Climber

  • The Morton Arboretum
  • Lisle, IL, USA
  • Jan 26, 2024
Full time Climber

Job Description

The Morton Arboretum is a world-renowned, nonprofit institution dedicated to the planting and conservation of trees and other plants for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world.  We welcome more than 1.1 million guests every year to our 1,718 acre site in the western suburbs of Chicago with about 16 miles of hiking trails, 9 miles of roads, and 222,000 plant specimens representing 4,650 plant taxa that are cared for in our landscapes, collections, and natural areas.  We are seeking an experienced, diligent, and safety conscious climber who can perform the following arboricultural functions including but not limited to pruning, removals, hazard evaluation, and the installation of tree support and lightning protection systems. This is an incredible opportunity to be part of a team working together to make The Morton Arboretum exceptional.

Position Summary:  Assist with a variety of functions related to the care and maintenance of trees, on the 1700 acres of Arboretum property, which include landscapes, collections, and natural areas. These functions include pruning, removals, hazard evaluation, and the installation of support and protection systems.

Essential Functions: 

  • Prune and groom trees and shrubs for health, safety, and appearance. Remove dead and hazardous trees. Clean area of debris after removal of trees and shrubs.
  • Install and maintain lightning protection systems. Cable and brace trees with structural defects.
  • Participate in both winter clearing and prescribed burns of natural areas. Thin tree stands to preserve desired species and for the expansion of collection areas. 
  • Provide assistance for special events, including the installation and removal of holiday lights on the grounds.
  • Participate in snow removal operations and storm damage clean-up.
  • Provide operational support to Arboretum scientists for their ongoing research projects.
  • Perform all duties with the highest safety standards and quality standards in accordance with A.N.S.I. A300 (quality) and Z133 (safety). Safely operate and maintain all motorized equipment according to the operator’s manuals. Regularly participate in safety talks presented by full-time arborists.
  • Demonstrate alignment with the Arboretum’s employee core values to be inclusive, take ownership, work together, keep learning and make the Arboretum exceptional.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications: High school diploma or equivalent required. 1+ years of demonstrable arboricultural work experience required. Ability to climb trees and use the equipment necessary to perform various types of tree work required. Good verbal and written communication skills required. Must be able to obtain a Class B Commercial Driver’s License within 9 months of hire, which is subject to insurability and an annual Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) report. Must become certified and maintain certification in First Aid and CPR (classes provided). Must be able to obtain and maintain certification as an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Tree Worker Climber Specialist within18 months of hire. Basic proficiency with Microsoft Office and Google applications beneficial.

Success Factors: Ability and willingness to adapt to a wide variety of duties and responsibilities in all weather conditions. Ability to learn A.N.S.I. A300 pruning standards and A.N.S.I. Z133 safety standards in order to ensure safe work practices. Strong work ethic and a commitment to continuing education within the field of arboriculture. Ability to relate effectively and work with people of various backgrounds and ages. 

Physical Demands and Work Environment:  The physical demands and work environment characteristics 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 these essential functions.

  • Physical Demands: Requires significant amount of physical activity: some lifting and carrying (up to 80 lbs.), climbing (up to 70 ft.), walking on varied terrain, and traveling by vehicles. Sense of vision and hearing in the normal range with or without correction. Sense of touch and the ability to wear Personal Protective Equipment required.
  • Work Environment: Work is performed mostly outdoors in all weather conditions.
  • Equipment: Climbing equipment, arborist tools, snow equipment, aerial lift truck, chipper, stump grinder, utility vehicles, dump truck, two-way radio, general office equipment. 
  • Schedule: May require occasional evening and weekend work.


For full consideration, please include resume and cover letter with application.

The Morton Arboretum is a champion for diversity, supporting a culture of inclusion that attracts, inspires, and engages people to achieve success.  The Arboretum is committed to hire and develop employees based on job-related qualifications irrespective of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, or veteran status.  To increase diversity in professions related to the public garden realm, we encourage applications from underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans.  

The Morton Arboretum is dedicated to complying with our obligations as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All applicants are guaranteed equal consideration for employment.