YOUR CAREER IN
PRUNING AND THINNING (SILVICULTURE)
The term used for all the work needed once trees are established and before they are harvested is 'silviculture'. As well as caring for young trees, main silviculture work includes pruning, and thinning to waste. Silvicultural workers can become highly skilled and make a good living from their work.
Silvicultural work is often undertaken through spring, summer and autumn, and many workers switch to tree planting in the winter.
Silvicultural workers may receive fire training.
$50,000 – $80,000
None at entry; Level 2/3 available
Hard physical work
Absence from home
Varies with employer
You will need to be fit, strong and prepared to work outdoors in all weather and on all types of terrain. Pruning sometimes requires working at height on ladders. Thinning to waste is done using chainsaws, so basic chainsaw training is needed, and a mechanical aptitude. Good judgement and decision making are also important, and workers must be safety conscious.
The work is often based on 'piece rates' meaning the harder you work, the more you get paid. The job involves early morning starts and sometimes long travel distances, and working as part of a team.
Silvicultural workers can progress to become crew foremen and owning their own crews. There is also the option of moving into harvesting operations.
Check out some great videos of silviculture crews and the work they do on the Safetree website.