Recruitment #2206-1001DC-001



The City of Milwaukee is proud to employ a diverse workforce that is committed to providing exemplary service to the City’s residents. If you have a passion for being a part of an inclusive team of public servants, please consider the following opportunity.


Under the direction of a Forestry Services Manager, Urban Forestry Specialists perform work associated with the planting, maintenance, and removal of trees, shrubs, and other landscape plants growing on City green spaces, with an emphasis on arborist duties.

Essential Functions

Tree, Plant, and Boulevard Maintenance:

  • Prune trees by means of safely climbing and using a rope and saddle while working at heights of 60 feet and higher in accordance with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A300 Pruning Standards and ANSI Z133 Safety Standards.
  • Prune shrubs from the ground according to accepted horticultural practices.
  • Perform tree rigging on the ground and aloft.
  • Plant, maintain, and remove trees, shrubs, and other landscape plants on City boulevards and green spaces.
  • Perform plant health care activities, such as treating trees and shrubs to prevent common pests and diseases.
  • Operate large vehicles such as aerial lifts and 2½-ton dump trucks.
  • Operate specialized power equipment and hand equipment on the ground and aloft, such as mowers, stumpers, chainsaws, chippers, trenchers, backhoes, pipe pullers, sprayers, tree injection equipment, and other hand and motorized equipment.
  • Construct, repair, and maintain concealed irrigation systems.
  • Adhere to ANSI, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), and departmental safety standards at all times.

Emergency Response:

  • Participate in the removal of downed trees and limbs and in the abatement of hazardous conditions caused by wind, snow, and ice storms.
  • Participate in snow and ice control operations, including plowing snow and salting City streets.

Recordkeeping and Training Participation:

  • Maintain records and daily activity reports.
  • Attend approved related training, and satisfactorily complete the prescribed course material.

We welcome qualified individuals with disabilities who are interested in employment and will make reasonable accommodations during the hiring process 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

Please be advised that new employees are required to have received either both doses of the Moderna or Pfizer or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine prior to their employment start date or have an approved religious or medical accommodation prior to their employment start date.  You can find further information relative to the City’s Covid-19 Vaccination Policy here.


  • Urban Forestry Specialists serve in an emergency capacity, removing broken branches and fallen trees and participating in the City’s snow and ice control operations.
  • Urban Forestry Specialists must be willing and able to do the following:

    • perform physically demanding work
    • properly lift and move objects weighing up to 50 pounds alone and up to 100 pounds with assistance
    • be trained to use hazardous equipment properly and safely, such as chainsaws and woodchippers
    • work outdoors in variable weather conditions (e.g., heat, cold, and wind)
    • tolerate conditions such as noise, dirt, and pollen
    • climb ladders and ropes and work at heights of 60 feet or more
    • wear personal protective equipment (PPE) and correctly use fall protection gear
    • work beyond assigned shifts to respond to various emergencies
  • By law, persons in these positions are required to pass pre-employment drug tests and are subject to random drug and alcohol testing during employment. Candidates must sign a release authorizing the City to receive the results of any drug and alcohol tests conducted by previous employers during the past two years if those tests were required by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Minimum Requirements

  1. Valid driver's license at time of application closing and throughout employment. NOTE: Driver’s license number must be listed on application.
  2. Good driving record at time of application closing and throughout employment. NOTE: Driving records will be checked during the selection process and prior to job offer.
  3. Five years of urban forestry experience, with emphasis in arboriculture and including substantial experience climbing trees using rope and saddle.
  4. Residency within 15 miles of the jurisdictional boundaries of the City of Milwaukee within six months of appointment and throughout employment, pursuant to Rule III, Section 4(g) of the Rules of the City Service Commission. A map defining the jurisdictional boundary is located on the Fire and Police Commission website at: https://city.milwaukee.gov/fpc/Residency-Map.htm
  5. Possess a Class B or higher Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) without Air Brakes Restriction within six months of appointment and throughout employment.
  6. Obtain a basic First Aid and CPR Certification within one year of appointment and maintain throughout employment.
  7. Obtain a State of Wisconsin Pesticide Applicator Certification (Turf & Landscape Category 3.0) within one year of appointment and maintain throughout employment.

