Arborists are tree professionals, but unlike other types of professionals such as lawyers or doctors, there is no license or certificate to help you identify an arborist. Membership in professional organizations is a sign that an arborist is a professional, as is certification from the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA).
Full-service arborists are experts in all aspects of tree care, including transplanting, pruning, fertilizing, pest management, disease diagnosis, and tree removal. Consulting arborists are experienced in tree appraisal but only offer their opinions, not their services.
Where to find an arborist
You may be wondering where to find an arborist. One thing to do is to check the phone book to find the people and companies listed under “tree services”.
Never hire people knocking on your door offering tree cutting or pruning services, especially after a big storm. These can be untrained opportunists looking to make money from frightened residents. Find out if the person offers most of the services provided by arborists.
Choose an arborist with equipment such as an appropriate truck, hydraulic arm, wood chipper, and chainsaw. If a person has no tree structure, they are probably not a professional.
Another way to find someone with experience is to look for ISA-certified arborists. Arbor Day Foundation offers a certified arborist information page that allows you to find a certified arborist in all 50 states of the United States
Choose an arborist
Choosing an arborist you will be happy with takes time. Don’t accept the first person you talk to about your tree. Arrange several certified arborists to inspect your tree and suggest appropriate actions. Listen carefully and compare the answers.