What is an Arborist?

Chop Arborist

Strong, healthy, beautiful trees are a clear indication of a well-maintained, thriving, happy, and desirable community or home, but maintaining them can be difficult at times. Oftentimes, businesses don’t take the amount of time, attention, and care it takes to keep their trees well-maintained and healthy. 

It isn’t until they find themselves dealing with hefty lawsuits, unexpected downtime, injured employees, and a lot of lost money to make business owners realize just how critical it is to hire professional arborists to properly care for their trees. 

Many people are not aware of the entire scope of the important services arborists provide and what it takes to achieve an arborist license.

In fact, not all tree service professionals are even certified arborists, and understanding the difference and the advantages of hiring a certified arborist are equally important to know.

That is why we put together this guide covering what a certified arborist is, what they can do for a home or community, and how they can be the most efficient, safe, and effective way to maintain trees strong and healthy year-round. 

What is an arborist? 

The word “arborist” comes from the Latin “arbor,” meaning “tree,” and is meant broadly as a cultivator of trees. However, The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), the organization through which most professionals will go through to achieve their arborist certification, defines an arborist as: “an individual trained in the art and science of planting, caring for, and maintaining individual trees.” 

In other words, an arborist is a tree professional with the expertise necessary to recognize a variety of tree conditions and diseases, diagnose tree-related problems, and to provide the services and care required to nurture and restore a tree to health, or know when a tree is beyond help or poses a health threat to other trees and recommend removing it.

Upon achieving certification they will at that point be recognized as a tree care professional who has attained an acceptable level of knowledge in areas important to the arborist skill set such as tree biology, diagnosis, maintenance practices, and safety. 

Maintaining certification requires arborists to continue their education. So, there is a great advantage in working with a certified arborist as opposed to an uncertified one in that they will be up to date on the latest techniques and skills in arboriculture that will make sure the job is done the right way.

Why are arborists important? 

Thanks to their extensive knowledge in the care and maintenance of trees, arborists are able to perform the invaluable service of helping homeowners, business owners, property managers, and residential areas protect, care for, and improve their property investments. 

Let’s face it, homeowners and property owners might be able to do high-level lawn and property care such as mowing the lawn, removing weeds, and even trimming small bushes and hedges. However, when it comes to the care and maintenance of trees it takes a very particular skill set to identify problems with trees and provide the proper care safely and efficiently. 

The result of putting the maintenance of a property’s trees in the qualified hands of a certified arborist won’t just ensure the prosperity of the trees but also for the property as a whole. Did you realize that close proximity to mature, healthy, well-maintained trees can increase a home’s property value by up 15%? The services of an arborist can help property owners maintain their property correctly in order to improve its value.

Here is a closer look at some of the additional areas that arborists specialize in: 

Pruning: Pruning, or the trimming and removal of overgrown or dead tree branches, can be necessary for various reasons including improving the health of the tree, improving its appearance to maintain aesthetic value, and preventing hazards from falling branches. Not all trees will require regular pruning in order to thrive or produce, but there are a number that do. Proper pruning can also save a diseased or injured tree.

Tree removal: Removing a tree without causing considerable damage to the surrounding property can be a very complicated process. A certified arborist will have the knowledge of how to approach tree removal efficiently and safely when a tree is dead, dying, causing risk, causing an obstruction, crowding nearby trees, or located in an area where there’s new construction.

Emergency tree care: Storms can bring down trees in ways that can be both overwhelming and dangerous for a homeowner to deal with alone. Not only will an arborist be able to correctly identify which trees can be saved and which cannot, they will be able to remove the tree debris on a property without further damage to life or property.

Planting: Planting a new tree is an investment for a property, and will provide numerous benefits throughout its multi-decade lifetime. But knowing which trees will flourish in which climates and in what soils under certain conditions is knowledge that the average person simply isn’t qualified to know. That is the kind of knowledge a professional certified arborist can provide. Consulting an arborist before and during tree planting can mean the difference between enjoying healthy and attractive trees on a property or making a costly planting mistake and letting a large property investment go to waste.

Other services: Arborists are also capable of providing care and preventive maintenance to other plants around a property as well as cabling and bracing for added support to branches with weak attachments, and soil aeration to improve root growth. 

How to become a certified arborist? 

So, those of you who are reading with a passion for nature and may be interested in pursuing a career as a professional arborist, what does it take to become a certified arborist?

There is a list of criteria that must be met before you earn ISA certification to become an arborist. In order to prove that you have been trained and are knowledgeable in all aspects of arboriculture, ISA arborists must have three or more years of full-time practical work experience in the field as well as a degree in the field of arboriculture, horticulture, landscape architecture, or forestry from a regionally accredited educational institute. 

Upon meeting these requirements, arborist applicants become eligible for the ISA Certified Arborist Exam, which is the final step to earning certification. This certification covers a large number of topics giving the candidates flexibility in the arboricultural profession.

Michigan certified arborists

Maintaining the health of a property’s trees is important for not only the aesthetic value of the property but also the safety, well-being, and monetary value of the nearby homes, businesses, or community. 

CHOP is Michigan’s premiere experts in tree removal and tree care. When you come to CHOP, every person who works directly with trees is a certified arborist, so you can rest assured our team has deep, up-to-date knowledge of tree species, tree anatomy, behavior patterns, health, and best practices and technology for tree maintenance to assist with any problem or project.

From utility line clearing to tree trimming and removal, we offer a special array of options to keep trees and greenery strong and healthy. We’ll listen to your needs, and based on our experience, we will construct a personalized plan for executing your needs when you need it, within your budget, and with unmatched precision.

If you want to learn more about this process, contact CHOP today.