Certified Arborist Qualifications
The arborist you choose should have a deep understanding of arboriculture. To help you select the certified arborist for your needs, here is some vocabulary that any trained local arborist should know.
Arborist – A specialist in the care of woody plants, especially trees. The different abilities and skills between Arborist is huge. Like any industry there is the best and the not so best.
Arboriculture – The planting and care of woody plants; especially trees.
Urban Forest – Trees that reside in an urban environment like a city.
Arbor Day – An unofficial holiday for the public awareness of trees observed in all 50 states, most often on the last Friday in April.
Now that you have the preliminary information, what really sets an Arborist apart from the pack is their knowledge, experience, and certifications.
What is a Certified Arborist?
A certified Arborist has acquired certification when they have passed a written test covering many different subtopics of Arboriculture. There are varying degrees of certification on both the State and National levels. Among practicing Arborists in the Kansas City area, you may see several certifications, in which we will explore further.
ISA (International Society of Arboriculture) Certified Arborist vs
KAA (Kansas Arborist Association) Certified Arborist
This is where certification gets a bit tricky. For instance, a person may be a member of the Kansas Arborist Association by paying a fee and attending some workshops. They may even display the logo somewhere on their website. However, this does not mean they are certified.
Certified arborists must also be properly insured, but you may have insurance and not be certified. These stipulations can be very confusing to the consumer. The best thing you can do is ask questions. Properly certified Arborists will have no problem providing this information for you.
The ISA certification strictly adheres to a set of national bylaws and standards. Aside from passing the written test, there are on-going requirements. To keep certification one must earn 30 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) within three years. The ISA and other professional organizations offer these courses periodically.
The KAA Certification also honors the national bylaws and standards. KAA certification is a week-long course composed of daily tests and a final. The KAA has put a good deal of energy behind improving our industry.
At Hendrickson Tree Care, we have attended some very impressive conferences hosted by the KAA over the last three decades. These conferences have been led by experts in the field from around the country. This road of knowledge can be the first path in an ever expanding field of Arboriculture.
Gaining Arborist Certification is the Beginning
Arborists are not all equal in their knowledge and understanding of how trees work. Think of it like a doctor that just graduated from medical school. Will that doctor be more experienced in five years? We all hope so.
As with any business, more experience should equate to more knowledge, but not always. If a person is taught by a mentor who had no quest for knowledge, they will gain none. It could result in a cycle of bad knowledge passed from one generation to the next. Individuals that are certified have proven a quest for knowledge which allows them to further their understanding of proper tree care.
Choosing an Outstanding Arborist
There are many things that make an outstanding Arborist. The combination of knowledge, skills, and ability make for a reliable Arborist. How many Continuing Education Units (CEUs) has your Arborist received over the last three years? This is a question you will want to ask when seeking a qualified Arborist. To give you an example and outline our knowledge base, click below to see a list of CEU’s our certified arborists have obtained.
Continuing Education Units for Hendrickson Tree Care Employees
Knowledge is not the only factor to consider when hiring an Arborist. Each member of the company should have received training to perform specific abilities. We train our Arborists with the latest techniques in climbing, rigging, and grounds work. Together, the crew works as a team, safely performing each task in a controllable and efficient manner.