Arboriculture student climbing a tree with East Durham College Houghall campus logo

Tree Surgery & Forestry Management

Our tree surgery and forestry management (Arboriculture) courses prepare you for a range of exciting careers in the ‘arb’ and forestry industry. All courses offer a clear progression route, enabling you to gain further academic qualifications and ultimately improve your career opportunities.

Choose your Course

Put simply arboriculture is the science and art of caring for trees. It covers the cultivation, management and study of individual trees, shrubs, vines and other perennial woody plants. It is both a practical and science-based discipline.

The skills and knowledge our students gain include tree identification, disease recognition, strength for tree climbing and safe use of various cutting equipment.

Preparation for the workplace is an important component of our arboriculture courses too, so work-related activities and work experience placements play a vital role in your education.

Facilities & Resources

The College recently underwent a stunning £12.75 million redevelopment so you can be sure Houghall is an excellent place to study.

The College’s 476-acre estate boasts its very own extensive arboretum and pinetum (a collection of trees, many of which in Houghall’s case are extremely rare), as well as a variety of woodland, wetland, farmland and fields which offer a range of habitats for study and practical work.

The College also has a range of specialised arboriculture machinery, labs, specialist decay detection equipment and computerised tree inventory software. We ensure our students have access to the latest in climbing and safety equipment.

Arboriculture Student at East Durham College's Houghall Campus with chainsawProgression & Careers

Students achieving a full level 3 programme have the opportunity to apply for university entrance to study on higher education courses such as arboriculture and urban forestry, countryside and environmental management and landscape design and management.

Our learners progress into employment as arborists (tree surgeons) or foresters, tree surveyors, tree inspectors, woodland rangers and managers and tree consultants.

We have been an approved assessment centre for City & Guilds NPTC for over 20 years.

As a highly respected institution within land based industries, courses at the Houghall Campus really will help your career grow!

For full time or part time arboriculture and forestry course enquires please call Student Services on 0191 375 4710.

Women in Arboriculture

The arboriculture industry isn't just for men - although traditionally male-dominated, there's now more opportunities than ever for women who'd like to get involved in arboriculture.

A recent initiative, set up by, is promoting the arb industry to women. For more information on this movement, please click here

Short Courses

We also offer a range of arboriculture and chain saw related short courses, please see below or call the Short Courses team on 0191 518 8291.

Full Time Courses

To see full details on each of our Arboriculture and Forestry courses, run at the Houghall Campus in Durham, please click on any of the courses listed below.

Available full time and/or part time course(s) for 2022/2023 are listed below:

The full time and/or part time course(s) listed below are available to apply for to be studied during the next academic year - 2022/2023.

Employment Stats & Facts In This Sector