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Image of the trees by Spafford Lake in the Arboretum and Public Garden.

Job Opening: Urban Forester

Maintain an urban forest enjoyed by millions!  Apply to be an Urban Forester at the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden, where every career employee receives extremely competitive health and retirement benefits including:

  • Three weeks vacation at start, holidays and paid sick leave
  • One of our state's best pension benefits and a retirement savings program
  • An impressive selection of medical, dental, vision and life insurance
  • Plus, much more...

Under general supervision of the Arboretum and Public Garden Assistant Director, the urban forester will primarily focus on maintaining and improving the health, safety and sustainability of the urban forest across the 5,300-acre campus landscape.

LEARN MORE and APPLY by March 24, 2021

EXPLORE UC Davis' Competitive HEALTH and RETIREMENT Benefits


Full Position Description

Job Summary

Under general supervision of the Arboretum and Public Garden (APG) Assistant Director (Landscape Grounds Manager 1), the Urban Forester works cooperatively with APG staff and supervisors, landscape architects, landscape planners, academics, students and community members as needed to maintain and improve the health, safety and sustainability of the urban forest across the 5,300-acre campus landscape. This position will work to implement the Living Landscape Adaptation Plan for climate change and ensure a thriving tree canopy into the future. This position will be directly responsible for ongoing health and hazard inspections for the 16,000+ campus trees, managing the campus tree database, organizing and recommending priorities for tree work, analyzing data and generating reports on the tree program, leading the young tree pruning program, ensuring the quality of new tree plantings, and assisting with tree hazard removals. This position will support tree-focused education and engagement programs and mentor students on tree-related projects.

Essential Responsibilities

  • 70% Management of Campus Tree Inventory
    Maintain and expand the campus tree inventory database. Prepare recommendations for planned maintenance schedules and priorities for tree crews. Conduct regular tree hazard and health inspections on a diverse and mature urban forest. Provide immediate hazard assessments and recommendations to eliminate identified hazards. Monitor, record, and recommend mitigation measures for construction impacts on campus trees. Analyze data on campus forest. Generate and present reports and recommendations to continually improve tree maintenance programs and urban forest health conditions. Assess tree performance and recommend actions for climate adaptation.
  • 20% Campus Tree Maintenance
    Manage the young tree pruning program, including pruning of all trees under 3" DBH annually. Inspect and select tree nursery stock for new plantings and conduct root pruning as necessary. Serve in a support role to the campus tree crew on a limited basis as needed to eliminate tree hazards through pruning or removal.
  • 10% Miscellaneous Duties
    Complete reports for insurance claims. Create and give presentations on UC Davis tree management program and best practices. Attend meetings for Campus Tree Committee, Living Landscape Adaptation Plan, and other tree-related safety meetings. Organize and implement yearly Arbor Day celebrations. Apply for tree-related grants. Support tree-focused education and engagement programs and mentor Learning by Leading interns and other UC Davis students on tree-related projects. Other duties as assigned.

Physical Demands

  • Daily duties require pushing and bending. Lift objects/equipment weighing up to 70 pounds.

  • Walk, lift, stoop, push and bend for entire shift.

  • Work in confined and cramped quarters.  

  • Repeatedly Climb 12 ft ladders.

  • Work performed outdoors, year-round in extreme weather conditions in an institutional setting.    

Work Environment

  • Employee is personally responsible for following safety procedures/guidelines.
  • Valid California Driver's license required.
  • Valid ISA Arborist Certification required.

UC Davis is a smoke and tobacco free campus effective January 1, 2014. Smoking, the use of smokeless tobacco products, and the use of unregulated nicotine products (e-cigarettes) will be strictly prohibited on any UC Davis owned or leased property, indoors and outdoors, including parking lots and residential space.  

Required Qualifications

  • Current ISA Arborist certification

  • Knowledge of pruning standards by the Tree Care Industry Association.

  • Experience assessing tree hazards, risk, and tree health using the latest industry standards

  • Experience using tree trimming tools.

  • Working knowledge of industry standards and specifications to perform pruning tasks accordingly.

  • Skill to identify plants based on both botanical and common name.

  • Skills and experience  planting, staking, pruning, and maintaining trees following science-based best practices.

  • Computer and database skills to enter, retrieve, and analyze data and generate reports.

  • Excellent interpersonal skills to work effectively in a collaborative team setting.

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.

  • Skills to meet customer/client expectations with an emphasis on quality, quantity and timeliness of work. 

Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelor's Degree in Arboriculture or related field, or equivalent combination of education and experience.

  • Experience working as a consulting arborist.

  • Formal training in diagnosing insect pests and pathologies affecting urban trees.

  • Experience in public speaking.

  • Experience working in campus, municipal, or other public landscape setting.

  • Expert ability to manage a tree database using ArcGIS with high-level skills in Microsoft Office.

  • Knowledge and experience assessing and selecting tree species suitable for planting in central California

  • Experience pruning and training over 400 young trees annually.

  • Demonstrated experience and knowledge of sustainable landscape maintenance practices.

  • Experience working with students or volunteers

  • Current ISA Tree Worker/Climber Specialist certification

  • Current ISA Municipal Arborist certification

  • Current ASCA Consulting Arborist certification

  • ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualified

  • Current ISA Master Arborist certification

LEARN MORE and APPLY by March 24, 2021

EXPLORE UC Davis' Competitive HEALTH and RETIREMENT Benefits