Arboriculture and Landscape Management

Aboriculture and Landscape Management at Paul Smith’s College can lead to an exciting career in the green industry.

Both in the classroom and in the field, your primary emphasis will be on the science of arboriculture and tree health, including best practices in tree surgery and care. Graduates are employed as tree surgeons, city arborists, landscape managers and plant health care specialists throughout the United States. Some start their own businesses while many work with established tree care companies, landscaping firms and tree nurseries. This associate-degree program is also a great pathway to a bachelor’s degree in parks, recreation and facilities management.

  • Learn how to properly plant, fertilize and prune trees in the landscape
  • Become familiar with common diseases and insects, as well as appropriate management strategies
  • Gain experience caring for the campus landscape – an integral part of the college’s identity

Successful management of natural resources is increasingly complex, demanding a wide range of skills. Students receive a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on training in the areas of arboriculture, landscaping and plant propagation. Our graduates build a solid foundation to perform as trained technicians and managers for the planning, planting, and maintenance of trees and shrubs in the urban environment.

Key Facts
  • A.A.S. degree
  • 62 credit hours (minimum) required
    • 20 credits must be in the liberal arts and sciences
Career Options
  • Arborist
  • City Forester
  • Grounds Superintendent
  • Landscape Contractor
  • Landscape Designer
  • Nursery Manager
  • Plant Health Technician
  • Pest Management Technician (for Insects and Diseases of Trees)
  • Utility Vegetation Manager
  • Turf Care Specialist
  • Park Manager
Program Objectives

At the end of the program students will be able to:

  • Will gain an understanding of the fields of arboriculture and urban forestry along with the career opportunities and affiliated professional organizations.
  • Be able to identify native trees and commonly planted ornamental trees and shrubs.
  • Be able to assess the condition of trees and shrubs on a property and be able to write maintenance recommendations.
  • Be able to use approved equipment to safely work in trees in order to perform tree surgery tasks.
  • Be able to properly prune and fertilize trees and shrubs.
  • Be able to perform a street tree inventory as well as compile and assess gathered data.
  • Be able to understand landscape design principles and be able to properly install landscape plants.
  • Be able to propagate plants from seeds, cuttings, and grafting methods.
  • Be able to recognize insect and disease problems of trees and understand acceptable control strategies.
  • Be able to understand basic accounting principles.
  • Will gain an appreciation of the day-to-day workings of a tree care related business.
  • Be able to communicate, reason, and interact in a professional manner.
  • Be able to use basic GIS technology and computer mapping technology.
Required Courses

Program Planning Sheet »

  • First semester:  Introduction to Forestry; Dendrology; Insects & Disease of Trees; Electives
  • Second semester:  Arboriculture I; Landscape Fundamentals &
 Interpretation; Electives
  • Third (summer) semester:  Arboriculture Internship
  • Fourth semester:  Electives; Arboriculture II; Ornamental Dendrology; GIS or Geospatial Info Technology; Financial Accounting
  • Fifth semester:  Greenhouse-Turf Practice; Urban Forestry Issues; Electives


Paul Smith's receives five Best Colleges distinctions, including the No. 1 ranking for Most Innovative Schools. Continue reading »

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