What is a Certified Arborist?
A Certified Arborist is someone who has gained extensive training, experience, and a high level of knowledge in the art and science of arboriculture. These professionals must also go through a comprehensive examination that will enable them to become Certified Arborist if they pass.
Now get this. Certified Arborists must continue to master their craft long after they receive their certification. This is so they can constantly be up-to-date with the latest technologies and techniques in the field of arboriculture if they wish to remain certified professionals.
Therefore, if you’re thinking about hiring a tree pro to take care of and maintain your trees, a Certified Arborist is the way to go. Anyone with a chainsaw can chop up tree branches and limbs and call it pruning. It’s the knowledge and expertise in the proper way of pruning, trimming, and removing trees that really makes a difference.
Why Is It Important To Have A Certified Arborist
A certified arborist is a highly seasoned professional that has been certified by the International Society of Arboriculture. You can only become ISA-certified, bypassing rigorous certification exams that test your knowledge about all aspects of arboriculture (the study of how trees grow and respond to cultural practices and to their environment).
An arborist can help you with the following tree care services:
- Tree Removal: A service to remove a tree that has died, become infested with insects or pests, in some way poses a threat to the property, or is simply no longer needed.
- Tree Pruning: removing branches or stems to benefit the health, growth, and natural form of a tree.
- Emergency Tree Care: 24-hour service to respond to trees that have become hazardous due to storms or other hazardous situations.
- Tree Planting: Knowing where, when, and how to plant a tree is imperative to its success. A certified arborist can help you determine which tree is best for your property and help you plant it. This will help ensure a long, healthy life for the tree.
- Tree Health: A certified arborist can diagnose tree disease or pest problems and make appropriate recommendations for its treatment.
6 Essential Reasons You Should Choose A Certified Arborist
Tree cutters, tree pruners, tree surgeons or tree services – the name really doesn’t matter that much in the end. But when it comes to choosing a professional tree pruning company, there are some important factors you want to consider, as not all tree companies are the same. Just as you would want a qualified and experienced doctor to perform your surgery, when looking for someone to prune trees, manage your tree’s health or remove a tree, you should always choose a certified arborist. Here we look at six reasons why choosing a certified arborist is better for you and your trees.
Keeping Your Home Safe
Tree care can be a risky business. Sometimes entire trees need to be removed, the ground needs digging, or trees need to be climbed, so it’s absolutely crucial to be working with a professional when these jobs need to be done. Certified arborists know how to steer clear of property, houses, electricity wires and gas lines, so you get the job done right with no fuss or damage.
In-Depth Pruning Knowledge
Arborists are tree experts, which means they know what type of care is best for each type of tree and plant. Pruning your trees incorrectly can actually result in more rapid growth and the need for more frequent pruning, or in some cases, can even result in the tree’s death. With an arborist working on your trees, you can get the perfect look and trim you want while ensuring the best health for your trees.
A chainsaw in the hands of the inexperienced can spell disaster. Arborists are not only trained in proper tool use and first aid, but they also know when to use each type of tool. Switching to a hand saw to trim and thin out the tree helps to prevent the bark damage that can occur trying to do this fine work with a chainsaw.
Arborists not only know how to trim a tree perfectly but also how to keep the tree in the best of health. You want a tree company that leaves your yard beautiful both inside and out and your trees free from suckers, disease, insects, parasites and mistletoe.
Cutting Edge Techniques
Because qualified arborists are certified with the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), they are passionate about their work and always strive to stay on the cutting edge of the latest techniques and expert knowledge for tree care.
Better Long Term Results
Poor tree trimming not only makes your yard look unappealing in the short term, but it can also cause damage, growth problems and the opportunity for disease in the long term. Prevention is always better than cure. Getting tree care done right the first time is critical for maintaining a healthy and beautiful yard.
What Services Arborists Provide
Arborists are well-versed in arboriculture, the study of trees and how they grow, and they spend years receiving specialized training to secure their positions as proper custodians of trees.
Because the health of the trees around us is important to the entire environment, and not just humankind, arborists must know every angle there is to tree care. Taking care of trees is a very specialized practice, and it not only requires a great deal of knowledge but a lot of skill and experience. Much of tree care involves climbing high into the branches, which can be very dangerous and requires serious training.
One of the main services an arborist provides for cities, states and other organizations is pruning. Although branches are certainly important to a tree, there are times when it’s necessary to remove branches to promote proper health and growth. Branches that rub against each other, for instance, damage a tree’s bark, so arborists can and will remove them if they grow too close together. An arborist can also remove branches that are weak, diseased, insect-infested or in the process of dying since one dead branch can cause the entire tree to decay. Any limbs that create a hazard or obstruction for people, including drivers, should also be cut for safety’s sake.
