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.
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.
When a problem occurs—if a tree causes damage, is damaged by others or becomes a public safety hazard—a source for advice and mediation is often needed. This is the role of the consulting arborist: to bring a comprehensive, objective viewpoint to the diagnosis, appraisal and evaluation of arboricultural issues.
There are two ways to become a consulting arborist. An arborist can simply declare that he or she is now a consulting arborist, effective immediately. The second and better way is to join the American Society of Consulting Arborists and then become a Reistered Consulting Arborist. To become a Registered Consulting Arborist the arborist must first meet minimum educational and experience requirements. Then the arborist must take a three-day course, take an exam, and finally write reports that are graded by other Registered Consulting Arborists. The process of becoming a Registered Consulting Arborist takes from six months to a year.
Certified Arborists are experienced professionals who have passed an extensive examination covering all aspects of tree care. A Certified Arborist has a card from the ISA with the person’s name on it. Each ISA member also get an ISA membership card. If the person seeking tree work flashes an ISA card, make sure it is a Certified Arborist card with that particular person’s name on the card. There have been some cases in Houston, TX where a tree service owners, who is not a Certified Arborist, has flashed an invalid ISA membership card to a customer when asked if he was Certified.