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What Certified Arborists Actually Do

You may or may not know that Precision Tree Services’ owner and foreman James Flawith is one of Courtenay’s few certified arborists. This is great news for the next time you’re wondering, “Hey, do I know any arborists near me?” Because you can say yes. Yes you do.

But all joking aside, certified arborists have the great responsibility of making sure trees are taken care of and looking ridiculously good. And how do they do this? By having extensive training on maintaining, pruning and fertilizing trees. They can also rescue trees from pests or diseases, and deal with dangerous situations like dangling branches, trees fallen over roads or vegetation near electrical equipment in a safe and efficient manner.

In our humble opinion, certified arborists play an important role in any community and if you aspire to pursue this as a career, we’re here to support you.

What is an arborist?

To put it simply, arborists are responsible for trees throughout their life cycle. They look after maintenance, health, appearance and safety. Certified arborists can work in the public or private sector and can be employed by a company or work as an independent contractor.

Here are just a few of the sectors that may employ arborists:

  • Municipalities
  • Parks
  • Landscape companies
  • Golf courses
  • Education campuses
  • Utility companies
  • Stratas

While arborists do not need a degree to work in the industry, having accreditation is certainly helpful and can get you into specific organizations, which require specific certifications.

How to become a certified arborist

Some industries have their own safety and certification programs for arborists, and depending on where you live there will be different training programs available. 

For example, in British Columbia there are arborist technician programs through trades schools like Trades Training BC and ITA. The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) also offers an arborist certification program. These programs usually involve coursework as well as apprenticeships to teach and test knowledge on soil management, tree biology, pruning, tree protection, urban forestry and safe work practices.

You have probably already deduced that working in the tree services industry takes a strong grasp of environmental science, common sense, physical strength and a strong tolerance of being outdoors in variable conditions.

Becoming a certified arborist rather than just being some random guy with a chainsaw who cuts trees sometimes means you understand and respect trees for their importance to the environment and the potential they have to injure and destroy. It means you respect tree owners enough to put in the time to learn how to safely and properly manage trees and are committed to following proper tree care practices.

Presenting your credentials to potential clients and employers also makes you more competitive in the industry. After all, who would you rather hire when you Google “arborists near me,” James the BC Hydro certified utility arborist or Random Guy who lives down the road and owns a chainsaw?

Just saying.

If you’re thinking you might be interested in becoming a local supertreero, feel free to get in touch and ask questions about what it takes to become a certified arborist. We love talking shop and discovering undercover superheroes, people who are pumped to take on even the most impossible-seeming tree situation to make the world a little better looking and their community that much safer.

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