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What Is a Licensed Arborist?

A licensed arborist is a tree specialist who has been certified by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). To become a licensed arborist, candidates must have a minimum of three years of full-time experience in arboriculture and pass an exam. Some states require additional credentials and compliance with industry standards.

Arborists work for landscaping companies, tree nurseries, private lands, parks, golf courses and utility companies. Some arborists also work for environmental advocacy organizations. The job of an arborist is to provide care for trees and shrubs, primarily by pruning, planting and fertilizing. Arborists are also responsible for diagnosing health problems and providing solutions.

If a tree has died or is damaged, an arborist can perform a tree removal service to safely remove the tree. To prevent damage to property or other trees, an arborist will install proper bracing to support the structure of a tree during the removal process. To help maintain the beauty of a garden, an arborist can prune or shape trees to fit their space. Arborists are also skilled in cabling, which involves using heavy gauge steel cable and eye bolts to secure limbs or trunks to reduce the risk of falling.

Some states have licensing requirements for arborists, including a high school diploma or GED certificate and certification by the ISA. An associate degree in horticulture or an bachelor’s degree in forestry can also prepare an individual to become a licensed arborist. Many arborists also take a series of courses to learn the latest techniques in the field and to obtain advanced certifications.

When hiring a licensed arborist, check for credentials and insurance. Look for an ISA membership card and a valid ISA Certification Number. Also ask for a proof of liability insurance for property damage and worker’s compensation. This is especially important when dealing with large trees and working near power lines.

To be a licensed arborist, you need to pass the ISA Arborist Examination, which includes both a written and practical exam. The ISA Arborist Certification Study Guide is the official study manual for the exam and can be purchased from the ISA. You should also have a commercial driver’s license if you will be driving to and from job sites.

Before hiring a licensed arborist, get several estimates from different companies. It is also a good idea to get references from past clients. When comparing prices, make sure you are looking at the total cost of the services rather than just the hourly rate. Also, be sure to consider the cost of any cleanup and disposal services. Also, be sure to ask the arborist about their methods and safety equipment. For example, if they are going to spray your trees with pesticides, be sure to find out what types of chemicals and the dosage they will use. It is important to hire an experienced, knowledgeable arborist. Otherwise, you could end up with costly and dangerous results. If you have questions about hiring a qualified arborist, contact your local ISA office for further information.

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