The science of arboriculture studies how these plants grow and respond to cultural practices and to their environment. The practice of arboriculture includes cultural techniques such as selection, planting, training, fertilization, pest and pathogen control, pruning, shaping, and removal.
A person who practices or studies arboriculture can be termed an 'arborist' or an 'arboriculturist'. A 'tree surgeon' is more typically someone who is trained in the physical maintenance and manipulation of trees and therefore more a part of the arboriculture process rather than an arborist "per se".
Risk management, legal issues, and aesthetic considerations have come to play prominent roles in the practice of arboriculture.
Arboriculture is primarily focused on individual woody plants and trees maintained for permanent landscape and amenity purposes, usually in gardens, parks or other populated settings, by arborists, for the enjoyment, protection, and benefit of human beings. It falls under the general umbrella of horticulture.