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Position Classification Description

Position Class Code / Title: W4008 / Lead Arborist
Recruitment Tier: Tier 1
FLSA: Non-Exempt
Grade: 09

This is a description of a Staff Position Classification. It is not an announcement of a position opening. To view descriptions of current openings, please go to UNMJobs and Search Postings to view positions that are currently accepting applications.

The following statements are intended to describe, in broad terms, the general functions and responsibility levels characteristic of positions assigned to this classification. They should not be viewed as an exhaustive list of the specific duties and prerequisites applicable to individual positions that have been so classified.


Maintains trees and woody plants to ensure their healthy, safe, and attractive condition including chemical applications, repairing, cabling, fertilizing, watering, pruning, and removal of any dead, diseased or declining trees, or other woody plants. Works directly with the Grounds and Landscape Manager and Supervisor of Arboriculture to facilitate campus arboriculture operations, including tree hazard evaluation, and the campus tree inventory.

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Works in trees by climbing and using a variety of aerial lift equipment.
  2. Leads, guides, and/or trains employees and volunteers performing related work.
  3. Leads and guides staff in the tree and shrub maintenance programs, including tree pruning, dead wooding, cabling-bracing, utility clearance, removal, and/or repair.
  4. Prioritizes work to be scheduled and maintains scheduling.
  5. Performs and/or oversees the planting and transplanting of woody plants including site preparation, installation, backfilling, staking, pruning, watering, and mulching.
  6. Identifies disease and insect problems of trees and woody plants and recommends and applies appropriate treatments.
  7. Maintains comprehensive records of work performed on all campus trees.
  8. Lead, guide, and train student employees, interns, and/or volunteers performing related work.
  9. Assists in the maintenance of tree inventory records.
  10. Identifies potentially hazardous trees and other tree-related problems, and trains staff in appropriate tree hazard management strategies.
  11. May assist in various maintenance activities as required.
  12. May perform snow removal as required.
  13. Performs miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.

Minimum Job Requirements

  • High school diploma or GED; at least 5 years of experience directly related to the duties and responsibilities specified. Certification/Licensure International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certification. State of New Mexico Pesticide License in Ornamental and Turf Pest Control.
  • Completed degree(s) from an accredited institution that are above the minimum education requirement may be substituted for experience on a year for year basis.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required

  • Ability to lead and train employees in all aspects of tree climbing, workplace safety, equipment operation, and technical rigging for removal.
  • Ability to climb trees and knowledge of industry standards for tree-climbing techniques.
  • Records maintenance skills.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
  • Knowledge of ropes and rigging techniques.
  • Knowledge of tree pruning, deadwooding, cable-bracing, utility clearance, removal, and repair techniques.
  • Knowledge of fertilizer and/or pesticide applications.
  • Knowledge of local plant materials.
  • Knowledge of applicable safety procedures.
  • Knowledge of horticulture methods and materials, landscaping and cultivation of trees and woody plants.
  • Knowledge of horticultural practices, plant taxonomy, and insect/disease control.
  • Skill in the use of computers, specifically in a PC, Windows-based operating environment.
  • Ability to foster a cooperative work environment.
  • Ability to use hand tools and power tools applicable to trade.

Distinguishing Characteristics

    Position requires: a) Working aloft in trees, including pruning, removal, and cabling-bracing; b) Maintaining comprehensive inventories and work histories of campus trees; c) Assist in leading and training personnel, including work allocation.

Conditions of Employment

  • Possession of a valid New Mexico driver's license is a requirement for this job.
  • Must pass a pre-employment criminal background check.
  • Successful candidate must submit to post-offer, pre-employment physical examination and medical history check.
  • Must obtain a valid New Mexico Commercial Driver's License (CDL) within one (1) year of hire.
  • Must maintain certification and/or licensure status.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort

  • Work involves considerable exposure to unusual elements, such as extreme temperatures, dirt, dust, fumes, smoke, unpleasant odors, and/or loud noises.
  • Extensive physical activity. Requires strenuous physical work; heavy lifting, pushing, or pulling required of objects over 50 pounds.
  • Work environment involves exposure to potentially dangerous materials and situations that require following extensive safety precautions and may include the use of protective equipment.

The University of New Mexico provides all training required by OSHA to ensure employee safety.

Revised Date: 05/02/2017