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Arborists work on a tree

Community Forestry and Arboriculture (BSFR)

About this Degree

Community Forestry and Arboriculture

Through this program, students build an awareness of the issues facing community forestry and arboriculture, gain a foundation in current science and technology for the field, and learn from hands-on experiences. Students also take part in a three-week Maymester practicum as well as internships. This program is available as a bachelor’s or a master’s degree.

Community forestry is the art and science of managing individual trees, tree stands, forests, and green spaces. A community forester is involved in assessment and appraisal of urban trees and sites, community planning and design decisions related to trees, community engagement and education, developing ordinances for tree protection, maintaining reliable and safe utility lines, and more. A community forester often works with a variety of local leaders to sustainably protect and manage trees.

Arboriculture is the cultivation, health care, and management of individual trees in rural, suburban, and urban places, including trees that grow among community hardscapes, urban canyons, streets, highways, yards, parks, cemeteries, schools, rights-of-way, utility lines, and buildings. Through knowledge of tree biology and physiology, tree biomechanics, maintenance, health care and risk assessment, arborists address the range of challenges faced by trees in constrained, human-engineered environments. Arborists also use new technology to improve effectiveness and safety on the job, such as drone technology, spatial analysis data and software, and resistance-measuring devices.

This program is part of Warnell's Natural Resources Management and Sustainability degree.

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What you will learn

Students learn about tree care and health, dendrology, spatial analysis, and soils. The program also includes an internship.

Possible Job Titles:


Utility arborist

Tree care specialist

Community arborist


Graduates gather resident input on trees, sites, and local environmental issues, and may work as tree, forest, and environmental advocates for interest groups and nongovernmental organizations, municipal foresters, commercial forest health care providers, and community planners, designers, and consultants.

Arborists may work for commercial tree health care and estate management firms, municipal governments, non-government organizations, and utility providers.

General Research Information:

Students often find valuable internships through this program. Research may be possible if a student wishes to pursue a graduate degree.


Graduates are encouraged to become certified arborists through the International Society of Arboriculture.

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