Fleming College

skip navigation

in Arboriculture (Co-op)

Love trees and want to help preserve our environment? With Fleming’s Arboriculture Co-op program, it’s possible to live in an urban setting and contribute to the environmental effort.

Program Information

Start Date

January 08, 2024

Program Availability:

Accepting Applications

Program Code:



In Person , Placement


Ontario College Certificate

Academic School:

School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences


Frost Campus

Program Contacts

Brian Saxon

Program Coordinator

Domestic Tuition:

$2732.08 per semester*

International Tuition:

$8896.75 per semester*

*Domestic tuition amounts shown are from the 2022-2023 academic year and are subject to change.

*International tuition amounts shown are from the 2022-2023 academic year and are subject to change.

View Curriculum

As an Arboriculture graduate, you'll maintain and preserve trees and shrubs in the urban landscape and green spaces of our communities – providing cleaner air and much needed "green" relief from the concrete jungle.

  • The program offers theoretical knowledge for all aspects of urban tree care, as well as such practical skills as safe tree climbing techniques, aerial rescue, pruning techniques, tree removal, power line clearing, and the operation and maintenance of relevant equipment.
  • You will be able to identify approximately 140 species of trees and shrubs in both summer and winter conditions, and to diagnose and remedy major pests, disease, and tree disorders using the latest integrated management options to promote plant health.
  • In 2nd semester, you can take the Arborist and Utility Arborist exemption exams, to qualify you for the in-school portion of these MAESD apprenticeships (there is no additional cost to you for your first attempt at writing these tests).

Simply put, students choose our program because of our reputation in the arboriculture industry. Employers look to our Arboriculture program to find well-trained graduates. School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences has a long-standing reputation among professional organizations and employers working in the field. In 2007 the program received an Award of Merit from the International Society of Arboriculture, Ontario Chapter, for "advancing the principles, ideas and practice of Arboriculture in Ontario."

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 Arboriculture 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.

There is a mandatory paid co-op semester from May to September.

In addition to paying tuition and fees for two semesters of study, students pay a co-op fee (approximately $558.00) for administrative costs associated with the co-op placement.

These are the skills and personality traits that will help you to be a successful arborist:

  • love of the outdoors and working with trees/shrubs
  • physical fitness
  • good oral/written communication skills
  • problem solving ability
  • attention to detail
  • ability/willingness to work in extreme weather conditions

Tree climbing tests are timed and are proficiency-based. In order to be successful, you will need to achieve minimum standards for tree climbing. All climbing courses require a minimum mark of 70% to achieve a passing grade.

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

  • tree climber
  • municipal arborist
  • commercial arborist
  • utility arborist
  • plant health care technician
  • urban forest technician
  • tree and shrub specialist
  • urban parks manager

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

Arboriculture graduates can pursue further studies in the Urban Forestry Technician (UFT) program with advanced standing. They can enter semester 2 of the program, starting in January. The study period is as follows:

  • Complete Arboriculture program in December
  • January-April: Semester 2 of Urban Forestry Technician
  • May-August: Exempt from semester 3/ co-op
  • September-December: Semester 4 courses, plus pick up 2 courses from semester 1
  • January-April: Semester 5 courses; graduate in April.

If you are 19 years of age or older before classes start, and you do not possess an OSSD, you can write the Canadian Adult Achievement Test to assess your eligibility for admission.

Plan to spend about $1,000 to $1,500 for books, supplies and personal safety equipment.

  • Apply and integrate the principles of tree anatomy, physiology and biomechanics to the selection, establishment and maintenance of tree health in urban ecosystems.
  • Identify tree and shrub species in the urban forest, based on their physical characteristics and botanic classification to manage urban forest health and diversity.
  • Prescribe integrated treatments and preventative care to promote tree establishment and growth in the urban forest.
  • Perform tree care operations in accordance with professional codes of ethical practice, environmental legislation, standards, policies and procedures relevant to urban forest planning and management practices.
  • Perform complex tree care operations including maintenance of utility rights of way using advanced, industry-recognized aerial lift, climbing, and rigging techniques in accordance with industry requirements.
  • Safely operate, maintain and troubleshoot common pieces of industry-related equipment while ensuring optimum health and safety of self, team members and the environment.
  • Prepare reports and field records, documenting information accurately and in a timely manner, in compliance with industry regulations and established policies and procedures.
  • Create and implement work plans based on site and tree risk assessment in order to maintain a safe workplace.
  • Work safely in a collaborative environment demonstrating teamwork, interpersonal and communication skills in challenging work conditions.

Students applying to Arboriculture (Co-op) must meet the following requirements:

  • OSSD including Gr 12 C English

Recommended (but not required for admission)

  • Strong plant biology and/or horticulture background

Other program requirements:

  • Excellent physical condition
  • Completion of Standard First Aid and Heart 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 below.

Urban Forestry Technician Co-op

To apply please see the Fleming College - Internal Application website.

For more information

Visit the Fleming College website for further articulation and program information.

Visit the ONTransfer.ca website for agreement information.

Course Cart (0)