It’s a good idea for you to have a working relationship with an arborist you trust. Often arborists can spot problems you might not be aware of and treat them before they impact the health of your tree. “Arborist” is a term for anyone who cares for individual trees. Before you hire someone to care for your trees, consider taking these steps to protect your investment:
Just because a tree service has an ad in the yellow pages doesn’t mean they are qualified arborists. There are no licensing requirements in the city or the state to help ensure that the person caring for your tree is qualified by education or experience.
International Society of Arboriculture
The International Society of Arboriculture is a professional organization devoted to educating the public and professionals about the importance of proper tree care. Arborists can become certified by the ISA by taking a four hour exam on a wide array of tree care topics, including pruning, fertilization, cabling, and identification and treatment of tree health problems.
An arborist who has passed the exam is listed as a Certified Arborist on the ISA website. Every year certified arborists must take a certain number of continuing education classes to keep up with current research in the tree care field. It is possible to be a dues-paying member of ISA without being certified, so if you see the ISA logo in a yellow pages ad, make sure the arborist has passed the exams.
Just because an arborist has been certified does not guarantee that you will be satisfied with their work. It does indicate that the arborist has gone to the expense and taken the time to prepare for and pass the exams and keep up with current developments in the field of arboriculture.
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