What Is The Difference Between A Certified And Consulting Arborist?

What Is The Difference Between A Certified And Consulting Arborist?

The terms “certified arborist” and “consulting arborist” refer to different qualifications and roles within the field of arboriculture.

Here’s a breakdown of the key differences…

Certified Arborist

  • Qualification – A certified arborist has earned certification from a recognized professional organization, such as the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). To become certified, an individual must pass an exam that covers a wide range of topics related to tree care, including diagnosis and treatment of tree diseases, pruning techniques, soil management, tree biology, and safety practices.
  • Role – Certified arborists are qualified to perform a variety of tree care services. They might work in tree pruning, removal, planting, emergency tree care, and health maintenance. Their certification demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of arboriculture practices and a commitment to professional development.
  • Continuing Education – Maintaining certification often requires ongoing education to stay current with advancements in arboriculture.

Consulting Arborist

  • Qualification – A consulting arborist may also be a certified arborist, but the title specifically refers to those who specialize in providing expert advice on tree care. Consulting arborists often have advanced training or experience in particular aspects of arboriculture, such as tree valuation, legal issues involving trees, or disease diagnosis.
  • Role – Consulting arborists are typically hired to assess tree health, diagnose problems, recommend treatment options, and provide expert opinions for legal cases, construction projects, or property assessments. They do not usually perform tree care services directly but rather offer specialized knowledge to guide decision-making.
  • Certification – Some organizations, like the American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA), offer specific programs to become a Registered Consulting Arborist. This involves additional training and certification beyond what a standard certified arborist might have, focusing more on the consulting aspect of the profession.

Key Differences

  • Focus – Certified arborists are focused on the physical work of tree care and maintenance, whereas consulting arborists specialize in advisory roles, providing expert opinions and recommendations.
  • Services Offered – Certified arborists often work directly on trees, performing tasks like pruning or treatments, while consulting arborists provide analysis, reports, and expert witness services.
  • Certification and Training – While both can hold certifications, consulting arborists often pursue additional credentials related to consultancy work in arboriculture.

In summary, while a certified arborist is primarily involved in the hands-on care and maintenance of trees, a consulting arborist specializes in providing expert advice and analysis on tree-related matters. Both roles are vital to the health and management of trees in urban and natural environments.