81205thumbThe first storm of the year has a way of reminding us if our trees need attention. Whether then need to be worked on this year or not, we tend to notice how they blow in the wind, or if they are full of dead and deteriorating debris that falls into the garden or onto the roof. As deciduous trees defoliate, they are less likely to be damaged by wind, but their structural deficiencies become visible.
This is when some of us will contact arborists to inspect and perform necessary arboricultural procedures for trees that have grown to big for us to maintain. We do not want trees to be damaged by the wind. Nor do we want them dropping limbs or falling onto whatever is within their reach. Those that are biggest and most beyond our reach have the most potential to cause major damage.
Arborists are horticulturists who specialize in the horticulture of trees, which is known as arboriculture. They assess the healthy, stability and structural integrity of trees, then prescribe necessary corrective arboricultural procedures, and if necessary, prescribe the best time for such procedures. Most arborists work with a tree service that is equipped to perform the prescribed procedures.
Arborists who are certified by the International Society of Arboriculture, or ISA, have passed an examination of their arboricultural expertise, and maintain their credential by continued involvement with the educational seminars, classes and workshops of the ISA. More information about the ISA, local certified arborists and even arboriculture, can be found at the website http://www.isa-arbor.com.
As mentioned earlier, arboriculture is specialized horticulture of trees. It is not something that gardeners should be expected to perform; particularly mow, blow and go gardeners who are not even proficient with simple gardening. Many arborists can concur that unqualified gardeners sometimes kill trees, and cause much of the damage to trees that arborists must later correct. Besides, arboriculture is the sort of work that can be very dangerous to those who lack training, experience or the necessary equipment.

10 thoughts on “Arborists Are Very Specialized Horticulturists

    1. It is to the most proficient of arborists. However, like architecture, the engineering is more important than the art. Even arborists who work with the biggest of trees like to sometimes take time to work with small trees for which the art aspect can be prioritized more than the engineering.

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  1. We see far fewer Arboriculturists than horticulturalists around these parts. There are a number of ‘tree cutters’ but many do not have the education with regard to health or growth habits of trees. If it is a specimen that is not native to the area, then they are even less informed. We have one very good arboriculturist in the area and he and his crew stay quite busy along the coast tending to some of the bigger estates. That being said, here at the nursery, I cannot tell you how often trained ( with a formal education) landscape designers or landscape architects come to the nursery, plan in hand, with a list of plants ( and trees) whose growing habits are not conducive to the site. Often choosing cultivars that are not even hardy for our area. Education can come in many forms, for sure.

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    1. I will not even get started on this rant right now. It could go for days! To be brief, the horticultural industries attract those who have flunked out at something else, or in many cases, flunked out at everything else. When I was working for a so-called professional landscape company, we had about as much horticultural expertise as a window washing service. Most of the guys on the crew were very good at what they did, just because they took their work so seriously. However, they could not perform as they would have preferred because they had to conform to the demands of those managing the accounts. It really was deplorable. Those using the chemical, who were required by law to report the chemical use to me for documentation, could neither read nor write. Anyway, I said I would not get carried away with this rant.
      https://tonytomeo.com/2018/03/18/shady-msds-yes-another-sequel/
      https://tonytomeo.com/2017/09/15/no-respect/
      If you like, you can look through some of my other ‘horridculture’ topics . . . although I know you have better and more professional things to tend to.

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  2. agreed, it takes a special talent and experience to properly groom trees. My biggest problem is convincing clients that trees/shrubs must be pruned at specific times in their growth cycle. I love the mow, blow and go label LOL

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  3. I definitely agree that only certified professional arborists should work on large trees, especially the big shade trees which are common in our neighborhood. We have one neighbor who has a big Siberian Elm in his backyard. During one storm a huge branch fell but ended up hanging straight down while still attached to the tree – right over some power lines. It took days for the arborists to get to his house, during which time we were both fairly anxious. Our neighbor considered taking the tree down entirely but was scared off by the expense. I hope that wasn’t a mistake on his part.

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    1. Even though California is home to the tallest and the biggest trees in the world, our urban and suburban areas lack the preponderance of huge trees that older municipalities must contend with. There are a few that I would like to get removed just because they are so huge. I can not imagine what arborists in the midwest and farther east work with.

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