David Balsamo ~ Principal Consultant and Project Manager for Aja Arboriculture.

David has been involved in urban forest management for over 30 years as a practicing arborist, project/operations manager and consultant in the private and public sectors. With qualifications in both horticulture and business management, he has authored reports dealing with tress in the civic context, strategic documents and managed significant horticultural projects in a range of markets with appropriate consideration for the client’s desired outcome (and sometimes conflicting stakeholder expectation), standards, regulations, local laws, statutory requirements, and published literature. His broad range of experiences and dedication to the field uniquely qualify him to take on responsibilities that demand knowledge, client appreciation and a commitment to the successful delivery of urban tree initiatives.


Author of over 500 commercial arboricultural reports, David has also published policies, strategies, specifications and company procedures including:

  • Electrical Line Clearance Management Plan for Stonnington City Council in 2011 and for Brimbank City Council in 2010.
  • Docklands Waterfront Tree Installation & Maintenance Specifications for MAB, 2010.
  • Arboricultural Maintenance Specifications for Brimbank City Council, 2010.
  • Brimbank City Council’s Street Tree Policy, 2009. Included community forums, internal stakeholder discussions and Council meetings.
  • Kay Street, Traralgon Elm Tree Management Plan for La Trobe City Council, 2009. Included community forums and Council meetings.
  • Monbulk Shopping Centre WSUD Tree Pit Design and tree species selection for the Yarra Ranges Council, 2009.
  • Plant Material Supply Specifications for Wyndham City Council in 2009 and Hume City Council in 2006.
  • Lombardy Poplar Risk Assessment and Hazard Management Plans for the City of Melbourne and the Shrine of Remembrance, 2005.
  • Co-authored with Dr. Peter May the Collins Street Bridge Plane Tree Health Assessment and Management Plan for VicUrban, 2003.


David has successfully delivered over 140 projects from residential landscape works to large scale public projects including:

  •  City of Melbourne Annual Tree Health Assessment, 2011-2013. Survey and health of over 20,000 trees within the public domain. Included presentations to both internal stakeholders and contractors on the findings.
  • Dubbo City Council Public Tree Audit, 2012. The survey and geolocation of over 6,000 trees within public areas and the development of metrics from the data outputs that defined the state and contribution of the urban forest assets examined.
  • Hornsby City Council Street Tree Survey, 2012. The survey and geolocation of over 10,000 trees within road reserves.
  • Murchinson Street, Marysville Street Tree Planting and Maintenance for Murrindindi Shire Council funded by the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority, 2010. Demanded a high level of community sensitivity.
  • Street Tree Planting & Maintenance Program and multiple smaller landscape projects for Yarra Ranges Council, 2008-2012.
  • Street Tree Infill Planting & Maintenance Contract and multiple planting and maintenance projects for Brimbank City Council, 2006-2010. The Street Tree Infill program included public consultation with over 5,000 residents per annum.
  • Azarole Hawthorn Transplant Traralgon for CEEJ, 2008. Base lift transplant a 40 tonne heritage listed tree from a development site into Victory Park. Included a requirement to address regional media interest.
  • Indoor Tree Installation and Maintenance for the Grande Hyatt Melbourne, 2008-2012. Required high level project management participation and problem solving with design, engineering, and construction elements to ensure a successful horticultural outcome in an unnatural environment.
  • St Kilda Esplanade Redevelopment, Sandridge Beach Landscape Works, Greening Port Phillip – Fishermans Bend Estate and other smaller projects for Port Phillip City Council, 2005-2008.
  • Doncaster Shopping Centre Redevelopment for Westfield Design and Construction, 2006-2008. Included the lifting, storage, re-instatement and establishment of all the Canary Island Date Palms within the site during the redevelopment. Required high level project management participation with design, engineering, construction and union elements engaged on the project.
  • Transplant the Biology Department’s Proteaceae collection for Ballarat University, 2005.


David is an active participant in the development of the arboricultural industry and its standards.

  • Director – International Society of Arboriculture, 2000-2003
  • President – International Society of Arboriculture Australian Chapter, 2000-2001
  • Committee member and contributor on the Tree Felling Safety Group that developed the ‘Working Safely with Trees – recommended practices for the amenity tree industry’ published by WorkSafe Victoria in 2001. Recipient of a WorkCover Safety Award for his contribution to this project presented by the Victorian Minister for WorkCover.
  • Inaugural Chair – Australian Tree Climbing Championships, 1999-2001
  • President – Arboricultural Association of Australia, 1996-1997
  • Member at Large – International Society of Arboriculture, Current


  • Certificate 6 Front Line Management (Business and Administration), Chisolm 2002.
  • Certificate 5 in Arboricultural Report Writing, University of Melbourne 2000.
  • Plant Science I, II and III of the Bachelor of Applied Science, VCAH Melbourne 1996
  • Trade Certificate Horticulture 1992.
  • High School Certificate 1980.