Desirable Qualifications

  • Class B Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Permit without Air Brakes Restriction at time of appointment.
  • International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist designation.
  • ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (ISA TRAQ).

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities & Other Characteristics


  • Knowledge of ANSI and OSHA safety regulations applicable to the arboricultural and landscape industry.
  • Knowledge of common tree and landscape plant species.
  • Knowledge of tree biology concepts.
  • Knowledge of tree risk assessments.
  • Knowledge of signs and symptoms of insects and diseases.
  • Ability to climb trees using rope, saddle, and other tree-climbing equipment.
  • Ability to assess and perform pruning on young, juvenile, mature, and over-mature trees.
  • Ability to perform a climbing aerial rescue.
  • Ability to plan and set up tree rigging for topping, felling, and removing urban trees.
  • Ability to use a chainsaw safely and perform field maintenance.
  • Ability to correctly tie various tree climbing and rigging knots.
  • Ability to plant, maintain, and remove trees, shrubs, and other landscape plants.
  • Ability to operate and drive vehicles such as an aerial lift and 2½-ton dump truck.
  • Ability to safely drive and operate snowplows and salt trucks on city streets.
  • Ability to operate job-related power equipment and hand-held equipment.
  • Ability to perform field maintenance on some power equipment.
  • Ability to construct, repair, and maintain irrigation systems.
  • Ability to accurately complete activity reports.
  • Ability to read and understand documents such as work rules, policies, and operating manuals.

Interpersonal and Communication

  • Ability to work cooperatively and effectively in a team environment with others whose backgrounds may differ from one’s own, including supervisors and coworkers.
  • Ability to understand and follow verbal and written instructions.
  • Ability to interact with the public in a courteous and cooperative manner.

Judgment and Critical Thinking

  • Ability to exercise care and good judgment regarding safety at all times.
  • Ability to use City resources in a responsible manner.

Current Salary

The current salary range (Pay Range 7JN) is $49,420-$59,035 annually, and the resident incentive salary range for City of Milwaukee residents is $50,903-$60,806. Appointment above the minimum is possible based upon level of experience and other qualifications and is subject to approval.

The City of Milwaukee provides a comprehensive benefit program that includes the following:

  • Defined Benefit Pension Plan
  • 457 Deferred Compensation Plan
  • Health and Dental Insurance
  • Paid Parental Leave
  • Comprehensive Wellness Program
  • Onsite Clinic Services
  • Onsite Employee Assistance Program
  • Alternative Work Schedules
  • Long Term Disability Insurance
  • Group Life Insurance
  • Tuition Benefits
  • Paid Vacation
  • 11 Paid Holidays
  • Paid Sick Leave and other paid leaves
  • Flexible Spending Arrangement
  • Commuter Value Pass

For full details of the benefits offered by the City of Milwaukee, please visit https://city.milwaukee.gov/der/benefits.

Selection Process

THE SELECTION PROCESS will be job related and will consist of written and performance examinations. The performance exam may include the following major components:

  1. Tree climbing using rope and saddle, including pre-climb inspection, rope installation, basic knots, ascension, work positioning and movement within the tree, basic rigging (including controlled limb lowering), and descension.
  2. Climbing aerial rescue technique.
  3. Tree pruning practices.
  4. Felling practices for topping and removing urban trees.
  5. Identification of tree and plant species.  

The Department of Employee Relations reserves the right to call only the most qualified candidates to the performance examination. 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 the application deadline listed above. 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.

Additional Information

  • APPLICATIONS and further information can be accessed by visiting www.jobapscloud.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 in City Hall, 200 E Wells St, Room 706, Milwaukee, WI 53202.


EEO 704

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