Recruitment #1605-4833-001


Located on the western shore of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee is an urban hub bursting with energy. Milwaukee provides a casual sophistication – big city appeal without the big city hassles. We are accessible and affordable, and our residents are welcoming. Milwaukee has evolved through the years, bringing together its unsurpassed old world charm with a breathtaking Art Museum, top-flight arts and cultural attractions, professional sports, lakefront festivals, recreational opportunities, and great restaurants.


Having studied arboriculture and worked for a number of years supervising forestry personnel in an urban setting, perhaps your time has come to share your talents with a world-renowned urban forestry program and play a key role in helping the City of Milwaukee to maintain a high quality of life. Each of the four distinct seasons brings its own opportunities and challenges, from overseeing the planting and maintenance of trees, boulevards, and green spaces in the warmer months to managing snow and ice operations each winter. With its fresh air and abundant natural resources, Milwaukee is calling!

Under the direction of the Urban Forestry District Manager, an Urban Forestry Manager plans and manages the work activities of a Forestry District in order to meet the goals of the Department of Public Works (DPW)-Forestry Division. Arboriculture activities include planting and maintaining the City of Milwaukee’s urban forest of 200,000 street trees. Landscape activities include planting and maintaining 120 miles of landscaped and irrigated boulevard medians and green spaces. The person in this position also manages district snow and ice control operations (on a rotating basis) and emergency response to wind and ice storms. The Urban Forestry Manager may assume the duties of an Urban Forestry District Manager in his or her absence.

Essential Functions

  • Plans, organizes, and coordinates staff and equipment needed to conduct year-round tree and landscape operations.
  • Supervises field crews, including urban forestry technicians, crew leaders, specialists, municipal equipment operators, and regular and seasonal laborers; monitors work quality, productivity, and adherence to work rules and safe work procedures.
  • Coordinates on-going training at work sites.
  • Assists in developing, analyzing, and evaluating operations and programs.
  • Prepares work estimates.
  • Investigates, resolves, and follows up on complex service requests from citizens and alderpersons.
  • Prepares daily and biweekly work progress, safety, pesticide, training, and accident reports.
  • Manages 24 hour snow and ice control operations and field crew responses to weather-related emergencies such as wind and ice storms and damage to trees caused by construction and other factors.
  • Assumes authority, responsibility, and duties of the Urban Forestry District Manager in his or her absence.
  • Administers tree and landscape maintenance contracts.
  • Updates and maintains computerized street tree inventory and work records and generates listings and user-defined reports to efficiently manage district arboricultural operations.
  • Assists in the development, coordination, and implementation of workforce development training and work experience programs.

Reasonable accommodations requested by qualified individuals with disabilities will be made in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, as amended by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008.

Conditions of Employment

  • Urban Forestry Managers are subject to emergency call-out 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Minimum Requirements

  1. Associate’s degree in arboriculture, horticulture, urban forestry, biology, environmental science, or a closely related field from an accredited college or university.
  2. Five years of experience in urban forestry, horticulture, or arboriculture performing duties related to this position, including three years of supervisory or lead worker experience at or above the level of crew leader.
  3. Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (WDATCP) Pesticide Applicator Certification Commercial Category 3.0-Turf & Landscape certification within six months of employment.
  4. International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist certification within six months of appointment.
  5. Valid driver's license at time of appointment and throughout employment.

Equivalent combinations of education and experience may also be considered, with the exception of the “three years of supervisory or lead worker experience at or above the level of crew leader.”

IMPORTANT NOTE: College transcripts are required and must be received by the application period closing date. Transcripts should be attached to your online application. Applications without transcripts attached will be considered incomplete and will be rejected. Student/unofficial copies are acceptable; however, your transcript must be legible and include your college/university name, your name, the degree completed (if applicable) and the date completed.

Desirable Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in arboriculture, horticulture, urban forestry, biology, environmental science, or a closely related field from an accredited college or university.
  • ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification.
  • ISA Municipal Specialist Certification.

Knowledges, Skills, Abilities & Other Characteristics

  • Knowledge of the modern principles and practices of arboriculture and landscape management.
  • Knowledge of tree anatomy and physiology.
  • Knowledge of and ability to identify common tree and landscape plant species as well as signs and symptoms of insects and diseases.
  • Knowledge of governmental regulations and governing industry standards for arboricultural and landscape work, including pesticide regulations.
  • Knowledge of the terminology, tools, equipment, materials, and methods used in arboriculture, including tree climbing and rigging systems, tree planting, pruning, structural support systems, and tree and stump removal.
  • Knowledge of the methods, tools, equipment, and materials used in horticulture, landscaping, and grounds maintenance.
  • Knowledge of and ability to use computer applications, including Microsoft Office, street tree inventory and management software, and geographic information systems (GIS) forestry applications.
  • Knowledge of mathematics and ability to perform accurate calculations.
  • Oral communication skills.
  • Written communication skills.
  • Interpersonal skills; ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with senior staff, direct reports, elected officials, other agencies, and the public.
  • Customer service skills; ability to respond promptly to service requests.
  • Ability to train employees in the use of specialized industry software and hardware.
  • Ability to effectively supervise, discipline, evaluate, engage, train, and coach field crews performing urban forestry activities.
  • Ability to analyze and solve complex problems and issues and exercise sound judgment.
  • Ability to plan, organize, and coordinate work, staff, and resources and to meet deadlines.
  • Ability to effectively manage activities and remain calm during emergency operations.
  • Ability to withstand a wide range of weather conditions.
  • Ability to lift and move equipment and materials weighing up to 50 lbs.

Current Salary

THE CURRENT STARTING SALARY (PAY RANGE 1DX) for City of Milwaukee residents is $54,865 annually, and the non-resident starting salary is $53,519. *Appointment above the minimum – up to $68,030 – requires approval and will be based on qualifications and experience.*

The City of Milwaukee offers a collaborative, positive work environment where each employee contributes to making the city the best place possible to live and work. The City offers a comprehensive benefits package, including a top rated pension plan, health, and dental benefits, paid time off including vacation, 11 holidays, sick leave accrual, and much more.

Selection Process

THE SELECTION PROCESS will be job related and will consist of one or more of the following: education and experience evaluation; written, oral, or performance tests, or other assessment methods. The Department of Employee Relations and the Department of Public Works reserve the right to call only the most qualified candidates to oral and performance examinations. Oral examinations may include written exercises. Selection process component weights will be determined by further analysis of the job.

INITIAL FILING DATE: The examination will be held as soon as practical after July 1, 2016 Currently extended through July 22, 2016. Receipt of applications may be discontinued at any time after this date without prior notice. However, recruitment may continue until the needs of the City have been met. Qualified applicants will be notified of the date, time, and place of the examination. Unless otherwise required by law, the City of Milwaukee will not provide alternative test administration. The applicant is responsible for attending all phases of the job selection process at the time and place designated by the City of Milwaukee.

NOTE: For current information regarding the status of the City of Milwaukee’s residency requirement, please visit the Department of Employee Relations’ Website: http://city.milwaukee.gov/DER#.V3U2aMtTGos. Please call 414.286.3751 if you have questions regarding your individual circumstances as part of the application and/or selection process.

Additional Information


  • Applications can be accessed by visiting www.jobaps.com/MIL.
  • If you would like assistance completing an application, please contact the Department of Employee Relations at (414) 286-3751 or staffinginfo@milwaukee.gov.
  • The Department of Employee Relations is located in City Hall, 200 E Wells St, Room 706, Milwaukee, WI 53202.

The City of Milwaukee values and encourages diversity and is an equal opportunity employer.