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Advanced Horticultural Trades (Level 4) (Arboriculture)

New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture Services (Level 4) with strands in Arboriculture


This programme builds on the knowledge gained in Applied Horticultural Services (Level 3) incorporating specialist techniques and understanding of arboriculture. The emphasis is on practical skills and technical expertise in tree assessment and care.

Those who have completed this qualification are able to demonstrate competence in arboriculture at tradesperson level.

Programme Content

Content includes aspects of professional practise, specialist arboriculture practices and the development of more advanced skills in tree climbing, pruning, felling and dismantling. The practical skills are supported with the development of skills in tree identification, knowledge of their specific requirements and uses, and knowledge of tree biology that will allow students to evaluate amenity trees and to diagnose tree health problems.

Projects for councils and residents will form part of teaching including the felling of large, difficult trees. Candidates will also go on field trips to regional councils for work experience.



Arboriculture strand

Module CodeModule NameLevelCredits Pre-Requisites Co-Requisites Assessment Standard
HORT408Tree Felling415
HORT409Tree Climbing410
HORT410Sectional Felling410


HORT411Tree Pruning & Support Systems410HORT409
HORT412Tree Work Near Electric Lines415


HORT413Tree Identification410
HORT414Tree Biology and Health420

Career Opportunities

The Advanced Horticultural Trades (Level 4) (Arboriculture) programme can lead to employment in amenity tree care or as an arborist (Tree Surgeon) employed by a company or local authority.

Arboriculture allows active outdoor lifestyle, with many opportunities in the industry for self-employment or advancement into management positions. The Advanced Horticultural Trades (Level 4) (Arboriculture) programme can lead to employment in amenity tree management, as an Arborist (Tree Surgeon) employed by a company or local authority or as a self-employed arboriculture contractor.

Graduates would be able to continue on to the advanced level of training delivered in the Diploma in Arboriculture (Level 6). There are also opportunities to become self-employed, to undertake arboriculture management positions, or options in technical fields relating to arboriculture.

Entry Requirements

  • 24 credits at NCEA Level 1 including 12 credits in English or Māori; or equivalent.
  • Candidates wishing to enrol on the Arboriculture strand of this qualification may have completed the New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture (Level 3) with Arboriculture strand, or equivalent qualifications or work experience to similar level.

Special Admission
Domestic applicants aged 20 years or above who do not meet the entry requirements but whose skills, education or work experience indicate that they have a reasonable chance of success may be eligible for Special Admission. Special Admission will be granted at the discretion of the Centre Director or designated nominee. Such applicants may be required to successfully complete a foundation, bridging or tertiary introductory programme as a condition of entry into higher level programmes.

Provisional Entry
Domestic applicants aged under 20 years who do not meet the entry requirements but who can demonstrate a reasonable chance of success through other educational attainment and/or work or life experience may be eligible for Provisional Entry at the discretion of the Centre Director or designated nominee. Provisional Entry places restrictions on re-enrolment to be lifted if the applicant’s performance is deemed satisfactory by the Centre Director or designated nominee.

Selection Criteria
Candidates without relevant qualifications may be required to participate in an interview and selection process. The following may be considered in the selection process:

  • The completion of a Study Skills Assessment to demonstrate the level of academic skill necessary to successfully complete the programme.
  • Previous experience working in the horticulture sector. May include previous employment, voluntary work.
  • Personal qualities such as responsibility, teamwork, leadership and practical skills.
  • An aptitude for working in a public environment demonstrated through a reference from an employer where a candidate has worked with the public, or from a teacher attesting to social skills.

English Language Requirements
Candidates who have English as a second language are required to have an International English Language Test System (IELTS) score of 5.5 in the academic band, with no individual band lower than 5.0; or equivalent.


Entry Criteria

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