Frequently Asked Questions

What's Arboriculture?
The care of trees is called arboriculture (ar-bór-i-cul-tur) from the Latin "arbor" meaning tree and "culture" meaning care or cultivation as "agri-culture" is the cultivation of food crops. Arboriculture differs from the study of trees which is called Dendrology. People who are familiar with the cultivation of trees are called "arborists".
What's an Arborist?
There are many types of arborists. Arborists are people knowlegable in the care and maintainance of trees. They can have backgrounds as tree workers, horticulturalists, landscape professionals, or academics. The industry has adopted the word "arborist" in an attempt to distinguish themselves from those with less knowlege about trees, although anyone can call themselves an arborist without any advanced training or experience.
What's a Certified Arborist?
There are two main associations within the United States that have exams for the certification of arborists. One is the National Arborist Association or NAA and the International Society of Arboriculture or ISA. The ISA Arborist Certification is more widely recognized and is the type that is often required by governmental agencies.
The ISA requires an applicant to have at least five years experience within the industry and must pass a profiency exam. Once certified the arborist must be re-certified every three years. For re-certification the arborist must obtain at least 30 Continuing Education Units or CEU's during that three year period.
When choosing an arborist to maintain your trees you should look for an ISA Certified Arborist number. This number separates Certified Arborists from just members of the ISA. This number often is preceeded by the the local chapter initials. So a certified arborist may have "WCISA Certified Arborist no. 2110" in their ad. The "WC" signifies the Western Chapter and "ISA" signifies the International Society of Arboriculture.
For more information on the International Society of Arboriculture(ISA) or to find an ISA Certified Arborist near you visit their website at: or call (217) 355-9411
For the Western Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (WCISA) see: or call (530) 892-1118
What's a Consulting Arborist?
Many consulting arborists are ISA certified arborists, foresters, horticulturalists, academics and some are Registered Members of the American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA). Many arborists can define themselves as consulting arborists without any designation from an industry association. The American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA) is the primary industry association whose arborists specialize in consulting.
ASCA Registered Member applicants must have at least three years experience within an arboricultural related field, and either a four year degree in a arboriculture related major or have accumulated over 240 of approved Continuing Education Units (CEU's). Applicants must attend and graduate from the ASCA Arboricultural Consulting Academy and submit several arborist reports for review and acceptance by ASCA Board Members.
For more informaition on the American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA) or to find an ASCA Registered Member near you visit their website at: or call (301) 947-0483