Monday, June 17, 2024
Gardening for BeginnersTrees & Shrubs

When to call an arborist

Trees are complicated organisms. It is hard to identify a problem without the help of a professional. You need to think about overhead power lines when pruning. Consider underground power and gas connections when removing stumps.  

Call an arborist to do this work and to look after removing diseased or partially broken limbs. You can inflict fatal damage on your tree if you are not an expert.

Pruning requires skill

Proper pruning requires kill to make the right cut and knowledge about how trees heal themselves. You need to know when it is safe to prune and how. Arborists are able to handle general tree care and have knowledge about pest and disease control. They can advise you about how you can personally contribute to the care of your tree. 


Awareness of arboriculture as a serious profession has been growing since the International Society of Arborists (ISA) began issuing certification to trained arborists in 1993. Generally, to become certified, the ISA requires three years’ experience in some aspect of tree care and a successfully written exam that covers all areas of arboriculture.

What to look for when selecting an arborist

• In addition to checking ISA certification, ask how long the person has been certified. The ISA requires that an arborist update his education every three years. Silviculture practices and tree knowledge change. An arborist who has had four cycles of renewal has been in the business for longer and gained more experience. He will also be armed with the latest information on tree care. 

• Find out if the arborist is insured. Every arborist should have both personal and property damage insurance, as well as workers’ compensation. This will help you avoid personal liability and to guard against damage costs to your own property. 

• Reputation and reliable references are important when arborist shopping. Make sure that he who actually does the job is he who was actually the recommendation and not someone working under him.

Trees work is dangerous

Tree work is one of the most dangerous of all occupations. The fatal accident rate is over 30 per 100,000 workers, compared to the average of 4 or 5 per 100,000 (a policeman’s risk is about 14 per 100,000). Many other arborists suffer serious injuries from falls each year. So value your certified arborists – they risk their lives for our trees.