.

  • You'll have the theoretical and practical knowledge to work on all aspects of urban tree care.
  • While this program emphasizes the non-climbing aspects of tree and landscape care, you'll be able to operate, maintain, and troubleshoot chainsaws, wood chippers, stumpers, and other relevant mechanical equipment.
  • You will be able to identify approximately 140 species of trees and shrubs in both summer and winter conditions.
  • In order to better protect trees and shrubbery, you will be able to diagnose and remedy major pests, disease, and tree disorders - using the latest techniques and treatments to promote plant health.

Simply put, students choose Fleming College because of our reputation in the industry. Employers look to our Urban Forestry and Arboriculture programs to find well-trained graduates. The School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences has a 40-year plus reputation among professional organizations and employers working in the field.

Many of our programs offer the opportunity to earn a second certificate or diploma with just one or two more semesters of study. Add another specialization to your skill set and increase your career prospects with this unique opportunity.

Learn more here or contact your program coordinator for more information.

From start to finish, the Urban Forestry program is hands-on. You'll be spending a lot of time working with trees and shrubs outside in addition to your time in the classroom. In the first semester, you will do a field placement, and be able to put your learning and practice to work.

In order to be successful in this field, you've got to love the outdoors and working with trees and landscaping. Here are a few skills and traits that will help you:

  • desire to take on a challenge
  • physical fitness
  • good oral/written communication skills
  • computer skills/experience
  • problem solving ability
  • attention to detail

It's an asset if you have studied biology or forestry, or have worked or volunteered for an organization that works with trees.

When you graduate, you'll be qualified for jobs such as:

  • urban forest technician
  • plant health care technician
  • tree and shrub specialist
  • urban parks manager
  • landscape tree specialist

Employers include municipalities, private companies, utility companies, and provincial ministries.

Many students complete semester 1 of the Urban Forestry program and move on to take the Arboriculture Co-op program starting in January. Graduates enter this program with advanced standing credit for 7 courses towards the Arboriculture Co-op certificate. They complete the Urban Forestry certificate while completing the Arboriculture program (much of the remaining curriculum is common between the two programs).

Another pathway option is to complete both semesters of Urban Forestry, then take the Basic Climbing and Advanced Climbing courses in the Spring; do the Arboriculture Co-op in Summer; then take the final Arboriculture semester starting that Fall.

Urban Forestry certificate graduates can also pursue further studies in the Urban Forestry Technician diploma with advanced standing. Faculty recommend that those who choose to pursue this pathway should plan to enter the Urban Forestry Technician program in January, in semester 2.

  • Identify and name common trees and shrub species by their physical characteristics and use of botanic classification.
  • Apply principles of tree anatomy and physiology to tree health and its management.
  • Follow direction in a given urban tree plan, such as tree selection, planting techniques and maintenance programs.
  • Make informed decisions using knowledge of the environmental , health social and economic benefits of maintaining urban forests.
  • Detect and identify pests, diseases and tree disorders.
  • Recommend and apply integrated treatments and promote preventative care to ensure healthy trees.
  • Safely operate, maintain and troubleshoot a range of standards equipment including clearing chainsaws, wood chippers and stumpers as well as specialty equipment such as the aerial trim lift.
  • Provide safe ground support for climbers using industry recognized techniques and equipment.
  • Assist in the safe pruning and removal of trees using recognized roping, rigging, topping and speed lining procedures.
  • Implement and enforce municipal by-laws that protect city owned trees.
  • Conform to government regulations in the safe application, handling storage and disposal of pesticides in landscapes operations.
  • Follow basic maintenance procedures for turf management in an urban environment.
  • Follow basic procedures in greenhouse and park horticultural practice.
  • Work safely and effectively as a team member under site conditions.

Students applying to Urban Forestry must meet the following requirements:

  • OSSD including Gr 12 C English

Recommended (but not required for admission)

  • Strong background in plant biology and/or horticulture

Other program requirements:

  • Good physical condition
  • Completion of Standard First Aid and Heart Saver CPR is required for graduation

Transfer Agreements

You may be able to use credits obtained at Fleming College to continue your postsecondary education in pursuit of a degree. The articulation and credit transfer agreements with our partner institutions are summarized here.

Bachelor of Environmental Science (3Yr)
  • Minimum 65% cumulative program average.
  • The program is offered face-to-face (Nathan campus or Gold Coast campus)
Transfer Credit
  • 120 credit points out of a 240 credit point degree
  • Refer to the articulation agreement for further details.

To apply please see the Griffith University's admissions website.

For more information

Visit the Griffith University website for further articulation and program information.

See the official articulation agreement.

Program Code: AR

Ontario College Certificate

Frost Campus

January 2024, January 2025

Program Code: FEO

Certificate of Successful Completion

Frost Campus

May 2024

Program Code: FT

Ontario College Diploma

Frost Campus

September 2024, January 2025

Program Code: UFT

Ontario College Diploma

Frost Campus

September 2024

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