When searching for a tree care company, there are several things to look for before making a

  • Certification - Ask if the arborists on staff hold an ISA certification. ISA offers a range of
    certification credentials from Certified Tree Worker/Climber Specialist to Board Certified
    Master Arborist. To be certified individuals must pass a voluntary comprehensive exam.
    Certification must be maintained through continuing education, which means they should be
    up-to-date on the latest in arboricultural technology and are knowledgeable of acceptable
    practices. Some states also require licensing for tree care companies. Check your state's
    requirements, and make sure companies you are considering are in compliance.

  • Professional Affiliation - Ask about membership in professional organizations such as the
    International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). Affiliation with industry organizations
    demonstrates a willingness to stay up-to-date on the latest techniques and information.

  • Advertisement - Check the local yellow pages directory, etc. for arborists who list
    themselves as ISA Certified Arborists or display the official logos of professional membership.
    Also look for logos of business accreditation by organizations such as The Tree Care Industry
    Association (TCIA), who requires they have an ISA Certified Arborist on staff. Most reputable
    tree care professionals do not go door to door soliciting business, so avoid those companies
    that show up at your doorstep offering to prune your trees.

  • Insurance - Ask for proof of insurance and then verify coverage with the insurance
    company. A reputable arborist should have insurance to cover personal and property damage
    as well as workers compensation. If you hire an uninsured tree expert, you can be held liable
    for any damages or injuries that occur while they are on the job.

  • References -  Ask for references from past customers and do not hesitate to check them,
    or to visit the locations where the company or individual has done tree care work.

  • Estimates -  Do not be afraid to ask for an estimate, and it is okay to get more than one
    estimate. You should not always select the lowest bid. When examining the bids, you should
    look at all specifications and credentials, and the work to be done to determine which
    company will provide the best service with the skill and professionalism needed to protect
    your investment. And most importantly get it in writing. Most reputable arborist will have the
    customer sign a contract so be sure to review it and do not be afraid to ask questions.

For more information on tree care, why you should hire an arborist, and how to find an ISA
Certified Arborist in your area, visit

International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), headquartered in Champaign, Ill., is a nonprofit
organization supporting tree care research and education around the world. As part of ISA's
dedication to the care and preservation of shade and ornamental trees, it offers the only
internationally-recognized certification program in the industry.

For more information,
contact a local ISA Certified Arborist or visit
(copyright ISA)

"Hire an Arborist" in PDF Format
Find a certified arborist
Past President & Certification Liaison, Rich Herfurth
Plant trees for Arbor Day, April 29th!
Are you an ISA Certified Arborist?
An arborist is a professional who is trained in the art and
science of planting, caring for, and maintaining trees. Why
hire an arborist? Proper tree care is an investment which can
lead to substantial returns. Well cared for trees are not only
attractive but will also add value to your property, while
poorly maintained trees end up being a liability.

Knowing when and how to hire an arborist is an important
decision for property owners. The International Society of
Arboriculture (ISA) offers the following tips to help make an
informed decision.
Planting Trees The Root Washing Way - Jim Flott
What is an Arborist?
by Alex Shigo
(credit: Dwayne Neustaeter)
P.O. Box 435
Norwell, MA 02061
Phone: 978-844-0441
New England Chapter
International Society of Arboriculture
Visit the NEC-ISA on Facebook!
"An arborist is a person who
understands trees, and is able to
make decisions, followed by correct
treatments.  That's it!"

- Alex L. Shigo (1930-2006)
2. Tree Removal - Arborists can help determine whether or not a tree should be removed,
though usually this is a last resort. Arborists have the skills and equipment to safely and efficiently
remove trees. Tree removal is dangerous and should be done by a professional.

3. Emergency Tree Care - Storms can cause major damage to limbs or entire trees which can
result in damage to other property. These trees need to be removed or trimmed to lessen the
long-term damage to the tree and surrounding property. This is dangerous work and an arborist
should be hired to perform this job safely.

4. Planting - Planting the right tree in the right place is important for the long term health of the
tree. Arborists can recommend the appropriate tree for the desired location, and assist in proper

There are many other services that arborist provide when necessary such as fertilization, insect
control, cabling, aeration, and lightning protection. Consulting with an arborist and establishing a
plant health care plan will help determine when these services are necessary. Money spent on
hiring an arborist is well worth it. Many tree care services can be dangerous and paying a
professional may cost you less than a trip to the emergency room, states Eric Duchinsky, ISA
Director of Membership and Public Relations.
Stockbridge School
New England Chapter ISA | ©2016