Entire trees sometimes have to be removed by arborists, too, although it’s a last resort. An arborist will only remove a tree if it’s dying or dead, if it causes an obstruction or hazard that can’t be fixed by pruning or if it rests in a spot that will undergo construction. If a business wants to remove a certain number of trees to develop buildings and other infrastructure, an arborist can approve or deny any plans and provide consulting on future plans for tree planting around the development. If businesses illegally remove trees without permission, arborists have the ability to issue citations with big fines — movie director and actor Tyler Perry, for instance, was fined $177,000 for illegal deforestation around his Atlanta home in 2008 [source: Brown].
Storms can cause lots of damage to trees, and after a storm, it’s an arborist’s job to safely clean up the mess. They clear away any branches or limbs that fall onto the road or on top of houses, cars and power lines. They also remove any trees irreversibly damaged by the storm.
Finally, many arborists are typically eager to promote tree planting and tree growth and have extensive knowledge about how and where to plant trees. Location is especially important in tree planting. Knowing the specific climates and regions in which a tree can thrive and being aware of the various diseases and insects a tree can fall prey to will ultimately affect the success of that tree.
10 Ways To Keep Trees Healthy
Trees are the most valuable and hardest working parts of our landscape. They shade our homes and neighbourhoods, cutting energy costs. They increase property values, reduce air pollution and soil erosion, and provide habitat for wildlife. Plus, they add beauty and a calming presence to our everyday lives.
Since they are such a peaceful, serene part of the background, it’s easy to forget that trees require our care to thrive. Proper tree maintenance is essential to their continued growth and ongoing health. With that in mind, here are ten tips to keep your trees healthy:
Plant the right tree.
This is the first and one of the most important steps in making sure you get years of enjoyment from any tree. Choose a species that is well adapted to your climate and the specific conditions of soil, light and space at the planting site. For more information on the best trees for your region, visit your local nursery or local Cooperative Extension System office.
Remove stakes early
A tree that is allowed to sway in the wind develops a stronger trunk. If a new tree can’t stand on its own, use a two-stake system (one on either side of the root ball) with a loose, flexible tie in between to support the trunk. Remove the stakes as soon as the tree can stand alone, hopefully after one year.
Keep the grass away.
Grass growing up against the trunk competes with the tree for air, water and nutrients (and usually wins the competition). Young trees, in particular, often develop poorly when the grass is allowed to grow right up against their trunks. For best results, maintain a grass-free, mulched area around the trunk instead.
Young trees need regular watering, but even mature trees need to be watered during periods of drought. Water deeply to saturate the entire root zone (2-3 feet deep for mature trees) to just outside the drip line (an imaginary line from the outside of the tree canopy down to soil level). Allow the soil to partially dry before watering again. Don’t count on lawn sprinklers to do the job for you. They rarely wet deep enough and can result in shallowly rooted trees. Soil basins or drip irrigation are better options.
Fertilize when needed
Don’t assume trees need to be fed on an annual basis. Young trees may need occasional fertilizing until established, but mature trees often don’t need to be fed at all. Feed only if trees are growing poorly or have yellowing foliage. A soil test will confirm exactly which nutrients are needed.
Apply 2-3 inches of organic mulch, such as pine straw or compost, under the canopy of the tree. Mulch cools the soil, conserves moisture, improves soil texture and reduces weeds. Replenish often. Here are some helpful tips for mulching.
Pruning enhances the structure and strength of your trees, making thinning cuts (removing entire limbs at their origin) as opposed to heading cuts (cutting along the length of a branch or hat-racking). For large trees, consult a certified arborist. Pruning correctly and pruning at the right time can make all the difference.
Protect the roots.
Cars and heavy equipment should never be allowed to drive over the root areas of trees. The compact soil, reducing available oxygen and can kill roots. Nor should you remove or add soil beneath tree canopies without consulting a certified arborist. Changing grades can also harm roots and weaken trees, often killing them or making them more susceptible to storm damage.
Protect the trunk.
Bumping into trees with lawn mowers or whipping the trunks with weed-eaters damages the bark and trunk, weakening the tree structurally while inviting insects and disease. Young trees are particularly susceptible but can be protected with plastic wraps available at nurseries and garden centers. Better yet, maintain a 2- to 3-foot wide grass-free, mulched ring around the tree.
Insect pests like adult Japanese Beetles, Adelgids and Caterpillars can seriously damage or weaken trees. Try an application of BioAdvanced™ 12 Month Tree & Shrub Protect & FeedII*. It protects against insects for up to 1 year, plus feeds. Choose from either Concentrates or Granules, with both there’s no spraying! Simply apply it around the base of your tree for systemic protection from the roots to the tip of every leaf.