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What Does an Arborist Do?
Arborists are professionals who care for trees and shrubberies, helping them grow to be healthy and beautiful. They can help with tree planting, pest and disease prevention, and soil modification.
They can also provide advice on tree health and growth, and offer recommendations for fertilizers, pesticides and other treatments to keep your trees looking their best. A good arborist will also let you know if a particular tree or group of trees are in trouble and whether they should be removed from your property.
The first thing to do when hiring an arborist is to check their certification and experience levels. The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) developed a certification program in the 1980s to recognize arborists who meet certain requirements in their experience and knowledge, pass an exam and participate in a requisite amount of continuing education to maintain their certification.
Certified arborists usually have a minimum of three years of field work under their belt and are required to stay up to date on the latest techniques in the industry. Their expertise is invaluable for any homeowner.
A certified arborist can handle all of your tree needs, including emergency situations that may arise when storms or other weather events cause damage to your trees and limbs. This can include tree pruning, removing dangerous or dead limbs and cutting back large trees to protect houses, power lines, walkways and other structures.
Another service that arborists provide is tree removal, which can be a last resort for a number of reasons. If a tree is in danger of falling on your house or other structures, an arborist will be able to safely cut it down and bring it down quickly without causing any damage to the surrounding area.
Depending on the job, they may use a variety of equipment, such as trucks, tractors and chippers to prune, remove or treat trees and shrubs. They may also spray or fertilize them, and climb trees to reach certain areas of the tree or shrubbery.
These skills require a high level of stamina, as an arborist often works at heights and uses heavy equipment. Those who want to become arborists should apply for entry-level positions and shadow experienced professionals. This can give them a basic knowledge of how to work with these tools and how to perform their duties correctly.
Some arborists have their own businesses, while others are employed by landscape contractors and other forestry companies. The pay and benefits vary based on the size of the business, their location and the employee’s experience.
Qualifications for becoming an arborist can vary by state, but it’s important to have some degree of schooling in horticulture or landscape design. This can include a bachelor’s or master’s degree in horticulture, or even a certificate from an arboriculture college or university. Some employers will consider candidates with a high school diploma and experience, but most prefer applicants with some formal education in arboriculture or landscape design.