What Is a Certified Arborist? What does it mean?
Certified Arborists, as defined by ISA:
“Certified Arborists are individuals who have achieved a level of knowledge in the art and science of tree care through experience and by passing a comprehensive examination developed by some of the nation’s leading experts on tree care. Certified Arborists must also continue their education to maintain their certification and adhere to a Code of Ethics. Therefore, they are more likely to be up to date on the latest techniques in arboriculture.
Becoming an ISA Certified Arborist is a voluntary process through which individuals can measure their knowledge and competence required to provide proper tree care. ISA Certification is not government-sponsored or government-endorsed. It is administered by the International Society of Arboriculture as a way for tree care professionals to demonstrate their commitment to the profession and the industry.
Certification is not a measure of standards of practice. Certification can attest to the tree knowledge of an individual but cannot guarantee or ensure quality performance.”
As I prepare for my speaking engagements, I once again find the term “Certified Arborist” compromised. What does it stand for and what does it mean to you? I have defined the term Arborist and in fact I have used The Glossary of Arboriculture Terms (ISA definition). The problem is that it is much too broad. I find myself time and time again explaining to people why surveyors, public employees, etc., are allowed the opportunity the title of “Arborist”. Can a surveyor TRULY be an Arborist? How far can you go? Can a wood processor be an Arborist? Think of it, does it not render us to the status of surveyor of arboriculture. I look for the time when a Certified Arborist means something.
So as it stands right now, it is totally up to the prospect (YOU), to figure out who is going to be best suited, or most qualified for your needs. I can only give you my wisdom based on many years of experience along with holding the most certifications: Board Certified Master Arborist / Registered Consulting Arborist / Degreed / Licensed as well as over 20 years dedicated to this profession and considered to be an expert in the field of tree health care.