Certified Arborist

A Certified Arborist is a specialist in the care of individual trees. Certified Arborists are knowledgeable about the needs of trees and are trained and equipped to provide proper care. Hiring a Certified Arborist is a decision that should not be taken lightly.

An International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist has thorough knowledge, experience, and competency in tree care practices. To qualify for their certification they are required to have a minimum of three years experience in some aspect of tree care and have passed an exam developed by an international panel of experts. The exam extensively covers every aspect of tree care. The ten exam domains cover areas such as proper pruning, tree biology, tree risk assessment, plant health, and soil and water management. Therefore, an ISA Certified Arborist will be able to evaluate a client’s tree needs and recommend the proper care to promote tree health and safety.

Why to hire an Arborist

* http://www.treesaregood.org/treecare/Hire_Arborist.aspx

Certified Tree Worker

The ISA Certified Tree Worker deals with the climbing/pruning aspects rather than planting and diagnosing problems. They have knowledge in the major aspects involved in tree care, including pruning, removal, cabling and safety. They must pass a knowledge exam and a skills exam conducted by trained evaluators. To take this exam they must have 18 months of climbing experience, a valid first aid/CPR card, and training in aerial rescue.

A CTW will be able to follow the instructions of a Certified Arborist to help maintain trees, promote tree health, and reduce risk.

Certified Treecare Safety Professional

A Certified Treecare Safety Professional is focused on safety as his top priority. This is a new certification offered by the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA). CalOSHA and ANSI Z133 (2006) standards require that employees be informed of the hazards that exist and be trained on how to minimize their risk during arboricultural operations. Besides proper training on arboricultural operational procedures, training is also given by employers to provide appropriate equipment for the task, PPE (personal protective equipment), conducting inspections of equipment, work procedures, and follow-up training where needed. However, it all works together effectively when a company maintains a safety culture. A “safety culture” is where everyone, from management to the newest hire, shares the same values, beliefs, and attitudes toward a safe work environment.

The CTSP program was designed to address several of the challenges to safety that tree care companies face. More than a straightforward “safety trainer” credentialing program, CTSP teaches safety professionals strategies and tactics for changing the very “culture” of their organization. A Certified Treecare Safety Professional is able not only to coach his/her team in safe work practices, but also work to change attitudes about safety and motivate other employees to want to participate.

At least three years of verifiable safety training as well as 3 years of tree care field experience is required for this certification. To qualify for a CTSP certificate a set of core competency exercises has to be passed, followed by an intensive two day seminar. This seminar stresses the importance of a safety culture within the company. The certification is an indicator that a tree care company is willing to put time, effort, and money into safety, which reduces the risk to their employees and the general public.

The latest data from the Tree Care Industry Association shows companies with CTSP employees to be ten times less likely to experience a lost workday incident compared with companies that did not have a CTSP on staff. Additionally, companies with a CTSP are nearly four times less likely to experience a recordable accident (one that requires medical attention beyond treatment in the field) than companies without a CTSP on staff.

Treesmith Enterprises, Inc. is one of a few companies in Southern California, to employ a Certified Treecare Safety Professional.

Information on the TCIA’s CTSP program

* http://www.treecareindustry.org/public/ctsp_about.htm