Skip to main content

City Forester

City of Ames
Job Field:
Job Type:
Full Time
Location Detail:
Job Description:

Under the general direction of the Parks and Facilities Superintendent, leads and performs work necessary to maintain healthy urban forests and trees in City right of way, parks, and other City owned property; performs related work as required. 

The City of Ames is conducting a recruitment to establish a Civil Service eligibility list for this classification. The list will be valid for up to one year from the date of certification by the Ames Civil Service Commission and may be used to fill one or more vacancies in this classification. In addition, City of Ames Civil Service employees who have previously held Civil Service status in this classification and are interested in voluntarily demoting or laterally transferring into the current vacancy must submit their application by the deadline. 

The City Forester will have the responsibility of managing all municipal trees including over 15,000 right-of-way trees, thousands of park trees, and multiple mature woodland areas in the City of Ames. Ames covers approximately 26 square miles with a population of over 60,000 residents. This position will oversee the implementation of the Emerald Ash Borer Response Plan, Park Woodland Management Plan, and will be responsible for keeping the tree inventory updated, which was originally completed in 2012. The individual hired for this position will need to possess excellent communication skills including verbal and written in order to train and direct the work of full and part time staff as well as volunteers. This individual may also be required to present to City Council, City Departments, Developers, Neighborhood groups and others.


Education and Experience: Bachelor's degree in Urban Forestry, Arboriculture, Forest Management, Horticulture, or related field and three years of experience in urban forestry required. An equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered. 

Licenses and Certifications: Must possess a valid type A Commercial Driver's License within 6 months of appointment. Must obtain an Iowa Pesticide Applicators License (3OT and Category 6) within 3 months of appointment. Must become International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist, and ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualified, within two years of employment. 

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: Good knowledge of the types and uses of tools and equipment common to tree care (powered and manual); knowledge of the names and characteristics of shade and ornamental trees common to central Iowa; knowledge of hazard tree assessment and abatement methods; knowledge of tree pests and diseases and their remedies; knowledge of principles and practices of tree planting; knowledge of the materials and standard equipment used in general maintenance, construction, and repair work; extensive knowledge of the precautions necessary to work safely with and around mechanized equipment. Skill in the use of power and manual tools; skill in safely felling trees and limbs. 

Working ability to lead a small crew of manual laborers; working ability to perform manual tasks involving physical strength and endurance under variable weather conditions; ability to understand and carry out specific verbal and written instructions; ability to read schematic designs such as landscape designs; ability to communicate effectively with co-workers and the public in both oral and written formats.


Required Physical Activities: Climbing, balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, crawling, reaching, standing, walking, pushing, pulling, lifting, fingering, grasping, feeling, talking, hearing, and repetitive motions. 

Physical Characteristics of Work: The work involves sitting and using arm/leg controls 20% of the time, standing and walking 30% of the time, standing but not walking 30% of the time, sitting 20% of the time (including using a computer); frequently lifting objects under 10 pounds, occasionally lifting objects up to 50 pounds and infrequently lifting objects over 50 pounds. 

Vision Requirements: The minimum standard for use with those whose work deals with machines such as power saws where the sawing job is at or within arm's reach; use of cars, trucks, and high lift equipment; preparing and analyzing data and figures; using computers; visual inspection of small parts, insects, and plant characteristics. 

Environmental Conditions: The worker is subject to both inside and outside environmental conditions including extreme cold, heat, noise, vibration, mechanical hazards, electrical hazards, chemical hazards, atmospheric conditions that affect the respiratory system or skin; darkness or poor lighting conditions, oils and isolation. Work at heights while operating chain saws or other tools.


City Forester Supplemental Questionnaire

* 1. Responses to question 1-4 will be scored by a panel of raters and will be used to determine which candidates will be invited to participate in phone interviews 

List and describe your qualifications and experience as it relates to the position.

* 2. What are the key components to being a successful City Forester and why?

* 3. What are the key components of having a healthy urban forest and what do you do to ensure these components are realized?

* 4. What do you value and how do those values relate to this position?

* 5. Have you participated in a CDL drug-testing program with a previous employer? If so, with which employer(s)? (Please indicate the employer name, address, phone number, and designated individual.)

* Required Question

SALARY: $25.53 - $36.87 Hourly

$53,106.00 - $76,689.00 Annually
How to Apply:


Job #17-6108-01