Trees add value to your property and the health of your community. Beautiful, healthy trees are an investment with substantial returns in community and ecological benefits. Conversely, poorly maintained trees can be a significant liability, even a hazard. Tree work performed incorrectly not only poses a risk to the tree itself but also endangers the person performing the work. Tree work should only be performed by those trained and equipped to work safely and properly.
An arborist is a specialist in the art and science of caring for individual trees. An ISA Certified Arborist is trained to understand the needs of trees and provide the care and maintenance necessary to enhance a tree’s health, beauty, and structural soundness.
What Arborists Can Do for You
ISA Certified Arborists help maintain the investment in your trees by providing a variety of services from planting, pruning, and removal to appraisals, expert witness, and emergency tree care.
An ISA Certified Arborist knows how and when to prune trees to maintain or improve their overall health, appearance, and safety. Your trees may need pruning to:
- Train young trees to develop strong structure
- Thin limbs to increase light penetration and air flow through the canopy
- Remove damaged branches and limbs
- Remove limbs that interfere with structures or rub together causing wounds
- Remove dead, diseased, or weak limbs
- Create better structure to reduce the potential for storm damage
- Remove excessive weight at the ends of branches
- Create better shape in a damaged tree
Arborists can recommend the right tree for the right place as well as how to properly plant trees. The wrong tree in the wrong location nearly always results in future problems from limited growing space, insects, diseases, or poor growth. Large tree planting requires special equipment and skills. An ISA Certified Arborist can consult on proper planting depth and overall care to help ensure mature trees recover from the move.
Preventive care and maintenance ensures a tree’s sound structure and overall good health. Proper care will help the tree better defend itself against insects, diseases, and problems associated with site conditions, particularly important in urban settings that can be stressful to trees. Arborists prescribe health maintenance measures such as:
- A preventive health and safety assessment or evaluation
- A spray or injection program to control certain insects or diseases
- Aeration to improve root growth
- Cabling or bracing for added support to branches with weak attachment
- Corrective pruning
- Seasonal irrigation
Emergency Tree Services
Natural events such as storms or earthquakes may cause limbs or entire trees to fall, potentially impacting people, other trees, buildings and structures, or cars. Downed trees are tremendously heavy, which makes them dangerous to remove or trim. An arborist can assist in performing the job in a safe manner while reducing further risk of damage to people or property.
In addition, extreme care must be taken around trees and limbs entangled in utility lines during a storm or other event. When in contact with live utility wires, trees can carry electricity and be extremely dangerous. When power lines are involved with downed and/or damaged trees, you should always call your local power provider first.
Tree removal is a last resort; however, circumstances often warrant removal. Many ISA Certified Arborists also hold a Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ). These individuals are uniquely qualified to conduct a risk assessment and provide mitigation options, including removal. Arborists have the skills and equipment to safely and efficiently remove trees. Removal may be indicated when a tree is:
- Assessed as irreparably hazardous by a qualified arborist
- Being replaced by a more suitable specimen
- Crowding or harming other trees
- Dead or dying
- Hazardous with conditions impossible to mitigate by other means
- Located improperly in a construction or development site
Arborists provide a variety of other tree care services as well, including:
- Appraisal of the value of a tree
- Hazard tree assessment
- Installation of lightning protection systems in some regions
- Protection plans for existing trees on development and construction sites
- Stump grinding