Lead Arborist - Contract Supervisor

(Paid Opportunities) Return to Paid Opportunities

Compensation: $89,600 - $112,000 (based on level of experience)

About Central Park and the Central Park Conservancy 
Central Park is one of the most famous and beloved urban public spaces in the world. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux in 1857, the 843-acre park was the first purpose-built public park in the country and is a National Historic Landmark.  Founded in 1980 to rescue the Park which had fallen into serious disrepair, the Central Park Conservancy has overseen the investment of over $1 billion in the restoration of the Park, and now hosts over 40 million visitors a year. 

The Conservancy’s mission is to preserve and celebrate Central Park as a sanctuary from the pace and pressures of city life, enhancing the enjoyment and well-being of all. The City of New York has formally entrusted the care of the Park to the Conservancy which is responsible for every aspect of the Park’s care, including landscape maintenance, capital improvements, and the visitor experience. Committed to sharing the best practices in urban park management, the Conservancy also serves as a resource for other NYC parks and for public-private partnerships around the world. The Conservancy employs over 300 people and has an annual operating budget of $80 million.

The Conservancy recently completed a seven-year plan, Central Park Conservancy, A Plan for the Stewardship of Central Park: 2020-2027, which focuses on the ongoing capital investment of the last four decade’s investment of more than $1 billion into Central Park. 



Program Management

Working under the general supervision of the Tree Care Manager, the primary responsibility of the Lead Arborist is to oversee program management of all tree care operations, treatments and mitigation work objectives throughout Central Parks tree population. This includes digital record keeping of tree related work tasks, the creation, implementation, and completion of work orders and assignments, management of contracted services, supervision of tree care staff, responding to emergency and storm related events, monitoring pest and disease issues (IPM), applying and carrying out arboricultural best management practices and techniques to conserve and maintain a healthy and expanding tree population with the goal to optimize the sustained benefits that Central Park parks trees provide. 

Other responsibilities include collaborative management of CPC’s system level tree assessment program and adherence to all initiatives and policies set by the Tree Care Manager. It is expected that the Lead Arborist will work across departments and with other staff of the Central Park Conservancy to support the overall goals of the organization’s inter-departmental work, and to work as part of the team within the Parks Operations department to facilitate daily routine park management. 

Supervisory Responsibilities 

  • Responsible for supervising tree care staff, organization and implementation of work objectives, mitigation treatments, inspections, assessments, and work schedules to meet daily and weekly workloads and project deadlines through evaluation, prioritization and interpretation of prescribed in-field and digital workflows.
  • Provides technical assistance and follow-up to tree care contractors and Arborists engaged in tree work objectives and inspections.
  • Delegates and holds subordinates responsible for satisfactory performance of assignments.
  • Leads and coaches employees using established performance management and staff development while providing consistent feedback.
  • Works in collaboration with Manager in the hiring, performance reviews and discipline of staff.
  • Monitors and ensures employee engagement, productivity, compliance and status of work assignments.
  • Oversees safety and work training program for tree care employees and tracks individual progress to ensure requirements are met at regular intervals.


  • Coordinates with other departments within CPC on all events, vendors, concessions and general Park use.
  • Collaborates with other Assistant Managers in Landscape Management, Volunteer Department, and other departments within Park Operations to achieve set work plan goals.
  • Provides daily reports of malfunctioning infrastructure, furnishings, safety hazards, quality of life issues.
  • Displays the necessary initiative and dependability to work alone or in groups.
  • Adheres to all organizational standards and requirements.
  • Interacts with Park patrons in a professional manner.


  • Assists in the development of annual work plan, monitoring performance indicators to ensure goals are met.
  • Assists in the coordination of all contracted services related to tree care, ensuring contractor compliance for arboricultural best practices and organizational policy while maintaining records for services provided.
  • Works with Manager to develop and or refine quality control measurements and SOP’s.
  • Ensures the maintenance of daily work records related to contracted tree care services and arborist staff.
  • Identifies and discerns between various tree conditions, perform tree inspections using advanced diagnostics, climb, prune, install support systems, remove trees, and complete other work as assigned.
  • Identifies trees and shrubs by species, inspect for insect and disease pests, develop and implement control strategies.
  • Assists Manager in the development of an annual department budget and collaborate to monitor expenses throughout the year.
  • Reviews completed work to ensure compliance to industry and organizational standards, methods and practices, safety, and other established requirements.
  • Maintains the inventory and proper care of all tools, equipment, materials, supplies and staff uniforms appropriate to support the tree care program.
  • Uses computer-based management systems for budget control, scheduling, timekeeping and inspections; accurately maintain tree care database records.

Related Work

  • Maintains inventory of all signage and directs the repairs and installation. Makes requests for replacements as needed.
  • Initiates the purchase of supplies, tools and other related equipment to Manager.
  • Responds to emergency situations including, but not limited to, storms and snow events
  • Performs related work as assigned.
  • May be called upon to work shifts including nights, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.


  1. Bachelor’s Degree from accredited college in Arboriculture or a related field; 6 years of increasingly responsible experience in maintenance work in the field of tree care maintenance including a minimum of 6 years in the management and supervision of others; or
  2. Education and/or experience equivalent to “1” above. However, all candidates must possess the 6 years of management and supervision of others.
  3. Valid Drivers’ License – A Class B Commercial Drivers’ License valid in the State of New York within one year of being appointed to this position and must be maintained for duration of employment.
  4. ISA Arborist Certification and ISA-TRA Qualification.
  5. NYS Pesticide License obtained within 6 months of hire and maintained for duration of employment.
  6. Possess a fundamental understanding and knowledge of tree physiology using modern arboriculture practices; experience in urban tree care maintenance is desirable.

Abilities Required 

  1. Ability to provide both oral and written communication that is easily understood and direct in its content.
  2. Ability to engage in critical thinking skills that allow for prioritizing issues, coordinating multiple projects and problem solving.
  3. Knowledge of computer equipment and Microsoft Office applications.
  4. Ability to work overtime, weekends and holidays as needed.
  5. Ability to lift 50 lbs. and perform heavy physical labor daily in all weather conditions.

Additional Information

Salary range: $89,600 - $112,000 (based on level of experience)

The Central Park Conservancy’s work is guided by the belief that Central Park, and all public parks, must be managed and actively protected as an inclusive and democratic space for all. Working closely with our New York City partners, we will always strive towards creating and sustaining a sense of belonging for all visitors and advocating for equitable and accessible public use of the Park.  In service of this belief, we are committed to fostering a workforce and organizational culture that is as diverse as Central Park itself and the dynamic city it serves.

Safety Requirements
Establishment and maintenance of a safe work environment is the shared responsibility of this organization and employees at every level. The Conservancy will make every effort to assure a safe environment and be in compliance with federal, state, and local safety regulations.  Employees are expected to obey safety rules and to exercise caution in all their work activities.  Accordingly, employees should be aware of any hazards, which could cause an injury or accident (e.g., spills, obstacles in walkways, etc.).  If an employee discovers a potential dangerous condition, he/she should alert other employees and notify his/her supervisor immediately.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification.  They are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified.  All personnel may be required to perform duties outside of their normal responsibilities from time to time, as needed.

Contact Information

Central Park Conservancy
Website: Apply Online