Tree Surgery for Craftsmen

Course overview

The course consists of two theory days and three practical days per week.

During the course, you will be required to complete 10 written assignments to pass the course. Some of these assignments will be completed in class but there will be an expectation for students to undertake some home study.

Practical topics are delivered in blocks with the NPTC assessments conducted at the end of each block. An element of revision of the NPTC schedules is required to enable students to pass each assessment. Links to the relevant schedules will be sent out in advance in your induction pack.

Designed so you can acquire a knowledge of a range of tree surgery operations; develop a range of tree surgery skills, be able to make judgments concerning the solution of practical problems, increase productivity by a conscientious attitude to work, and develop an understanding of aspects of tree biology and disorders.

Practical work is carried out both in the woods and ornamental grounds of the college’s 280-hectare estate, the golf course, and on outside worksites, giving a good range of realistic working situations.

Skilled and experienced tutors make full use of the well-equipped workshops, laboratories and wide range of machinery during the course, whilst the diverse range of tree and shrub species in the woodlands, ornamental grounds and plant nursery provides an excellent resource for developing plant knowledge. Several renowned gardens and aboreta, such as Kew, Wisley and Winkworth, are within easy reach of Merrist Wood.

Breakdown of Advisory Costs:

  • NPTC Registration and administration fees: £273*
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): £480**

*This figure may vary depending on the number of NPTC assessments undertaken

**This figure will enable you to purchase the basic equipment needed for the course. You will have an opportunity to select from a wide range of equipment and upgrade if you wish. There will be a visit to an equipment supplier on the first day of your course.


The course comprises of the following subjects:

  • General (eg, tree work teams, job appraisal, trees and the law etc)
  • Tree work operations
  • Tree removal
  • Pruning
  • Preventative and remedial work
  • Ground work
  • Tree biology
  • Soils
  • Pests, diseases and other tree problems
  • Tree knowledge
  • Tree work machinery
  • Chainsaws
  • Specialised tree machinery
  • First Aid at Work (including First Aid for Forestry)

Teaching is delivered through a mixture of practical and theoretical sessions.

Students applying for this course should be 19 years old or over and would benefit from having prior work experience of tree work, but it is not essential.

You must, however, have the ability to work at heights and be prepared to work in all weathers.

Go onto other arboriculture or related courses or work in the industry.

This course is very popular so please book early to avoid disappointment. There is a maximum of 12 people per course.

Should you require accommodation please contact our accommodation office on 01483 884038 or look at the accommodation on the website.

Course Starts in 144 Days
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Alternatively enrol by phone quoting CG02LS1A002Q or ask a question

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