City Forester

Hiring Organization: City of Des Moines
Employment type: Full-Time
Job Location: Des Moines, IA
Application Deadline: June 18, 2021

Distinguishing Features of the Class

Develops, manages and leads activities related to the Urban Forest in the City of Des Moines.

Acceptable Experience and Training

  • Graduation from an accredited four year college or university with a degree in Arboriculture or closely related field; and
  • A minimum of five (5) years experience in arboriculture; and
  • Certified Arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture is required.
  • Possession of valid Iowa Drivers License or evidence of equivalent mobility.
  • Registered Consulting Arborist with the American Society of Consulting Arborists or Board Certified Master Arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture preferred.

Required Special Qualifications

  • Possession of valid Iowa Driver's License or evidence of equivalent mobility.
  • Candidates for positions in this class must pass a post-employment offer physical examination and drug screen.

NOTE:  Transcripts verifying degree conferred, copies of certifications need or out of state driving records have to be submitted to the City of Des Moines Human Resources Department to receive credit.  Please send electronically to, by fax to 515-237-1680, or by mail to 1551 E MLK Jr Pkwy, Des Moines, IA 50317 by the application deadline.  

Examples of Essential Work (Illustrative Only)

  • Manages the Forestry Division of the Public Works Department;
  • Responsible for all city owned trees;
  • Works with other city departments on tree related matters;
  • Develops, leads and maintains the Urban Forest Master Plan;
  • Acts as a liaison to varying Boards and Commissions, including the DNR, Trees Forever, Tree City USA/Arbor Day, ISU-Forestry Department, Parks Board, Planning and Zoning and Des Moines neighborhood Groups;
  • Performs planning, data collection and reporting activities including a complete inventory of all city owned trees;
  • Makes presentations to various civic, professional and other related groups on the care and maintenance of trees;
  • Recommends Capital Improvement Program projects and prepares, monitors and recommends related expenditures;
  • Reviews site plans, specifications, contracts, etc. for compliance with codes, ordinances, zoning, etc. related to trees;
  • Oversees the City's Tree Mitigation Ordinance and Policy;
  • Enforces City tree ordinances, design, design standards and municipal specifications; recommends changes to such when necessary through the appropriate approval process.
  • Inspects and reports on the need to treat trees for diseases, parasites, etc.;
  • Manages and/or coordinates specific tree programs, i.e. Oak Wilt Program, Emerald Ash Borer program, etc;
  • Develops and implements plans, strategies, and programs to conserve, preserve and proliferate trees and urban forests;


$38.71 - $49.07 Hourly