Even with trees, a specialist might be needed. If someone is sick or needs to get something fixed but doesn’t have the proper know-how or tools, it makes sense to find someone who has proper training. You wouldn’t stitch up and care for a bad wound on yourself even though you may be an amazing seamstress. A medical professional is needed. It’s the same with trees. Even with proper care, sometimes trees need a doctor too.
It’s easy to do a search for a “tree doctor near me” to find a local arborist, but it’s a good idea to understand what arboriculture is to make sure you’re choosing someone that has proper certifications and plenty of experience. So what is arboriculture and what exactly does an arborist do?
- Understanding Arboriculture
Arboriculture is the management, cultivation, and study of trees, vines, shrubs, and other woody plants with long life spans. The science of arboriculture studies how these plants respond and grow to cultural practices and to their surroundings.
Arboriculture is both a practice and a science. The scientific aspect studies how trees grow and react in their habitat and what techniques can be used to utilize them for crops or gardening. It’s the practice of nurturing trees, wooded plants, and shrubs, and understanding what helps or hinders their growth.
- Know What an Arborist Does
An arborist, tree doctor, or arboriculturist generally has school training or has acquired many years of training and understanding in the field. Arborists can choose from a variety of focuses within the field of arboriculture, and each specialty requires a certain level of training. The four main specialties for arborists are municipal arborist, commercial arborist, utility arborist, and arboricultural specialist.
- Municipal arborists provide care for trees in urban towns and communities.
- Commercial arborists can work for an organization or be contracted to work for a business that gives tree care on a charge premise.
- Utility arborists provide any work needed to clear or prune vegetation that is within a certain proximity to electrical equipment and that could potentially come into contact with energized power lines.
- Arboricultural specialists are the professionals who analyze tree issues and evaluate individual trees and report their findings.
- Choose a Trained Tree Doctor
There are a couple of different ways to become a certified arborist. A degree can be obtained in the field of arboriculture, landscape architecture, forestry, or horticulture from an accredited institute in the region. The other way is by eligible, practical work experience on a full-time basis for three or more years in an arboriculture position. Make sure to check the training background of your potential tree doctor. On the International Society of Arboriculture website, you can search for a credentialed arborist in your area or check to see if a specific tree doctor has received credentials.
- Know Why Special Equipment Is Needed
There are many tools and special equipment needed and used by tree doctors. Not only have they been trained how to use the specialized tools, but they also take safety very seriously. Here are some of the basic equipment needs of an arborist:
- Cutting tools. You might think cutting is a last resort of treatment or repair—such as tree removal—but tree professionals using cutting for tree care just as often. Trimming, pruning, and shaping, for example, can all promote the healthy growth of trees. Arboriculturists have many different cutting tools for the many different jobs they do, and they’re trained to use them safely.
- Rigging equipment. Tree professionals use rigging equipment when climbing trees. It provides a safe way up and down for the arborist, a way to transport heavy equipment and power tools up and down, and a method of safely lowering huge cut limbs to the ground.
- Climbing equipment. There are many climbing tools used as well, and a good tree doctor knows the importance of keeping this equipment well-maintained to ensure safety. The majority of equipment in a tree doctor’s bag is often devoted to climbing and safety.
- Take Time to Ask Questions
Now that you have a better understanding of what an arborist or tree doctor is and what they do, you should know what questions to ask when you call companies from your “tree doctor near me” search. Here are some good questions to help get you started. There may be other pertinent questions you need to ask depending on your particular yard, trees, and project.
- What are their credentials? Be sure their experience matches your needs.
- Have they worked in your area long? It makes a big difference to have a tree doctor who’s familiar with the local vegetation.
- Do they have a list of references? Since the experience of the arborist you choose is important, you should find a tree doctor with at least 10 years of experience. They will have plenty of references when they have been helping trees for such a long time. You can also check online reviews for more information.
- Does the tree service company act professionally? How did they treat you when you made the first contact? How are they handling your interviewing? Do they get back to you when they say they will and have clear communication?
- Is the company willing to provide proof of insurance and licensing that’s up-to-date? It’s always good to check that their insurance and licenses are current.
- Will the company give you a detailed estimate? Having a written, detailed estimate helps with keeping costs close to what is discussed at the beginning. If everything is written out, there isn’t room for mistakes or large changes. This protects both you and the company.
- How long will the project take? Having a time frame discussed in the beginning will help keep expectations accurate and help you plan around the project properly.
- Has everyone who will be on the project had proper safety training? Safety is such an important part for all involved. You will feel much better knowing they’re taking all necessary safety precautions while working on your property.
At Mr. Tree, we can answer any questions you have. We are OSHA-approved and our highly trained team has decades of experience. We’re insured, licensed, and bonded for your protection. We look forward to hearing from you.