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Duration (approx) 900 hours
Qualification Advanced Certificate

Become a manager or supervisor in the field of arboriculture.

  • Advance your career in the arboriculture industry.
  • Increase your job prospects.
  • A qualification in both management AND arboriculture.

The course has been written, developed and is delivered by

  • Expert Tutors in the UK and worldwide.


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Improve your knowledge of arboriculture - become an arborist, manager or supervisor.

  • Become a manager or supervisor in the field of arboriculture.
  • Learn the skills needed to run an efficient and viable business or tree crew.
  • Build your skills in communication, problem solving, managing people, money, equipment and marketing, and more.
  • Learn to identify hundreds of plants.
  • Develop a foundation for understanding how to treat trees to best manage their health, growth, decline, and more.

Course Duration: 900 hours.

Start Date: Start at any time - study at a pace that suits you, and with full tutor support for the duration of your studies.

Content: Study four Core Modules, three Stream Modules, and complete a Workplace Project.

The Core Modules cover the business areas of Office Practices, Operations, Management, and Marketing.  The Core Units are common to all Advanced Certificate In Applied Management Courses.

The Stream Modules will develop the students knowledge of arboriculture and relate to the selection and culture of plants, with particular emphasis on trees.

The Workplace Project is a project relevant to the students field of study. The project aims to provide the student with the opportunity to apply and integrate skills and knowledge developed through various areas of formal study.

Further details on the Modules and Workplace Project are given, below.


Office Practices VBS102
For a business to function correctly on a day to day basis, it is vital that offices and departments operate efficiently, with well- motivated staff who can provide the appropriate support for the business.  This 8 lesson module looks at core areas which contribute to the smooth running of an office.  Lessons include verbal and instant communications – face to face, inter-employee and with clients, and electronically; written communications – such as the writing of business letters and reports, and memorandums; the use of electronic mediums – organising data, and use of software; how to make the best use of office space; health and safety considerations.  This module will provide the student with practical skills and knowledge that they can apply directly to their work.

Business Operations VBS006
Through 6 lessons, this module aims to provide the student with the building blocks in business planning and operations.  The module covers areas of business law, finance and financial management, business planning, and mistakes to avoid in business.  The module is driven from a financial perspective as this is primarily what business is about – making the investment, planning the financial outlay balanced against expected income, and making a profit on your activities.  The process of considering a business from a financial and operational perspective, coupled with students developing a (real or hypothetical) business plan will focus the student on the key areas which enable a business to maintain viability.

Management VBS105
A lack of good management can seriously impact upon the viability of a company or enterprise.  This 7 lesson module explores the facets that contribute towards good management.  Students will consider the structures of different organisations and look at different theories and practices of management.  Managers will face different challenges and the module will take them through different styles of management and how to address, resolve, and act upon problems.  From taking the decision to employ the people most suited to roles and the company culture, to determining the best ways to managing staff, this module aims to provide a complete overview of the critical elements of management.

Marketing Foundations VBS109

Marketing Foundations is a 10 lesson module which seeks to provide the student with a broad range of knowledge in marketing.  The module looks at the what marketing is and how it works, with lessons explaining the different types of market, the importance of understanding a market place, and the marketing mix – the primary elements of product (features of the product or service), place (where the product or service is made available to customers), price (how much customers will pay for the product), and promotion (how customers find out about the product).  Knowledge in these areas will be critical to the success or failure of a venture.  Also understanding how to get to know your customers is important, and two lessons – on Customer Service and Market Research – provide students with the guidance of how to gather, asses and use information in these areas.  The module is completed with a lesson on business organisations, looking at law, financial management, business structures, and the terminology used in business.


1. Arboriculture I BHT106
There are 8 lessons in this module, as follows:
Introduction To Arboriculture.
Tree Biology.
Soils In Relation To Trees.
Diagnosing Tree Problems.
Tree Surgery.
Pruning Of Trees.
Arboricultural Equipment.
Workplace Health & Safety.

2. Arboriculture II BHT208
There are 7 lessons in the module, as follows:
Planting Techniques.
Controlling Plant Problems.
Strengthening Weak Trees.
Controlling Damage Caused by Plants.
Tree Felling and Stump Removal.
Tolerant Plant Species.
Establishing a Tree Plantation.

