OREGON CITY – The Pacific Northwest is known for its forests. But who takes care of the trees in our urban areas? This spring, Clackamas Community College (CCC) is launching the first arboriculture training program on the West Coast.
The program, which trains commercial arborists who specialize in the care and maintenance of trees in urban centers, comes in response to the growing need for arboriculture specialists. By 2022, the need for arboriculture-based jobs will increase by 26.3 percent, according to the State of Oregon Employment Department’s Occupation Profiles. The college’s horticulture department is partnering with local businesses, including General Tree Service, to develop the arboriculture degree pathway.
“We are very excited about the new arboriculture program at CCC,” Clint Landon, owner of General Tree Service, said. “One of the greatest challenges our company faces is finding qualified workers. We see this as a synergistic program from which we can recruit future employees or send current employees to gain more knowledge.”
Funding for the program has been provided by the Collier Arborist Training Trust, which honors the late Terrill Collier. The Collier family, who owns Collier Arbor Care, spearheaded industry involvement for the program and helped raise $200,000.
“Working with the college to develop this program has been amazing,” Logan Collier, son of Terrill Collier, said. “The passion and energy from CCC, especially the horticulture department, to help us secure my father’s legacy has been overwhelming.”
The Arboriculture AAS degree will prepare students for entry-level positions like tree climbing, pruning and plant health care management. By the end of the two-year AAS degree, students will be able to:
- Safely operate standard arboriculture equipment
- Identify common trees and shrubs
- Evaluate tree health and implement plant health management strategies
- Pass the International Society of Arboriculture’s Certified Arborist exam
- Pass the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s pesticide licensing exams
For more information, visit www.clackamas.edu/horticulture.