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Tree Worker/Arborist

​​​​The Presidio Trust is seeking a Tree Worker/Arborist. The Presidio of San Francisco was once an Army base; it's now a new kind of national park. The Presidio's richly forested and designed setting is one of the Army's most impressive accomplishments in landscape architecture. No other military installation in the nation has ever undertaken landscape planning on such a grand scale. A soldier standing on the Presidio's windy ridgeline during the Civil War years would have written home about sandy dunes and the open prospect to the bay. Beginning in the 1880s, the Army planted a vast eucalyptus, pine, and cypress forest. Thousands of trees were planted along the Presidio's ridges and entrance gates. Today, the 300-acres forest is the largest feature that contributes to the Presidio's National Historic Landmark District. It also provides habitat for birds and other wildlife and respite from the city for human visitors.


Under the technical and general supervision of the Forester and Tree Crew Supervisor, the journey-level Tree Worker/Arborist performs all related tasks involved in trimming and removing trees on roadways, grounds, parks, or other public lands, including thinning, pruning, trimming, and cutting away dead branches or excess branches from large trees, felling and cutting up trees, and removing stumps.


Our ideal candidate is a team player with a strong work ethic and the skills and passion to help us maintain and care for this treasured historic San Francisco forest.


This is a full-time position with benefits and a minimum salary of $38.08 per hour. Applications received by July 15th, 2019 will receive first consideration. We are planning to hold structured interviews the week of July 22nd, a practical climbing skills evaluation the week of July 29th, make a job offer in early August, and set a work start date in August 2019.



  • Fells trees, clears land, and prepares soil, plants, stakes and mulches to assist with preparation, installation and maintenance for the establishment of new trees in reforestation sites.
  • Prunes or removes trees and stumps using chain saws, handsaws, pole saws, pole pruners, stump grinders wheel loaders, track loaders and various other tools and equipment.
  • Climbs trees with ropes and harness both with and without the use of climbing gaffs and/or works from aerial lift to remove dead, dying, diseased, damaged and hazardous limbs or trees.
  • Cuts, stacks, hauls, loads, chips and transports brush, logs, stumps and other debris utilizing chipper, front end loader, trucks, trailers and other tools and equipment.
  • Drives trucks hauling forestry equipment, trailers, tree chips, brush, logs and other debris, materials and supplies. 
  • Performs rigging for the removal of limbs and heavy wood utilizing slings, ropes, blocks, knots, lowering devices and other hardware and equipment.
  • Performs other regular tree maintenance duties including various forms of mature tree care, hazard reduction pruning, limb removal, natural target pruning, selective pruning, clearance pruning for buildings, roads and utilities and structural pruning of young trees for a variety of different tree species throughout the Presidio.
  • Performs routine maintenance and repairs on tools and equipment, and maintains shop and work areas in a clean, orderly and safe condition.
  • Monitors self, crew and public safety; provides traffic control, sets out cones, barriers and warning signs and utilizes safe work practices for tree work as set out in both ANSI and OSHA standards.
  • Responds as appropriate to questions from public, residents, tenants and Presidio staff using principals of good customer service; reports any problems or issues to supervisor.
  • Cuts grass and tall weeds by use of string trimmers, brush cutters and high weed mowers.
  • Works with volunteers on Forestry sponsored volunteer events.
  • Responds to tree related emergency calls occasionally after hours and/or on weekends.


  • High school diploma or general education degree (GED); and at least three years of tree climbing experience in arboriculture work.
  • Knowledge of ropes, knots, rigging, and hitches, and climbing trees to a height of 100 feet or more.
  • Ability to operate a variety of tree maintenance equipment and tools such as chainsaws, motorized winches, block and tackle, chippers, aerial lifts, and shredder-grinder machines.
  • Knowledge of the qualities and characteristics of most trees found in the Presidio.
  • Knowledge of tree pruning and removal in accordance with ISA pruning standards.
  • Ability to work safely and in compliance with ANSI and OSHA standards, and established safety practices, including aerial rescue.
  • Ability to establish and maintain positive working relationships with co-workers and other Trust employees, and provide exceptional customer service to Presidio partners, tenants and visitors.
  • Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions and procedure manuals.
  • Ability to apply concepts of basic algebra and geometry; to calculate figures and amounts such as proportions, percentages, area, circumference, and volume; and to apply common sense and understanding in carrying out instructions provided in written, oral, or diagram form.
  • Must have a valid State of California Driver's License.
  • Must possess a State of California Commercial Vehicle Driver's License within six months of employment.
  • Regularly required to work at heights of 100 feet or more
  • Frequently required to climb trees using hands, arms and legs, with considerable physical effort and manual dexterity and balance.
  • Frequently required to walk; reach with hands and arms; stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl.
  • Must regularly lift and/or move 50 pounds or more, and occasionally up to 100 pounds or more.
  • Regularly exposed to machinery including moving mechanical parts and vibration. The work is primarily outdoors and the employee is regularly exposed to hot, cold, wet, dry, dirty, dusty and/or windy conditions; high, precarious places; and uneven footing. The noise level in the work environment is usually loud.



  • Passion for parks; strong desire to work for the Presidio Trust.
  • Optimistic, flexible, and positive attitude with a demonstrated deep commitment to the highest level of customer service.
  • Strong interpersonal and organizational skills, strong work ethic, and a strong customer service orientation to establish and maintain effective working relationships with individuals and groups.
  • International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Tree Worker Climber Specialist certification desirable.


About the Presidio Trust Tree Crew

Over the past 18 years, our Tree Crew has planted 40 acres of young trees at 44 sites. In total, more than 5000 trees have been planted. The rejuvenation is especially visible along West Pacific Boulevard near Julius Kahn Park; at the Arguello Gate, where cypress trees planted just a few years ago already rise 30 feet; along Kobbe Boulevard, where wind studies have informed how trees should be placed on the Presidio's blustery western edge; and near the World War II Memorial, where trees resistant to pine pitch canker are thriving. Trees that have been felled continue to contribute to the park's vitality – they are used as compost to increase soil fertility, are milled for benches and fencing, and are immortalized through art, as seen in Andy Goldsworthy's Presidio pieces Wood Line, Spire, and Tree Fall. The Trust's reforestation effort has also contributed to an increase in the bird population. The Trust also welcomes the public to get involved by participating in a volunteer tree care program. More than 1,000 volunteers have contributed more than 5,000 hours caring for young Presidio trees.


Driver's License Investigation & Review

This position requires a current, valid Driver's License prior to starting work, and maintenance of a driver's license throughout occupancy of the position. You will be subject to a driver's license investigation as a New Entrant, and annual driver's license reviews thereafter. An individual's granting of an investigation and resulting reports thereafter is voluntary, however, employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a driver's license investigation. The Trust may refuse to hire an individual, rescind an offer of employment, or review and terminate the employment of a current employee who does not successfully complete the driver's license investigation.