The trees in our landscapes enrich our daily lives by providing shade, privacy, beauty and sanctuaries for wildlife that rely on them for food and shelter. They also add value to our properties. Therefore, when one of the prized specimens in your yard begins to look a little less healthy, it’s important to understand why you should always hire a Certified Arborist; especially if you want the tree to be saved!
So what exactly is a Certified Arborist, what are the different levels of certification and why are they the ones you should turn to when your trees are in need? Read on to find out!
An ISA Certified Arborist has a basic knowledge of arboriculture and recognition from the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). A professional arborist with these credentials has a minimum of three years of full-time experience working in the tree industry or a four-year degree in the field of arboriculture, horticulture, landscape architecture, or forestry. The individual must pass the rigorous ISA examination on tree biology, pruning, identification and selection, installation and establishment, diagnosis and treatment, safe work practices, soil management, urban forestry, tree protection and tree risk management.
Every three years the arborist must acquire 30 continuing education credits or retake the exam to maintain their certification and stay up-to-date on arboricultural practices and standards. Becoming an ISA Certified Arborist is a voluntary process through which individuals can measure their knowledge and competence required to provide proper tree care. Certification is not a measure of standards of practice. Certification can attest to the tree knowledge of an individual but cannot guarantee or ensure quality performance.
An ISA Board Certified Master Arborist is an elite specialist in the arboriculture industry and has years of experience and study under their belt. The Board Certified Master Arborist (BCMA) credential is the highest level of certification offered by ISA. Every three years, a Board Certified Master Arborist must acquire 60 continuing education credits. The typical BCMA has ten or more years of expertise in the field. They have matured well beyond the textbook and developed the skill and craft needed to be leading experts in the industry. As the physicians of the tree world, they can diagnose health issues by having a thorough understanding of tree biology and anatomy.
With expertise on all matters related to trees, a Registered Consulting Arborist (a designation awarded by the American Society of Consulting Arborists) is the authority on the safety, health, structure, valuation, and preservation of trees. Registered Consulting Arborists use their extensive knowledge and experience to advise property owners, municipalities, contractors, attorneys, insurance professionals, landscape architects, and other arborists on the most important and challenging tree care decisions.
Hiring a Certified Arborist to evaluate and diagnose your trees condition from a company like Ahlum & Arbor will give you a piece of mind that your trees are in good hands. If you have a tree or shrub that you are worried might have a pest infestation or disease, give us a call to set up an appointment with one of our knowledgeable ISA Certified Arborists.