Arborist: The Different Kinds

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An arborist, also known as a tree surgeon, maintains trees and shrubs. He or she does this through trimming and pruning. One purpose is to prevent any interference with public works. An arborist keeps them away from power lines, roads, or sidewalks. The improvement of trees and shrubs is also part of an arborist’s services. He or she takes care of their appearance, health, and value.

An arborist specializes in the care of individual trees and shrubs. He or she knows their needs. An arborist is a trained person who has the necessary equipment for providing care.

There are many types of professionals involved in arboriculture. The following are some of the designations and titles you may come across. Included are their specialization and skills.

ASCA Registered Consulting Arborist or RCA

This arborist has demonstrated higher skills in specific technical areas. He or she usually provides impartial, independent opinions. And also, more top communication, presentation, and report writing skills.

ISA Board Certified Master Arborist or BCMA

This arborist has demonstrated higher skills in technical aspects of tree care. He or she also is an expert in types of equipment used as an arborist. He or she also has a higher knowledge of arboriculture.

ASCA member

This type of arborist has demonstrated higher skills in specific technical areas. Also, in tree care, too. He or she provides unbiased, unprejudiced opinions with improved communication and presentation skills.

Educators, researchers, and Cooperative Extension staff

These types of arborists have demonstrated higher education and skills in diagnosing. He or she diagnoses tree growth and conditions. They may lack field experience, but they have improved communication and presentation skills.

Landscape architect license/registration

This type of arborist needs a four- or five-year college degree. He or she also needs a range of one to five years of design experience. These are part of the requirements for taking the license exam. He or she has demonstrated higher competency in design and planning. This type usually lacks field experience with trees.

ISA-certified arborist

This type of arborist has demonstrated the necessary knowledge to inspect trees. An ISA-certified arborist has state arborist statute designations or licenses. He or she also has qualifications and essential experience to perform tree care. This arborist should meet statute requirements for the specific jurisdiction.

ISA-certified arborist specialties (municipal, utilities, and tree risk assessor)

This one has demonstrated higher knowledge and skills. This type of arborist specializes in the subject of arboriculture.

ISA tree risk assessment qualified or TRAQ

This arborist has demonstrated knowledge of a standardized and systematic process. He or she can assess tree risk.


He or she has demonstrated basic knowledge of forest practices. This arborist has a forest management plan. Writing plans for forest management is a must for some states. Forestry is usually not required in urban areas. This arborist often lacks field experience with individual trees.

Certified urban forester or CUFC (also known as Certified forester or SAFCF)

This type of arborist has demonstrated a higher level of knowledge and experience. He or she usually knows urban forestry and urban forest management. This arborist knows fire suppression and Wildland Urban Interface or WUI property mitigation. This type of arborist is also known for his or her basic knowledge and experience in forestry.

ISA-certified tree worker

This arborist has demonstrated a basic knowledge of tree care. He or she assists certified arborists in performing tree care services.

There are several unqualified individuals performing tree work and providing tree care services. They often use unsafe work practices that may result in injuries. Incorrect pruning and care techniques lead to damaged or destroyed trees. New Jersey recently passed an act to address these issues. It is well known as The Tree Experts and Tree Care Operators Licensing Act.

Professional arborists in Melbourne provide total tree care for their customers. They have the proper qualifications and have a detailed understanding of tree physiology. The safety of employees and the general public is essential to these professionals. They provide a personalized service, too. They also consider the care and protection of personal property. Implementing modern arboricultural practices and techniques are also part of their services. Most professionals have a practical approach to tree management in urban areas.


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