Senior Arborist

Under general direction of the branch manager, leads, plans & directs overall operation, services, maintenance, and staff of Forestry management on parkland. Manages a professional full-time forestry staff of 7-10 employees including: an Arborist, Tree Care Specialists I, II, & IIIs, and seasonal employees. Completes and oversees administrative, financial and planning duties related to Forestry Operations, including but not limited to: budget development and tracking, analyzing and reporting of Forestry data, completion of tree risk assessments and inspections, and resolution of citizen tree issues on parkland. Develops and implements tree-related standards and procedures for the safety and protection of the public, parks, facilities and resources. Inspects trees bordering private properties to determine ownership and makes decisions regarding health and appropriateness for pruning and/or removal. Performs other tasks related to effective management of forestry operations countywide.

Note: Reports to the 4501 Brookfield Corporate Drive, Chantilly and drives county vehicles to various park locations county-wide. Office location subject to change to meet the needs of the Agency.

Illustrative Duties

  • Oversees all Forestry Operations staff and contractors performing tree care services on parkland;
  • Oversees a tree inventory, identifies historic and specimen trees, and establishes measures for their protection and preservation;
  • Develops and maintains long-range operational work plans and budgets for continuing forestry operations;
  • Develops Forestry Operation plans and procedures in conjunction with Agency leadership;
  • Develops and coordinates implementation of a comprehensive plan for protecting and preserving arboreal resources on parkland;
  • Develops, edits and reviews tree care service contracts for implementation on parkland;
  • Prepares operating and capital budgets and allocates for the Forestry section;
  • Develops formal budget documents for request of additional resources as necessary;
  • Drafts, reviews and presents guideline material related to the protection and maintenance of trees, including the methods and techniques to be applied;
  • Serves as point of contact to contractors engaged in performing tree services on parkland and inspects and certifies the adequacy and completion of work;
  • Monitors and evaluates trees on parkland for hazardous conditions, insect or disease infestations and potential problems;
  • Responds to hazardous tree complaints and takes appropriate action to resolve issues;
  • Analyzes data for all activities and field reporting in data management systems;
  • Provides technical advice to facility, site and project managers as needed;
  • Provides training, correspondence and assistance to park maintenance crews on tree issues;
  • Oversees storm response related to damaged park trees;
  • Investigates tree damage claims and report findings to Risk Management;
  • Reviews and approves monthly, quarterly and annual reports for all staff and contractors;
  • Attends meetings, public hearings and conferences as County or department representative;
  • Prepares and presents data and materials before Park Authority Board, Board of Supervisors and at various public meetings;
  • Oversees development and training program for all Forestry personnel;
  • Conducts performance evaluations for Arborists and oversees performance of all Forestry staff.

Required Knowledge Skills and Abilities

  • Extensive knowledge of urban forestry, forest pest management and arboricultural practices;
  • Extensive knowledge of horticultural and landscape installation practices;
  • Thorough knowledge of Geographic Position Systems and Geographic Information
  • Systems software and the ability to generate maps, charts and associated reports using these technologies;
  • Thorough knowledge of, and the ability to conduct, vegetation and forest health surveys;
  • Thorough knowledge of felling, planting, spraying, pruning and fertilizing practices;
  • Thorough knowledge of potential hazards and safety precautions to be taken;
  • Thorough knowledge of the County Codes as they relate to trees;
  • Knowledge of new developments in urban forestry;
  • Ability to plan, organize and direct the operations of the tree crews;
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with neighboring municipalities, developers, contractors, civic groups, other County departments and members of the general public;
  • Ability to maintain comprehensive records and to make reports;
  • Ability to create correspondence, reports and presentations using word processing,
  • spreadsheet software and presentation software;
  • Ability to supervise, train, and provide guidance/counsel to Forestry personnel;
  • Ability to assess the impact of construction activities and urbanization on individual trees and forest strands;
  • Ability to make presentations to small and medium sized audiences, Park Board and Board of Supervisors;
  • Ability to budget resources;
  • Ability to assist with work on in house jobs when required;
  • May be designated as emergency service personnel.

Employment Standards

Any combination of education and experience equivalent to graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with a degree in urban forestry, forestry, horticulture, environmental science, landscape architecture, agriculture or related field; plus three years of experience in forestry, arboriculture, or landscape architecture, relating to urban forest management and/or forest pest management.


  • Valid state issued driver's license;
  • Possession of a valid Certified Arborist certification issued by the International Society of Arboriculture;
  • Municipal Specialist certification issued by the International Society of Arboriculture (or have the ability to obtain within one year of hire);
  • Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ) issued by the International Society of Arboriculture (or have the ability to obtain within one year of hire).
The appointee to this position will be required to complete a criminal background check, a check of the Child Protective Services Registry, and a driver's license check to the satisfaction of the employer.

Bachelor's degree in forestry or a closely related field. Four years of experience managing a forestry operation, inspecting trees for defects, assessing for risk and overseeing staff and contractors in tree maintenance and removal. Experience using: Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel software; and Work Order database software. Thorough knowledge of Geographic Position Systems and Geographic Information Systems software and the ability to utilize in the performance of Forestry duties.

Able to traverse uneven outdoor terrain, lift 20-40 pounds periodically, and withstand sustained outdoor exposure for sustained periods. All duties performed with or without reasonable accommodations.

It is the policy of Fairfax County Government to prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, veteran status, political affiliation, genetics, or disability in the recruitment, selection, and hiring of its workforce.

Reasonable accommodations are available to persons with disabilities during application and/or interview processes per the Americans with Disabilities Act. Contact 703-324-4900 for assistance. TTY 703-222-7314. EEO/AA/TTY.