Tips to Find a Certified Arborist

If you are having tree problems that you can’t fix yourself, it may be time to hire a certified arborist. An arborist can evaluate the condition or health of your tree. They can also treat trees that are infested with pests and are diseased. They also trim, prune and remove trees.

Who is Considered an Arborist?

An arborist is a tree care professional with a license. They may also have memberships in professional organizations and a certification from the International Society of Arboriculture - ISA. Full-service arborists have the experience to deal with all types of tree care, including pruning, transplanting, managing pests, fertilizing, diagnosing diseases, and removing trees. Consulting Arborists are experts in evaluating trees but do not provide Tree Care Services.

Where Can I Find an Arborist?

If you are wondering where to find an Arborist, here is the right place. But you can also start by checking your phone directory. Look for companies that are listed under the term or category “tree services.” Another option is to ask neighbors and friends about any arborists that they have used in their yards.

Stay away from people that just pop up at your front door offering their pruning and cutting services, even if it's after a big storm. In most cases, the people that knock on your door are untrained opportunists trying to make a buck after a storm. You want a trained and certified Arborist that has all the right equipment, including a wood chipper, the appropriate truck or trucks, a hydraulic boom, and a chainsaw, among other things. If you find somebody at your door without any sort of tree equipment, it is very likely they are not a tree care professional.

Another way you can find an expert or certified Arborist is by checking with the Arbor Day Foundation. Here you can find a list of certified Arborists all across the United States.

Choosing an Arborist

Choosing the right arborist can take time. You should not just pick the first person you find on your search. Check with various organizations, and see what they have to offer. Get several arborists to provide you with an estimate and an assessment of your specific case. Ask as many questions as you have to ensure they are knowledgeable and to ensure you understand their reasoning behind any suggestion or decision. If someone suggests tree topping, we recommend you steer clear of them and their services, as that can be one of the most harmful things you can do to a tree.
When looking at cost estimates, don’t choose the basement price. It is quite common to find that the level of experience you find at these prices will be similar to the price - basement level.
Lastly, you want to ask about insurance and also ask for proof. Ask about liability insurance, as well as worker’s compensation insurance to make sure they have the proper coverage to handle your property without any liability issues.

Practical Tips for Choosing a Qualified Arborist

  1. Check Their Credentials
    Do they have a membership in a professional organization?
  2. Get References
    And while you are getting these references, make sure they are valid. Contact any listed character references to inquire about the service and also the level of expertise you can expect. Also, check Google, Yelp, and other online platforms to see what people have to say about them.
  3. Get Multiple Estimates
    We spoke about this before, and we touch on it again because it is a very important part of comparing your options. Look at the specifications of each estimate to ensure you are comparing apples to apples.
  4. Don’t Get Too Excited About Discounts
    There are a lot of discounts that service providers can offer, but don’t take the plunge when you are offered a big discount. You don’t ever want to rush into the decision when hiring an arborist. You need to be certain you understand the work that needs to be done and how the costs for services are calculated. While you will want to benefit from a discount, you don’t want this to be at the expense of the work.
  5. Stay Away from Excessive Pruners
    Expert arborists don’t recommend drastic pruning or tree topping. Stay away from those that do.
  6. No Climbing Trees in Spikes
    Shoes with spikes or spurs can actually do more harm to your tree. They wound the tree, and an open wound is an invitation for pests and diseases, which can kill your trees at the most and weaken them at the very least.
  7. Say No to Door-Knockers and Cold Callers
    Know what type of tree service or tree care you need, and always verify a firm’s expertise in that area before you opt to go into business with them. You always want to get a reputable company to ensure your trees continue to grow healthy and lush after their care and for many years to come.
  8. Choose an Arborist with a Fair Market Rate
    Proper tree work is never cheap. Certified arborists are insured, licensed, and have to maintain specialized equipment, so they can't be cheap. Instead of looking for the lowest price, look for a fair price. So do your research to see the range of costs for tree care services in your area, and then stay closer to the middle and upper end of the range.
  9. Get Proof
    When you choose a provider, ask for proof of licenses and insurance before starting a contract with them. You want to ensure that they are compliant with state requirements, and you want to ensure that they have the proper coverage, so in the event of injury or damage, you are not the one liable.

Additional Tips

Many areas of tree care can be subjective. There may be some considerations you may need for your specific job. So you should always start off with a signed contract. Get familiar with the TCIA - Tree Care Industry Association. A business that is TCIA accredited is required to provide certain documentation annually so they can retain their accreditation. The TCIA further goes through an in-person audit every 3 years, so it really is a good accreditation to look out for. There are many tree service companies on the market, but you want to hire a certified arborist. Always get as much information about a company as you can, and use all our tips above. When shortlisting your potentials, don’t forget to have Evergreen Tree Services on that list!