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Arborist Matthew Barker puts his expertise and passion into practice in his position as an arborist for the city of Alexandria, Virginia. His days include examining trees and assessing their health and well being, as well as planning strategic tree plantings that maximize the human health and wellness benefits of each tree planted in one of the most densely populated cities in America. Prior to his position in Alexandria, Matthew worked in the tree care division of the Architect of the Capitol, helping to oversee about 4,000 trees in the Capitol Hill area, including nationally recognized memorial trees. At the Architect of the Capitol, he was the go-to guy for climbing difficult and hard to reach trees. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Matthew entered college to study Biology and Neuroscience, but found indoor lab work wasn’t the right fit for him. Following his love for working outdoors, Matthew pivoted towards building a career in arboriculture, and has been improving the tree life of cities ever since. Press play to hear all about the fascinating tree care industry, and a few arboriculture facts along the way!


  • What exactly is arboriculture and what an arborist does
  • Why you might want to consider volunteering for AmeriCorps after you graduate from college
  • How outdoor volunteer experience can help hone crucial professional skill sets
  • Why tree care work is so physically demanding
  • What a strategic planting is and why they matter
  • How to really assess the health of trees
  • Why you should listen to T4C episode #117 to learn more about how to break into Arboriculture

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