3. Trees for Rehabilitation BHT205
There are 10 lessons are as follows:
Approaches To Land Rehabilitation.
Ecology Of Soils And Plant Health.
Introduction To Seed Propagation Techniques.
Propagation And Nursery Stock.
Dealing With Chemical Problems.
Physical Plant Effects On Degraded Sites.      
Plant Establishment Programs.
Hostile Environments.
Plant Establishment Care.
Rehabilitating Degraded Sites.

These are some the things that students studying the Advanced Certificate In Applied Management (Arboriculture) will do:

  • Distinguish between plants in order to identify at least 50 trees.
  • Develop a standard tree report form, customised for surveying the condition and use of trees in your locality.
  • Explain how to treat three specified soil related problems that can effect trees.
  • Develop a twelve month program, for managing a health problem detected by you in an established tree.
  • Demonstrate bridge grafting across a bark wound.
  • Distinguish between different methods of pruning including:  Canopy reduction; Cleaning out; Topiary; Espaliering.
  • Determine the minimum equipment required to commence business as a tree surgeon.
  • Compare three different chainsaws, to determine appropriate applications for each.
  • Determine legislation which is relevant to a specific arborist in a workplace which you visit.
  • Explain how to plant a specified advanced-sized tree on a specific site.
  • Explain tree injection, including the technique and applications.
  • Identify five situations where trees require strengthening operations to be carried out.
  • Compare four different ways to control roots which invade underground pipes.
  • Calculate the cost of removing a specified tree.
  • Determine five appropriate tree species suited to a specific site visited and analysed.
  • Devise a method for removing a tree, including tree felling and stump removal.
  • Analyse three specimens of mature trees, from each of five different genera, to detect any patterns in problems occurring in those trees.
  • Develop criteria for the establishment of a tree plantation on a specific site which addresses: site restrictions, cost and function.
  • Compare different approaches to land rehabilitation, to determine strengths and weaknesses of alternative options on a site to be rehabilitated.
  • Determine techniques to maximise plant development in land rehabilitation situations.
  • Explain the different ways of producing seedling trees for land rehabilitation purposes.
  • Determine appropriate plant establishment programs.
  • Develop procedures to care for plants, during establishment in an hostile environment.
  • Manage the rehabilitation of degraded soil.
  • Explain the effect of plants on improving a degraded site, both physically and chemically.

Working as a Tree Surgeon is a very demanding job. It requires a high degree of physical fitness, alertness at all times and attention to detail. Much of the work which a tree surgeon is involved in requires working at heights. Handling cutting tools and heavy weights in this situation makes for a great deal of risk, unless the mind is kept sharp, the body healthy and you are always thinking one step ahead of what you are doing. Many groundwork operations are also potentially dangerous (i.e. felling, handling chainsaws and chemicals etc.).

There is no substitute for education and experience in tree surgery. If you are interested in starting a business, it is advisable to prepare. Formal education in Arboriculture and Tree Surgery is available at most local colleges. In addition to study, you should plan to work as part of a tree surgery gang prior to starting out on your own. Insurance and equipment costs can also be quite high, so while the business may be very lucrative, there is a substantial start up cost involved as well. Reputable tree surgeons will be a member of a professional association such as an Arboricultural Association or a Tree Surgeons Guild.

You can start the course at any time.

It is studied by distance learning, so you can study in the comfort of your own home. But this doesn't mean you are all alone in your studies.  Our highly qualified and friendly tutors are there to help you every step of the way.  If you have any questions at all, they are always happy to help.

Each lesson includes set tasks, and is completed with an assignment which the student submits to their course tutor.  The tutor will mark the assignment and return this to the student with comments and suggestions for further reading.

The Advanced Certificate In Applied Management (Arboriculture) requires approximately 900 hours of study. It is made up of eight 100 hour modules and a workplace project lasting 100 hours

To pass the course –

  1. Pass all assignments on the eight 100 hour modules. There will be an assignment at the end of each lesson to submit to your tutor for marking and feedback.
  2. Pass eight examinations – one on each module. These are usually taken at the end of the module and can be arranged at a time and location to suit you.
  3. Complete a Workplace Project.  The project should last around 100 hours.  There are four options available to you to satisfy this requirement.  Don’t worry if you are not sure at this stage, your tutor will be there to help you every step of the way. This includes evidence of work experience or other studies or workshops, a research project or completion of Workshop I.

This qualification is accredited by IARC (International Accreditation and Recognition Council).


