How To Find a Tree Expert

Studies show that proper pruning can reduce wind damage from storms and cure defects that may add years of life to your tree.  A certified arborist has specialized knowledge and expertise in tree care.  They can assess the health and structural integrity of your trees, identify risks and provide solutions.  Many arborists are not affiliated with a tree trimming company and act as independent consultants. Some may be able to refer you to companies that can carry out the recommendations that will be provided in your tree assessment.

Arborists can also diagnose and treat tree diseases and pest infestations.  Left unchecked, these issues can quickly spread and jeopardize the entire landscape.

The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) offers a certification program that involves passing an examination on tree care and safety, agreeing to adhere to a code of ethics, and maintaining certification through continuing education.  The highest level of certification is a Board Certified Master Arborist (BCMA) and is designed for arborists who have significant experience and expertise in the field and have passed an advanced certification exam.  The majority of arborists in Northeast Florida are ISA Certified Arborists; there are few BCMA Certified Arborists in our region.

Below are the Top 6 Questions to ask an arborist:

  1. What is your certification and experience? Confirm that the arborist is certified by a reputable organization like the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). Ask about their experience in the field and if they have dealt with similar tree species or issues as yours.
  2. What is the overall health of my trees? Have the arborist assess the health of your trees. Are there any signs of disease, pest infestations, or structural problems? A comprehensive evaluation will help you understand your trees’ current condition.
  3. What tree care services do you recommend?  Based on their assessment, ask the arborist for specific recommendations for tree care, such as pruning, fertilization, pest control, or disease management. Inquire about the frequency of these services and any associated costs.
  4. Can you provide references or testimonials?  Request references from previous clients who have had similar tree work done by the arborist. This will give you an idea of their performance and customer satisfaction.
  5. Do any of my trees pose safety risks?   Safety is paramount when it comes to trees on your property. Ask the arborist if any of your trees have structural issues, dead branches, or other hazards that may require immediate attention or removal.
  6. Can you provide proof of insurance and licenses?  Ensure that the arborist has liability insurance and workers’ compensation coverage to protect you and their employees in case of accidents or damage during tree work. Also, check if they have the necessary permits or licenses required by local authorities.

To find an arborist in Northeast Florida, or anywhere else in Florida, go to the ISA’s site Trees Are Good and search by your region.


Learn more >>  Hear what one local Certified Arborist told First Coast News about finding an expert, and about dealing with insurance companies regarding the trees on your property.