So You Want To Be An Arborist?

Making the decision to become a certified arborist may be an exciting choice, however, there are lots of thing to consider before starting on this professional journey. Doing the research on the roles and responsibilities, the companies in your area that need an arborist and the schooling/experience it will take are all important things to consider.

What is arboriculture?

The study of arboriculture is how trees grow and respond to their environments, as well as the techniques used to cultivate them. Those who practice arboriculture are called arborists. To be a successful arborist you must have both the physical skills and the knowledge needed to successfully care for trees. One thing to point out is arborists are different from landscapers. While there are some landscapers who have been trained as an arborist, in most cases the two professions are very different.

What does an arborist do?

Arborists are experts in maintaining trees and woody plants to the best of their health. With the vast variety of trees and regions where an arborist might work, the job does vary considerably depending on the company they work for or the region they live in. However, most arborists will be familiar with the following tasks as part of their job:

•    Prepare the site, backfilling, staking, watering, and mulching

•    Transplant seedlings and saplings to various sites

•    Plant trees

•    Prune trees to limit disease or physical ailments, or for aesthetic and safety reasons

•    Haul stumps and limbs, chip brush.

•    Evaluate trees for disease and pest problems

•    Structurally support weak trees and breaking branches

•    Remove trees grind stumps as needed

•    Control nutrient and water supply and consumption.

•    Examine a tree's worth from a financial perspective

•    Identify and remediate hazardous trees and other tree-related problems

•    Operating heavy machinery or hand tools

•    Responding to emergencies, including during storms

•    Processing and testing samples

What is the job demand for arborists?

The U.S. government predicts that employment of tree trimmers and pruners will grow at a rate of 18%. As the trend grows for cities to include more green space, many regions are planting more trees and landscape. This trend will increase opportunities for all in the landscape industry, especially for arborists.

How to get an ISA arborist certification?

Having a ISA certification will help you advance your career in the arboriculture industry. The ISA offers certification programs at different professional levels and specialties. For all certification exams, you must submit an application at least 12 days before the exam. One thing to understand is that getting your arborist certification is just the first step. You'll be required to take classes in the future to maintain your certification and you may also have to take periodic exams to make certain your skills and knowledge base has kept pace with changes in technology and innovation.

Think you have the passion to become an arborist? Join our team and check out our job openings!