21 May 2020

Spending time with nature


Ever wondered how Singapore maintains its beautiful greenery? Arborists like 28-year-old Jordan Loh are responsible for the overall appearance and health of the trees and shrubs, through trimming and pruning. As a leading arborist in landscape firm Swee Bee Contractor Pte Ltd, Jordan provides various professional services including design and building of landscape, horticulture maintenance, arboriculture works and many more.

As an Arborist, Jordan has had many opportunities to work with various clients like the National Parks Board, Gardens by the Bay, as well as within communities or residential areas like Town Councils, condominiums and landed properties.



Jordan’s immense passion towards nature was so evident that his family felt that he would eventually become a farmer. The people around him also frequently approached him for many “greenery advice”. This passion then spurred Jordan to study Horticulture and Landscape Management in Ngee Ann Polytechnic, which then led him to this job as an Arborist.

“I’ve always had interest in this career ever since from a young age. I am an outdoor loving person especially towards nature. That could be the reason that led me to have the opportunity to get exposure to community planting – which expanded my perspective in landscaping,” said Jordan.



In sunny Singapore, we have the luxury of seeing luscious green trees grow around us providing shade from the relentless sun. However, the healthy trees we find all over our Garden City is by no mere chance. It is through the efforts of arborists such as Jordan, ensuring that the trees remain in good health and pose no threat to the public despite their height. One of the perks Jordan gets as an Arborist is the opportunity to witness the growth of these trees we seldom think about – from a tree sapling to the tall and strong trees we see most of the time.

“We are the unseen heroes who ensure that trees are safe for the public and ensure they are well maintained,” adding that arborists like himself feel really good when they see the urban city and nature coming together – such as trees providing shade for us and adding an extra touch of colour to our urban cityscape.



Every job has its challenges. Having been in this industry for 5 years, one of the more prevalent challenges faced by Jordan lies in communicating with his arboriculture crew, many who are foreign workers not well-versed in English.  

He shares that the job of an arborist is like a ceramic artist, one wrong move and the entire architecture of the tree would be ruined – hence the importance of communication. He adds, “Teamwork is one of the key factors that drive my motivation and there is a saying – coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress, working together is success.”

In order to overcome this language barrier, Jordan would spend long hours hanging around with his crew to build rapport and strengthen their bond.



As Singapore moves towards a City in Nature, Jordan is glad to be able to contribute to the greenery in Singapore as an arborist, and would never exchange this job for anything else. “I love what I am doing now, and I feel there is a sense of achievement when the trees under my care are well taken care of. To be able to see them grow tall and flourish is extremely fulfilling and satisfying.”

Apart from simply watching the trees flourish, Jordan hopes to also enrich, promote and educate future young arborist trainees for the next generation


“Arboriculture is an interesting and niche occupation that is not commonly known by the public. It involves exciting work processes that incorporate use of hard tools like hammers and cangkul (entrenching tool), as well as technology like soundwave detecting devices and drones. Arborists remain hard at work even during the circuit breaker period to ensure the health of the trees and safety of the public. We hope that this feature will shed light on these uncommon everyday heroes and attract young talents into to the field to further transform and shape Singapore’s iconic garden city landscape. Special thanks to nEbO for covering the story!”

- Brother Abdul Rahman, President of Building Construction And Timber Industries Employees’ Union (BATU)


Through the eyes of our nEbO youth writer, nEbO Labour Month aims to introduce lesser known, yet interesting jobs to youths out there. This series seeks to encourage youths to be inspired and pursue their dreams through real-life stories of our profiles, as well as appreciate the uncommon jobs in various interesting fields.

nEbO is the junior membership arm of NTUC. It is a lifestyle club that actively reaches out to youths aged 12 to 25, socially engaging them in creating a vibrant community that is Work-Ready, World-Ready and Life-Ready. Find out more about what we do at nebo.sg.

Posted by nEbO Admin on 21 May 2020, 1:44 pm
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