Any random person with a chainsaw can claim to know how to do tree work. But what kind of training do they have? Do they know where the line is between maintaining a tree and harming it? Are they up to date on the latest techniques in the industry?
How do you know they are a true tree care professional?
One way is to find out if they are a certified arborist or whether their company has certified arborists on staff.
Why does an arborist certification matter when you're looking for tree service? We're so glad you asked.
An ISA certification can give you a whole lot of peace of mind
At Carolina Tree Care, a number of our arborists are certified by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). Do they or any other tree professional need to have this certification to perform tree work? No, it's completely voluntary. But having this certification is often proof of a high level of knowledge, skill, and expertise in the tree care field.
To qualify for ISA certification, a person has to show proficiency in areas like tree biology, diagnosis, maintenance practices, and safety.
They're also trained and tested on these areas and more:
- Tree health
- Pest management
- Soil fertility
- Storm damage assessment
- Cabling and bracing
- Proper pruning techniques
To maintain the certification, they also have to fulfill continuing education requirements, which makes it more likely that they'll know the latest techniques in the arboriculture world.
Why does all this matter? It matters because when an ISA Certified Arborist® is caring for your trees, they're thinking about more than just aesthetics. They're thinking about how their actions will affect the health and longevity of the tree. They consider things like how much of a tree they can prune before it becomes detrimental to the tree, how soil conditions and weather may be affecting your tree, and how the various symptoms your tree is exhibiting may point to a larger problem.
Ultimately, when an ISA Certified Arborist® evaluates your tree and gives you recommendations, you can trust that the recommendations are backed by a high level of knowledge and expertise.
ISA Certified Arborists® also pledge to adhere to the ISA's Code of Ethics, which acts as a guide and reference for the daily decision making and professional conduct of arborists.
That's more than we can say for your neighbor and their new chainsaw.
Stephen Weil, plant health care manager and ISA Certified Arborist® here at Carolina Tree Care, says he took the exam and became ISA certified as soon as he became eligible.
"I view it as a mark of professionalism and a minimal prerequisite to being able to provide sound and scientifically based tree care," he says.
Stephen also says the certification helps him make better tree care decisions and perform appropriate tree care practices.
"The continuing education requirements also serve to keep my knowledge and skills current in a complex and evolving research-based field," he says.
Next time you're researching tree care companies in the Charlotte or Raleigh, NC area, be sure to look for a company that employs ISA Certified Arborists® so you know you're working with a company you can trust.
Checking for ISA certification is just one of many things that can help you narrow down your search for a reputable tree service. We've put together a whole list of other qualifications for you to consider here.
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