An arborist is a professional who is trained in the art and science of planting, caring for, and maintaining trees.
The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), headquartered in Champaign , Ill. , is a nonprofit organization supporting tree care research and education around the world. As part of ISA's dedication to the care and preservation of shade and ornamental trees, it offers the only internationally-recognized certification program in the industry. ISA Certified Arborists are individuals who have achieved a level of knowledge in the art and science of tree care through at least three years of experience and have passed a comprehensive examination. They are also required to continue their education in order to maintain their certification, ensuring their knowledge is updated on the latest arboriculture techniques. ISA Arborist Certification is a non-governmental voluntary process that operates without mandate of law. Certification provides a measurable assessment of an individual’s knowledge and competence required to provide proper tree care.
Proper tree care is an investment which can lead to substantial returns. Well cared for trees are not only attractive but will also add value to your property, while poorly maintained trees end up being a liability. Knowing when and how to hire an arborist is an important decision for property owners. The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) offers the following tips to help make an informed decision:
When to Hire an Arborist
There are a variety of services an arborist can provide to help you maintain your investment.
Tree Pruning - An arborist can determine what type of pruning is best for the individual tree to maintain its health and to improve its appearance and safety. If pruning requires leaving the ground, hire a trained professional. Also, pruning with a chainsaw is dangerous and it should never be used above the head or while on a ladder. Hire an arborist who can skillfully prune the tree safely using the proper equipment.
Tree Removal - Arborists can help determine whether or not a tree should be removed, though usually this is a last resort. Arborists have the skills and equipment to safely and efficiently remove trees. Tree removal is dangerous and should be done by a professional.
Emergency Tree Care - Storms can cause major damage to limbs or entire trees which can result in damage to other property. These trees need to be removed or trimmed to lessen the long-term damage to the tree and surrounding property. This is dangerous work and an arborist should be hired to perform this job safely.
Planting - Planting the right tree in the right place is important for the long term health of the tree. Arborists can recommend the appropriate tree for the desired location, and assist in proper planting.
There are many other services that arborists provide when necessary such as fertilization, insect control, cabling, aeration, and lightning protection. Consulting with an arborist and establishing a plant health care plan will help determine when these services are necessary.
Money spent on hiring an arborist is well worth it! "Many tree care services can be dangerous and paying a professional may cost you less than a trip to the emergency room," states Eric Duchinsky, ISA Director of Membership and Public Relations.