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Arboriculture is the art of caring for trees and one who devotes himself to it is called an arborist [ahr-ber-ist]...

An arborist is a professional who is trained in the art and science of caring for, planting, and maintaining individual woody plants — which comprise of trees, shrubs and vines. Arborists are called upon to evaluate the condition of trees and make recommendations for their care. They also provide hands-on and supervisory services related to tree care such as pruning, fertilization, removal, and disease control. Arborists are trained and educated on a wide array of material and, more importantly, have the necessary field experience to identify and evaluate any potential issues. While there are no educational requirements for entry-level jobs in arboriculture, such as tree trimmer, tree climber, ground worker, or line clearance foreman, most higher-level arborist jobs require a degree or certification in arboriculture, landscape design, horticulture, or environmental science.


ISA Certified Arborist

The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) is the leading organization that certifies arborists in the United States. Requirements include "three or more years of full-time, eligible, practical work experience in arboriculture and/or a degree in the field of arboriculture, horticulture, landscape architecture, or forestry from a regionally accredited educational institute." Certification is valid for three years, during which time the arborist must complete 30 continuing education units (CEUs) in order to re-certify.

Most of the arborists at Almstead are ISA certified. In addition, some Almstead arborists also have the ISA's Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ). "This qualification promotes the safety of people and property by providing a standardized and systematic process for assessing tree risk. The results of a tree risk assessment can provide tree owners and risk managers with the information to make informed decisions to enhance tree benefits, health, and longevity."


Board Certified Master Arborist

The Board Certified Master Arborist or Boards Arborist credential identifies professional arborists who have attained the highest level of aboriculture offered by the ISA and one of the two top levels in the field. There are several paths to the this certification, but typically requires someone to be an ISA Certified Arborist for a minimum of three to five years before qualifying for the exam. The certification began as a result of the need to distinguish the top few arborists and allow others to identify those with superior credentials. The ISA added specialty certifications of Utility Specialist, for those maintaining vegetation around electric utility wires, Municipal Specialist, for those with additional experience managing public urban trees.

The Master Arborist examination is a far more extensive exam than the International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist Exam, and covers a broad scope of both aboriculture management, science and work practices.


Registered Consulting Arborist® (RCA)

The Registered Consulting Arborist (RCA) is a title that is conferred by the American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA) to a member that has demonstrated higher skills in certain technical areas related to trees and tree care — providing objective, independent opinions, with training for higher communication, presentation, and/or report writing skills. To be a ASCA Registered Consulting Arborist, an individual must:

  • Have an American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA) Membership*
  • Graduate from the ASCA Consulting Academy
  • Have 420 Continuing Education Units (CEU)
  • Submits and pass two consulting reports for technical writing review
  • Complete thirty (30) Continuing Education Units every two years to maintain registration


Licenses & Affiliations

Arborists may need state and local licenses to practice in some states or to perform certain services such as pest applications and tree and lawn care treatments. Many arborists are also members of industry organizations such as the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and  Northeast Organic Farmers Association (NOFA). Almstead has arborists that are licensed in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut and have additional certifications such as the ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ), Pesticide Applicator Certification, Tree Injection Certification, Soil Advisor Certification, Landscape Technician Certification, Certified Tree Care Safety Professional (CTSP), and others.

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