  • Our courses are written and taught by experienced professionals, so you know you can expect a high quality of teaching and support.
  • You can start the course at any time and study at your own pace.
  • Fit your studies around your own busy lifestyle - we provide full tutor support during your studies.
  • Study where you want to - online or eLearning study options offer the flexibility for you to determine where and when you study.


  • Advanced Certificates demonstrate to employers that you have made a significant commitment to studying.
  • Students who complete these qualifications show great perseverance and determination to succeed.
  • As a graduate you will have accrued considerable knowledge and understanding that you can apply to real-life work situations, both in your area of expertise and in management.
  • This course is appropriate for those working in, or hoping to work in, the following areas:
    - Tree surgery.
    - Arboriculture.
    - Tree gang foreman.
    - Horticulture management.

It's easy to ENROL - simply go to the box at the top right-hand side of this page.  If you have any QUESTIONS on the Certificate In Garden Design or are not sure what course will suit you, please get in touch with our specialist horticulture tutors using our FREE COURSE COUNSELLING SERVICE, they will be happy to guide you.

One thing is a certainty in any garden - plants grow too big and people want them pruned.

Pruning does require skill though. Not all plants are pruned the same way, or with the same equipment.  Small to medium pruning jobs can be done with little investment in equipment.  The pruning work we are discussing here does not include those jobs normally done by a skilled arborculturist, including tree felling, large branch removal and tree cabling.

These jobs need special expertise and to attempt these large jobs without proper training and equipment can cause damage to the tree, buildings and to yourself.

Pruning can also be very seasonal work. Consider combining such a service with another seasonal work area, such as lawn mowing.

If you intend to provide a pruning service, make sure you are always very clear and specific about what will provided with the service.  Many clients will expect that cartage and disposal of the pruned plants will be included in the price.  Many councils now charge for tip disposal and burning off can be strictly limited, and some wood simply doesn't burn well.  Chipping and using the wood for mulching is also an alternative way to dispose of the materials.


Choosing the right course is importatant - if you have any QUESTIONS on the Certificate In Garden Design or are not sure what course will suit you, please get in touch with our specialist horticulture tutors using our FREE COURSE COUNSELLING SERVICE, they will be happy to advise you.





Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

Towergate Insurance welcomes Professional Liability insurance applications from ACS graduates across all disciplines. Click here for more details.

Meet some of our academics

Bob James (Environmental)Bob has a unique set of qualifications and experience having worked in applied biological and environmental sciences for more than 50 years. He holds a string of tertiary qualifications in animal, plant and environmental sciences; including a Masters Degree in Environmental Science. He has worked as a tutor with ACS since 1995. Bob has worked as a teacher, research scientist and consultant for both government and private enterprise undertaking jobs ranging from environmental surveys to waste disposal.
John Mason (Horticulturist)Horticulturist, Nurseryman, Landscaper, Garden Writer, Parks Manager and Consultant. Over 45 years experience; working in Australia and the UK. He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world; author of more than 100 books and editor for 4 different gardening magazines. John has been recognised by his peers being made a fellow of the Institute of Horticulture in the UK, as well as by the Australian Institute of Horticulture.
Diana Cole (Horticulturist)Horticulturist, Permaculturist, Landscaper, Environmentalist. Holds a Diploma in Horticulture, degree in geography, permaculture certificate and various other qualifications. Between 1985 and 94, Diana was a task leader with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers. Since 2001 she has been chairperson of the Friends of Mellor Park (with Stockport MDC). From 2005 she has worked exclusively in horticulture as proprietor of her own garden design and consultancy business in and around Derbyshire; and at the same time as part time manager of a small garden centre. Diana has been an enthusiastic and very knowledgeable tutor with ACS since 2008.

Check out our eBooks

Pruning147 pages
Growing ConifersThe great thing about conifers is they look good all year round. Most of them are grown for foliage, and in general, foliage remains the same pretty well all year. Unlike other trees and shrubs, you do not have a month of attractive flowers, followed by an obscure plant the remainder of the year. A brilliant blue of gold foliage conifer will be blue or gold month in, month out.
Starting a BusinessBusinesses don't need to fail! This is concise, easy to read, and alerts you to all of the things that commonly make a difference to business success or failure. Seven chapters are: “A Reality Check”, “The Product or service”, “Managing a Business”, “How to Find Customers”, “How to Make a Sale”, “Delivering the Product or Service”, “Pitfalls to Avoid”.
Trees and ShrubsUseful for students, tradespeople already working in the field, or the home gardener who needs a quick reference when choosing plants for a garden.