Hiring a Certified Arborist

Calling oneself an “arborist” does not necessarily mean a person is a Certified Arborist. A Certified Arborist has a level of knowledge about trees and tree care and has passed an exam developed by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). Some Certified Arborists have more extensive knowledge from their years of experience working with trees, through continuing education, and through degrees and certifications earned in related fields.

The following is a list of Community Forestry Coalition partners that employ certified arborists:

To find a Certified Arborist in your area, go to the ISA website and search by name or location.

Not all tree care companies have Certified Arborists and not all Certified Arborists work for tree care companies. Certified arborists may work for nurseries, landscape maintenance companies, cities, counties, or utility companies.

Here are some helpful tips to consider before hiring a Certified Arborist:

  1. Ask for credentials to verify certification. Certified Arborists should carry a membership card issued by the International Society of Arboriculture that shows the ISA logo, the arborist’s name, their certification number and an expiration date.
  2. Ask for certificates of insurance, including proof of liability for personal and property damage as well as worker’s compensation. Verify the insurance is current. If an uninsured worker is injured on your property or damages a neighbor’s property you may be held liable.
  3. Check for a city business license.
  4. Ask for references from previous customers and check a few if possible.
  5. Get a second opinion when it comes to diagnosing tree problems or treatments. Tree problems can be incorrectly diagnosed. You wouldn’t want to pay for a treatment that isn’t necessary!
  6. Get more than one price bid for the job to be done.
  7. Under no circumstances should tree climbing spikes be used to climb trees for pruning. Spikes are acceptable when a tree is being removed.

Read more about hiring a Certified Arborist including some of the services they provide at the ISA Web Site.