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Duration (approx) 500 hours
Qualification Proficiency Award

Improve your knowledge in the management of trees.

  • Advance your skills with this arboriculture training course from ACS.
  • Study by distance learning.
  • 500 hours of study.
  • The courses look at the practical and theoretical side of working in arboriculture.

Learn about the biology, cultivation, and maintainence of trees.







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Advance your skills in the cultivation and maintenance of trees

  • Add to existing experience or qualifications in horticulture.
  • Learn about tree siting and selection.
  • Learn about the physiology of trees and undertsand their requirements, and how to maintain them.
  • Practial and theory based learning.

This course is suitable for anyone wanting to work in arboriculture or increase their existing skills and knowledge.

Course Duration: 500 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.

Study 3 Core Modules, plus a 200 hour Workplace Project.

The Core Modules are: Arboriculture I; Arboriculture II; Trees For Rehabilition.

The Modules for the Proficiency Award In Arboriculture are summarised below; follow the title link for further information on each

Arboriculture I BHT106
This is an 8 lesson module which looks at the cultivation and physiology of trees.  Students will learn about the selection of the right trees to grow in a garden – the variety, the selection of a good specimen of the chosen variety, where to plant it, and how to plant it.  As they work through the course, students will understand about the biology of trees – their physiology, how they grow, photosynthesise, seed, and so on – and will then build upon this knowledge by learning about soil types – including texture, content/nutrition, drainage.  The module also contains lessons which look at the diagnosis of tree problems, pruning of trees, tree surgery, and the equipment used in arboriculture.

Arboriculture II BHT208
This 7 lesson module is concerned with the planting and maintenance of trees.  Students will study the planting of trees, considering different techniques as well as the factors of location, soils, and so on.  Working through the lessons, students will then look at how to control problems which trees may suffer from (relating to matters such as climatic conditions, soil issues, pest damage or infestation, and pollution), how to strengthen weak trees, control damage caused by trees (such as damage to power lines, and drains), and how to evaluate and fell trees.  With a lesson focusing on tolerant tree types (i.e. those resistant to frost, wind, lime tolerant, and so on), the module concludes with the designing a tree plantation.

Trees For Rehabilitation BHT205
This 10 lesson module is concerned with environmental systems and the rehabilitation of degraded landscapes. Students will learn about seed collection, storage and germination, propagation, plant selection, establishment techniques, and the control of pests and diseases.  Through the module, students will be able to identify types of land degradation, and how land may be rehabilitated and made suitable for the propagation of selected trees.  Relevant practical elements within the module include the requirement for students to prepare schedules, calculate costs, prepare risk assessments, and perform comparisons.

To complete the Proficiency Award In Arboriculture qualification, you are also required to complete a workplace project lasting 200 hours.  

There are 4 options available to you to satisfy this requirement.  The options will be different dependent upon whether or not you currently work within the industry. The project can be work experience, voluntary experience, a project you carry out, other training you have already undertaken and there are other options. Don’t worry if you are not sure how to proceed at this stage, as your tutor will be there to discuss how to proceed and help you every step of the way.



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 Proficiency Award In Arboriculture requires 500 hours of study. It is made up of three 100 hour modules and a workplace project.

To pass the course –

  1. Pass all assignments on the three 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 three 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 200 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.


  • Reliable and long standing - we are an independent distance learning school, and have been established for over 37 years.
  • Quality teaching and course materials - our courses are written and taught by experienced professionals.
  • Flexible studies - you can start the course at any time and study at your own pace, fitting your studies around your own busy lifestyle and existing commitments.
  • Choice - we offer a choice of learning methods - online or eLearning.  This allows you to choose the most appropriate option for you, enabling you to determine where and when you study.


  • Learn extensively about arboriculture - improve your knowledge of trees and their care and maintenance.
  • Gain a broad understanding of trees which will provide you with a depth of knowledge to determine how, and where to plant diffferent trees and what their long term requirements will be.
  • The Proficiency Award In Arboriculture is suitable for those looking to work in arboriculture in a wide range of settings, from home gardening, to national parks, recreational parks, safari parks, council property and more.


  • Promotion?  By developing a greater span of knowledge than colleagues - this will be beneficial in your career development.
  • Confidence.  Armed with better knowledge, you will be able to advise on tree related matters with greater confidence.
  • What could this course lead to?  Starting your own business in arboriculture or training for a new career in the field.

It is important to choose the right course for you.  If you have any questions, our horticulture tutors will be more than happy to help you.  Please use our FREE COURSE CONSELLING SERVICE to get in touch with our horticulture specialists.

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

John MasonWriter, Manager, Teacher and Businessman with over 40 years interenational experience covering Education, Publishing, Leisure Management, Education, and Horticulture. He has extensive experience both as a public servant, and as a small business owner. John is a well respected member of many professional associations, and author of over seventy books and of over two thousand magazine articles.
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.
Bob James B.Sc.,M.Env.Mgt.Horticulturalist, Agriculturalist, Environmental consultant, Businessman and Professional Writer. Over 40 years in industry, Bob has held a wide variety of senior positions in both government and private enterprise. Bob has a Dip. Animal Husb, B.App.Sc., Grad.Dip.Mgt, PDC, M.Enviro.Mgt.

Check out our eBooks

Getting Work in HorticultureExplore what it is like to work in horticulture; how diverse this industry is, how to get a start, and how to build a sustainable, long term and diverse career that keeps your options broad, so you can move from sector to sector as demand and fashion changes across your working life.
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.
PruningPruning is a job that many inexperienced gardeners find challenging – am I pruning at the right time? Am I taking off the right amount? Am I removing the right material? How can I be sure I still get flowers or fruit next season? This eBook will help you to answer all these questions it will develop your confidence and help you to understand why you prune, when you should prune, how you should prune and how much you can safely remove. And also have great looking plants that live longer!
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.