Main content start

Social Sciences & Education - Award-bearing Programmes

Diploma Programme in Arboriculture

Course No. : 223-697100-01|Start Date : 19/03/2023

Admission Requirements

Applicants seeking for admission to the Programme should:
(a) Have 5 passes in the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (including English language) or equivalent, and with at least 2 years' working experience in the related fields; or
(b) Have Level 2 or above in five subjects in Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) Examination, and at least 1 years' related working experience; or
(c) Mature students at the age of 21 or above with an interest in arboriculture, tree management or the protection of trees on development sites. They will be considered for admission on an individual basis.


CUSCS instructor

Language Used

Teaching activities will be conducted in Cantonese, supplemented by English. Learning and reference materials will be in English or Chinese, as appropriate. Assessments are in English or Chinese, as appropriate.

Total Hours

228 hours


Oriental Learning Centre/East Ocean LearningCentre

Start Date

March 2023


Every Sunday


9:30a.m. - 12:30pm &
1:30pm - 4:30pm

Application Fee


Tuition Fee




QF Level


QR Registration No.


QR Registration Validity Period

01/10/2015 - Ongoing

Course Enquiries

3111 7278 / 3111 7230[JavaScript encoded]

Enrolment Enquiries

2209 0290

Closing Date for Application


Application Closed


With growing environmental awareness in the society, there has been a rapidly expanding interest in, and demand for, conservation and protection of mature trees on construction or development sites and a higher professional standard in tree management and maintenance particularly in the urban area. In response to the increasing needs of professionals in tree management and maintenance, the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUSCS) and The Hong Kong Trees Conservation Association (HKTCA) continue their successful collaboration to jointly offer this Programme.


HKTCA is a non-profit making organization registered in 2001 by a group of persons who have a keen interest in preserving the trees and the green environment in Hong Kong. The mission of the Association is to promote public awareness in tree conservation and to promote education and research in arboriculture. The Association has organized many activities in the past few years with the aim to promote awareness, particularly among the students, in tree conservation. The Association will continue to organise various educational activities in a joint effort to promote and safeguard the urban and rural environment of Hong Kong in the best interest of the community.


SCS, as an extension of CUHK, has an unwavering commitment to provide quality continuing and professional education to the community and unleash people's potential. Having been a pioneer and leader in lifelong education in the territory since its inception in 1965, the School provides abundant learning opportunities for the local community and the region.

Programme Structure and Duration

There are 6 modules with a total of 228 contact hours which can be completed in about 18 months by part-time study mode.

Module 1:Plant Identification and Selection (42 hours)
Module 2:Principles of Plant Culture (30 hours)
Module 3:Practical Skills in Tree Care (30 hours)
Module 4:Tree Climbing and Aerial Rescue (42 hours)
Module 5:Tree Risk Assessment and Mitigation (42 hours)
Module 6:Tree Management (42 hours)

Optional study visits will be arranged to widen participants' exposure/experience in tree management and maintenance.

Module 1 :Plant Identification and Selection

- Plant physiology
- Plant morphology
- Plant classification and nomenclature
- Identification of amenity trees, shrubs and woody creepers
- Species selection
- Field trips:e.g. Hong Kong Park and Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens

Module 2 :Principles of Plant Culture

- Soil and planting media
- Nutrition and fertilization
- Water, drainage and irrigation
- Pests, diseases, disorders and weeds
- Safety measures in using pesticides and fungicides
- Propagation, planting stock and nurseries
- Field trips :e.g. Kowloon Park

Module 3 :Practical Skills in Tree Care

- Planting, protection and aftercare
- Transplanting
- Use of chainsaw
- Pruning
- Preventive maintenance
- Felling and disposal
- Trees on development/construction sites
- Occupational safety and health
- Field trips:e.g. Disneyland Resort, hired venues for practical work

Module 4:Tree Climbing and Aerial Rescues

- Identify hazard and risks and apply emergency procedures
- Climbing equipment checks and storage
- Access and movement techniques within trees to achieve work positions
- Branch walking, use of redirects movement within the crown
- Aerial rescues recovery of both conscious and unconscious casualties
- Field trips:hired venues for practical work

Module 5 :Tree Risk Assessment and Mitigation

- Tree risk assessment:principles and standard documentation
- Identification of structural defects in trees
- Identification of pests, diseases and disorders in trees
- Decay compartmentalization mechanism of trees
- Application of visual tree assessment procedures on site
- Application of decay detection equipment
- Correction and mitigation of hazardous trees
- Field trips :e.g North District Park, Lai Chi Kok Park

Module 6 :Tree Management

- An overview on the field of arboriculture and related fields e.g. garden/ landscape design
- Work of the arboriculturists and how to work with related professions
- Surveys and inspections
- Inventory registers and record systems
- Amenity value and valuation
- Management plans
- Contracts
- Laws and regulations
- Government procedures and technical guidelines
- Instruction, presentation and interviewing techniques
- Research methods and report writing

Delivery Mode

This Programme will be delivered by face-to-face instruction. A variety of learning formats will be used to facilitate active participation and learning. The methods include group project, study workbook, written report, oral presentation, oral / practical test and written examination.

Medium of Instruction

Teaching activities will be conducted in Cantonese, supplemented by English. Learning and reference materials will be in English or Chinese, as appropriate. Assessments are in English or Chinese, as appropriate.

Assessment Methods and Award of Diploma

Participants' performance is monitored and assessed on a continuous basis through a variety of learning activities as stated in the aforesaid delivery mode.
The Diploma in Arboriculture will be awarded to participants who:
(1) have attended a minimum of 70% of the total hours in each module; and
(2) have passed the assessment in each module.

Continuing Education Fund

This course has been included in the list of reimbursable courses under the Continuing Education Fund. This course is recognised under the Qualifications Framework (QF Level 3).
CEF Course Code: 31L22704
CEF Course Name: Diploma in Arboriculture

Urban Forestry Support Fund Study Sponsorship

This programme has been included in the list of study sponsorship recognised programmes under the Urban Forestry Support Fund. For details, please visit