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What an Arborist Does & What to Look For When Hiring One

If your car is malfunctioning or needs maintenance, typically the best place to take it is to the mechanic. The same principle applies to trees: an arborist is going to be the best resource for maintaining and prolonging the life of a tree. So what exactly is an arborist? They are professionals trained in the science of caring for, maintaining, and planting of trees. A certified arborist is issued their certification from the ISA, or International Society of Arboriculture.

Of course there are general tree-maintenance projects that can be done without the help of an arborist, but an arborist has specialized knowledge and training of trees that will ensure the tree(s) will have a long, healthy life that can add value to the property they reside on. Trees should be serviced and taken care of by those who are equipped to take care of them safely.

Arborist Services

The question that follows this idea is this: what kind of services does an arborist offer? Here’s a list of services and what they entail:

  • Pruning – pruning removes limbs that are weak or dead, interfere with structures, have been damaged by storms, and those that pose a safety risk. Some pruning techniques are used to improve tree shape or give young trees proper structure. An arborist can determine the proper type of pruning necessary to improve the health and appearance of the tree, as well as the safety of the pruning process concerning the tree and the person doing the pruning.

  • Tree Removal – some trees may not be able to be saved. Arborists can determine whether or not a tree needs to be removed due to the tree being dead or in the process of dying, trees that are posing a safety risk or causing obstruction that pruning won’t resolve, or if they are located in an area that construction is needed.

  • Planting – arborists can also take care of planting trees. Most arborists can even recommend the best type of tree for the location; the wrong tree in the wrong location can lead to problems in the future such as disease, insects, and limited growth space.

  • Emergency Tree Removal – natural disasters and accidents happen, and arborists can assist in removing trees safely and in a way that ensures no further property damage as a result of the removal.

Some other services an arborist can provide are:

  • Installing lightning protection systems

  • Fertilization/soil modification for improved tree growth

  • Preventative maintenance (against disease, insects, etc.)

  • Consulting and legal services relating to trees

Choosing an Arborist

While choosing an arborist is an important task, the main thing to remember is that just because an arborist is certified does not guarantee quality work. It’s important to do the proper amount of research before choosing an arborist to do the required work. Remember these few tips:

  • Check for ISA certification – this means they are experienced professionals.

  • Ask for proof of insurance and call the insurance company with any questions.

  • Stay away from door-to-door salesmen; reputable companies don’t have time for this.

  • Check for permits and licenses.

  • Ask for references (in other words, find out what kind of work they have done in the past).

Remember these few tips to stay on the path to getting an arborist that can be trusted to do the best work possible.