We often talk about hiring certified arborists for complicated or potentially risky tree care projects. But what is a certified arborist and what sets them apart from other tree care professionals? Learn more about how to become and choose a certified arborist and its benefits.
If you have at least three years of experience in the field of tree care or have a college degree in a tree related field (such as landscape architecture or horticulture), you can become certified through the ISA (International Society of Arboriculture) and/or the MSA (Minnesota Society of Arboriculture). These are just a couple possible certifications, as you can become certified on a local or national level. To become certified, you must pass an exam that covers multiple aspects of trees and tree care. After you’ve passed the exam, you must maintain your certification through continuing education credits or retaking the exam.
If you don’t have a recommendation from someone who has used a certified arborist, you will want to see their credentials and licenses. In addition to being certified in a local and/or national program, they may also be a member of a tree or landscape organization which shows dedication to staying informed. If you are hiring one in the state of Minnesota, you will need to find out whether or not the arborist is (or needs to be) licensed to work in that particular city, as they need to be aware of the processes of that city.
By choosing an arborist that is certified on a local or national level, you are choosing a person with top quality knowledge of the industry, kind of like how you might choose a CPA to do your taxes over someone who just has an accounting degree. Also, by maintaining their certification and participating in associations, they stay up to date on techniques and information that keeps your property looking beautiful and safe. You may want to hire them for specific projects, such as:
- Applying pesticides
- Pruning branches that are high or in dangerous locations
- Inspecting your trees for damage after an infestation or storm