Tree Surgeon

Somerville, MA
Full Time
Department of Public Works (DPW)
Mid Level

Statement of Duties

Performs a variety of skilled and semi-skilled tasks in the maintenance, repair and care of trees and shrubbery. Climbs trees and performs maintenance work such as preventing or repairing limb or trunk fractures by wiring or placing tree rods as needed. Performs trimming, shaping and cutting of trees and shrubbery. Removes dead, dying, or hazardous trees and removes or grinds stumps. Operates power saws, and other miscellaneous tools and equipment. Uses a variety of tools necessary to perform tree care and maintenance, including bucket trucks and similar tree service aerial devices. Operates heavy motor equipment in a proper and safe manner in order to perform all assigned work. Loads and unloads trucks; picks up and hauls material, plows and sands highways; greases, oils and cleans equipment and performs minor maintenance; performs unskilled labor duties of which the following are typical examples: digging holes, trenches, and other excavations; shoveling materials and leveling areas; loading and unloading materials; emptying barrels and cleaning litter and debris from streets, runways, parking lots; mowing grass, trimming shrubs/small trees using hand or powered equipment; removing snow/ice using manual or small powered equipment; spreading sand on icy areas; using small hand tools, i.e. shovels, picks, axes, saws, heavy wrenches and small power tools. Performs all other duties that may be assigned.

Recommended Minimum Qualifications

An Associate degree in arboriculture or related field and at least two years’ experience working with trees, either as a tree climber, or working in an aerial lift. (Applicants with a high school diploma/GED and minimum of four years’ experience working in the tree care industry, with a preference for those with experience as a tree crew member, will be considered.)

ISA Certified Tree Worker Aerial Lift Specialist preferred. Required within one year of employment.

Current training in aerial rescue, CPR, and first aid preferred.

Ability to receive and interpret written and oral instructions and to give written and oral reports to supervisors.

Ability to prune, brace, cut and fell trees consistent with ANSI Z133 standards.

Ability to identify trees by species, identify hazard defects of trees, and ensure public safety.

Ability to inspect for pests and diseases such as Emerald Ash Borer and Asian Long-Horned Beetle.

Must have ability to use tools of trade in workmanlike manner.

Must be in good health, dependable, and able to do hard physical work. Position requires ability to work extended hours and respond to emergency situations.

Must possess current valid Massachusetts Class B CDL; Hoisting 2B license required within 120 days.

Must have safe driving record.

Work Environment

This position primarily works outside in all types of weather, including snow, inclement weather, freezing temperatures and microbursts. Duties include frequent exposure to noise and hazardous conditions, such as working at heights and exposure to high voltage sources. Work requires agility and physical strength, such as moving in or about trees while operating hand and power tools and equipment. Extreme care and following established safety precautions is required at all times. This position responds to emergency tree hazard situations and employee may be required to work extended hours as deemed necessary.

Physical and Mental Requirements:
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the position’s essential functions.

Physical Skills
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to bend, crawl, sit, talk, move about, hear and speak. May be required to work in restricted spaces, and/or under difficult access conditions. Noise level may be high when operating power equipment. Employee is exposed to outside weather conditions. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds and greater than 50 pounds using appropriate equipment. Employee is required to use properly use such safety equipment as is appropriate to the work to prevent injury to self or others.

Motor Skills
While performing the duties, employees are regularly required to use written and oral communication skills; read and interpret data, information and documents; analyze and solve problems; use math and mathematical reasoning; observe and interpret situations; learn and apply new information or new skills; work under deadlines with constant interruptions; and interact with City staff.

Visual Skills
Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.

Hours: Full-Time
Salary: $1,248.84 weekly, plus benefits
Union: SMEA-B
FLSA: Non-Exempt
Pre-employment Requirements: Successfully pass a pre-employment physical with a drug screen and driving history review.
Date Posted: March 19, 2024

City of Somerville residents are especially encouraged to apply.

The City of Somerville is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, disability or any other protected category. Women, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Auxiliary aids and services, written materials in alternative formats, and reasonable modifications in policies and procedures will be provided to qualified individuals with disabilities free of charge, upon request. Persons with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication (i.e., CART, ASL), written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures in order to access the programs, activities, and meetings of the City of Somerville should please contact Adrienne Pomeroy at 617-625-6600 x 2059 or

Pre-Employment Requirements for All Employees:

  • MA Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) clearance
  • Completition of Conflict-of-Interest Law Education training for municipal employees

Overview of Total Rewards:

  • 4 weeks annual vacation (for non-union positions) union positions vary by contract
  • Medical insurance through the Group Insurance Commission (GIC) - 80% of premium costs paid by City
  • Dental coverage low and high plans through Cigna
  • Vision care through Vision Service Plan (VSP)
  • Long term disability through Sun Life
  • Group and voluntary life insurance through Boston Mutual
  • Health Care and Dependent Care flexible spending through Benefit Strategies
  • Deferred compensation plans through a choice of three vendors
  • Free, confidential services through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provided by E4Health
  • Annual cancer screening & wellness release
  • Somerville Retirement Pension System
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • MBTA pass program
  • FREE Blue Bikes membership
  • Eligible employer for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF)

Benefits listed are for benefits-eligible positions and the above information is meant to be a general overview of the benefit programs offered by the City of Somerville and not a binding contract.


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