Becoming an Arborist

Interested in Arboriculture? Want to find out what this career entails? Wish to expand your knowledge on the industry?

Join us, ToolFreak, as we talk to 31-year-old Joe Shaw from Coventry who kick started his career in this very same industry 8 years ago! We hope this piece can inform and inspire many to follow his footsteps!

First of all, we would like to say a HUGE thank you Joe, for taking the time to talk to the ToolFreak Team! We really enjoy finding out more about different industries and we are excited to gain greater insight into life as an Arborist! So, let’s go back to the beginning, why did you choose this career path?

“I wanted a job that was physically and mentally challenging. I always enjoyed the outdoors and I was so bored with my previous job which was office based”.

Interesting! How did you break into the industry?

“I started off working for a local tree surgery company, literally starting from the ground up. I was a groundsman, and then as I progressed I was allowed to undertake canopy work”. 

Wow, it sounds like you’ve worked extremely hard to get to where you are today! Do you love what you do? What is your favourite aspect of running your own company?

“I love having something that I can call my own, and building a reputation along the way. I also love the flexibility it gives me, for example, I can choose who I work with and how we carry out the work”.

That sounds amazing! Flexibility and responsibility sound like a brilliant combination! What would you say is your biggest career highlight to date?

“Aside from setting up my own business, I got the opportunity to live and work in Sydney, Australia for a couple of years. It is a different kettle of fish over there; the trees are much bigger and the climate is unforgiving. This gave me a huge confidence boost and I improved my skill set dramatically over the course of a relatively short period. It made me realise that if I can thrive out there, I can do anything”.

What an amazing experience and mindset to have! Every job, as great as it may be, can come with its challenges, what would you say is the most taxing part of your job role?

“As an owner/operator it can sometimes be difficult to get a good work / life balance. I have a young family and sometimes having to spend my Saturdays quoting or working can take its toll on family life. However I'm confident it will all be worth it in the end”.

It will certainly be worth it You mentioned quoting, we would love to find out more about the different services you offer to your customers…

“We undertake all aspects of arboriculture, including tree removal, crown reductions, hedge trimming, cabling and bracing, storm clean ups, removing deadwood etc”.

And what roles do you like carrying out the most?

I enjoy the climbing aspect, and technical rigging. But I also enjoy running the ground and making sure everything is operating smoothly and efficiently and liaising with customers etc”.

Awesome! How do you start a typical day at work?

“I load up my van, hitch the chipper on and carry out all of my pre-start checks. Then it's off to the first job”.

That sounds like a very productive start to the working day! What is your favourite part of your working day?

“Looking at the finished job once everything has been raked and tidied and seeing how pleased the customers are”.

And our final question for today’s article is...Where do you find your inspiration? What motivates you?

“I find my inspiration from my peers and industry leaders. What motivates me the most is wanting to provide the best possible life for me and my family”. 

That is admirable Joe! Thank you for giving us such great insight into your career as an Arborist. We wish you all the best and we look forward to speaking to you again in the near future to discuss the importance of safety on the job!

If you have enjoyed reading this post, please feel free to leave a comment below! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us, we will be more than happy to help you!

Have a great day! Thanks for reading!

The ToolFreak Team!

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