An arborist is a person that performs tree care services. These tree care services may include tree pruning, tree removal, tree spraying, tree fertilization, or even tree planting. Many arborists can also diagnose tree problems such as how to control insect pests on trees or how to control tree diseases. Arborists often work for tree services, but they may also be city foresters or work for themselves as tree care consultants.
If an arborist has enough tree care experience, or a university degree in forestry or a horticultural field, he/she may decide to become an ISA Certified Arborist. The International Society of Arboriculture certifies arborists that have attained the necessary experience to qualify to take the arborist exam. The ISA’s Certified Arborist exam is extensive and covers all aspects of tree care.
The ISA Certified Arborist credential is not simply a matter of passing the certification exam one time. The ISA Certified Arborist credential lasts only three years. To maintain certification the ISA Certified Arborist must either have accumulated 30 hours of continuing education units in three years or he/she must retake the certified arborist exam to retain their certification.
ISA certification is voluntary and doesn’t guarantee the arborist will perform tree care services to industry standards. The certification does indicate the arborist has experience performing tree care services and has passed an extensive examination that covers all aspects of tree care. ISA certification also indicates a certain amount of commitment on the part of the arborist to keep up to date on the ever expanding research and changes within the tree care industry.
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