Relevant Organisations, Qualifications and Training on Tree Management

Arboriculture is a relatively new field in modern science. Some overseas organisations have promulgated training and qualification framework for reference.

International Society of Arboriculture

The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) was founded in 1924 to promote the professional practice of arboriculture and fosters a greater worldwide awareness of the benefits of trees. ISA currently has six types of memberships in arboriculture, namely ISA Certified Arborist, ISA Certified Arborist Utility Specialist, ISA Certified Arborist Municipal Specialist, ISA Certified Tree Worker Climber Specialist, ISA Certified Tree Worker Aerial Lift Specialist and ISA Board Certified Master Arborist. For details of ISA, please visit the website at:

For details of ISA Hong Kong Chapter, please visit the website at:

Arboriculture Association, the United Kingdom

The Arboricultural Association was founded in 1964 and is the largest body in the United Kingdom (UK) for the amenity tree care professional. Ranging from student to fellow, there are six levels of membership grades, linked to the UK National Qualifications Framework levels. Currently, there are approximately 2,000 Arboricultural Association members. For details of the Arboricultural Association, please visit the website at:

European Arboricultural Council, the European Union

The European Arboricultural Council (EAC) is a forum for European arboricultural organisations with the same object of elevating the status and advancing the profession by liaising on matters ranging from research and education to successful tree establishment and improvement of working practices. EAC has two forms of membership, namely the European Tree Worker and European Tree Technician. For details of EAC, please visit the website at:

Arboriculture Australia, Australia

The Arboriculture Australia (AA) is a not-for-profit professional organisation dedicated to raising the standard of tree care and maintenance in Australia. AA currently has nine types of membership, ranging from student to Registered Practicing & Consulting Arborist. For details of AA, please visit the website at:

Hong Kong Landscape Architects Registration Board

The Landscape Architects Registration Board (LARB) of Hong Kong was established on 10 September 1997 under the Landscape Architects Registration Ordinance - Cap. 516 (LARO). For details of LARO, please visit the website at:

For details of Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects, please visit the website at:

The above list is for reference only and is not exhaustive of local and/or overseas professional institutions on tree management work. Reference can also be made to other professional qualifications offered by professional institutions through a well-established accreditation and appropriate assessment system.


Local Training Opportunities

At present, local training on arboriculture at degree, professional diploma and certificate level are offered by various institutions in Hong Kong. Some examples are appended below.

Arboriculture Organisations

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Horticulture and Landscape Management

This Programme, offered by The Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong (THEi), aims to equip students with the theoretical, technical and professional skills and knowledge in horticulture and arboriculture management, landscape construction and maintenance, related sciences of plants, landscapes and the environment, and sustainable landscape management. It will prepare students to perform the roles and tasks related to horticultural and arboricultural supervision, tree assessment, landscape management, and professional support for both the development and conservation of landscapes and the environment.

Please refer to the website here.

Advanced Diploma in Tree Management and Conservation

The Advanced Diploma in Tree Management and Conservation programme, offered by HKU School of Professional and Continuing Education (HKU SPACE), responds to the urgent demand for professional training for personnel engaging in tree management and conservation work in view of the quality tree management policy of the HKSAR Government and the ever-increasing social awareness of tree conservation in parallel. Employees in the fields or organizations such as landscape architecture, surveying, property management, contractor works, government administrative departments and public organizations relating tree management and conservation are the possible ones to be directly benefited by taking this programme.

Please visit the website here for further details.

Professional Diploma in Horticulture and Landscape Management

The Professional Diploma in Horticulture and Landscape Management programme, offered by The Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong (THEi), is designed essentially to meet the demands from the industry for horticultural and arboricultural practitioners as well as landscape works supervisors. It provides a broad-based framework for the study of diploma level (Level 4) modules, and emphasizes horticultural principles and practices, plant science, and landscape management, blending together the essential intellectual and practical skills that match the industry's requirements best. This programme is recognized by The Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects as fulfilling the academic requirement under their Accredited Arboricultural Practitioners' Scheme (AAP).

Please refer to the website here.

Higher Diploma in Conservation and Tree Management

This programme, offered by the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE), aims to meet the increasing manpower demand in arboriculture, tree management and nature conservation profession by providing students with specialised training and practical skills in arboriculture, tree management and nature conservation.

This programme is designed with an emphasis on generic and language training, whole-person development and workplace experience to better prepare students for further studies and employment after graduation.

Please visit the website here for further details.

Associate Degree in Tree Management

This programme is offered by the Hong Kong Baptist University, College of International Education (HKBU CIE) which aims to provide students with comprehensive training, knowledge and practical skills in tree management to prepare students for career development and/or further studies in areas related to tree conservation and management. Skills and experience gained will include tree identification, soil management, tree planting, establishment, protection, tree health care, mature tree maintenance and tree-risk assessment so as to equip students on how to evaluate feasible ways and strategies to sustain the healthy management of trees. The former will be gained by classroom learning, workshops, seminars, field studies, site visits, and a summer internship programme.

Please visit the website at for further details.

Certificate in Professional Tree Management

The Certificate in Professional Tree Management, offered by Li Ka Shing Institute of Professional and Continuing Education (LiPACE) of The Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK), which is pitched at Q.F. Level 3, aims to provide students with the essential knowledge of tree management and to enable them to provide proper suggestions for mitigating tree risk and to prepare an assessment report. The practical curriculum of the programme includes main topics of essentials of tree management, and tree inspection and risk assessment.

Please visit the website here for further details.

Diploma Programme in Arboriculture

The School of Continuing and Professional Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUSCS) and The Hong Kong Trees Conservation Association (HKTCA) jointly offer programme in Diploma Programme in Arboriculture (course detail). This programme aims at helping participants to acquire, develop and strengthen specialized knowledge, skills and training on various aspects of planning, management and maintenance of trees as well as conservation of trees on construction and development sites. It also aims at developing their competence at a higher level in tree management and maintenance.

Skills Upgrading Scheme Plus Courses (SUS)

The SUS, funded by the Employee Retraining Board, in relation to arboriculture is offered to all Hong Kong eligible employees (including new arrivals) aged 15 or above and with education attainment of sub-degree or below, which are delivered through various training bodies. Please visit the website here.

These certificate courses are suitable for those who are interested to acquire the necessary basic skills in arboricultural work. They are Basic Arboriculture, Tree Identification, Tree Preservation and Risk Assessment, Tree Climbing and Operation, Tree Climber Course, and Certified Arborist Course. For details of these courses, please visit this website here.

Websites of Related Professional Organisations


Arboriculture Vocational Assessment

To enhance the professionalism and standardisation of arboricultural industry in Hong Kong, and to step up the skill level of frontline staff and provide them with professional recognition, a new requirement in pruning was introduced to government maintenance contracts to be invited from April 2015 onwards and all other works contracts to be invited from April 2016 onwards.

Under the new requirement, all workers undertaking tree pruning works involving the use of chainsaw for those contracts specified above must have passed the "Vocational Assessment in Safety Use and Maintenance of Chainsaw Operation and Basic Tree Pruning for the Arboriculture Industry" organised by the Vocational Training Council (VTC) or, possess equivalent qualification from a recognised local/overseas training institute or professional body.

Currently, equivalent qualifications recognised as fulfilling the new requirement include the following: