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What Do Certified Arborists Study?


Caring for your trees isn’t difficult with our team of certified arborists at Mr. Tree. An arborist has specialized knowledge about trees and woody plants, and with it, they protect trees from infections and damage and also protect humans by ensuring a tree doesn’t interfere with public works. For instance, trees that grow tall enough to interfere with power lines, that block signage for a road, or that pull up sidewalks can be dangerous to humans. Often, before anything can be done to fix damage to one of these situations, an arborist from the city or who contracts with the local government will need to sign off on any mitigation of tree damage.

There are many different hats an arborist might wear, and some of their job titles, aside from arborist, might include tree trimmer, tree climber, grounds worker, or line clearance foreman. An arborist might also be involved in the field of pomology: a branch of botany that studies fruit and its cultivation (more on that here).

Here are five things an arborist studies in order to keep your trees (and the world at large) safe.

1. Establishing Young Trees and Preparing Sites

New trees sometimes need a good boost to get established when they’re transplanted. This is where an arborist is helpful. They’ll find where a tree will flourish best and know how to help it acclimate to its new space. Some trees do better in the sun, while others prefer shade. If you’re planting fruit trees, there are particular considerations. An arborist’s knowledge of pomology will help you find the best place to plant fruit trees in your yard and will offer proper guidance to ensure they stay healthy and produce fruit each year.

An arborist will also have a good idea of how large a tree might become, so you won’t have to cut it down or move it if the tree is planted in the wrong place—such as right under power lines or where it might someday push up a sidewalk.

Have you ever seen a beautifully shaped ornamental tree? Odds are that an arborist first helped it get established and then trained it over time to grow into that shape. The arborist might even come back every so often to make sure that it’s growing the way it’s supposed to and that there aren’t any problems with it. Training a tree’s roots can also help a tree grow better and prevent future problems, such as breakages or stunted growth.

2. Ongoing Tree Maintenance

Your trees might be strong and healthy, but it never hurts to have an arborist check them out. In the same way you go to the doctor to get a physical every so often, you want to get an arborist’s opinion on your trees. It may also be obvious that your trees need some help. A certified arborist can remove dead or dying branches and thin out places where branches grow too thickly.

For instance, if you have a lot of lichen or moss growing on the branches of your tree, it might be because there isn’t enough sunlight getting through the top branches, and an arborist will have the skills and equipment to fix that. Pruning trees will help with the general health of your tree and can limit disease and pests as well. An arborist will also have a good idea of where to look for damage if you’ve recently suffered an ice storm or windstorm.

If your trees are simply not looking healthy, an arborist will be able to determine whether it’s because the tree is diseased or whether it has different water or nutrient requirements than what it has been receiving. They’ll have recommendations for watering and mulching so that your tree will spring back in no time.

3. Removing Trees

An arborist will have the skills and tools to prepare to take down a tree that requires removal, whether it’s storm-damaged, diseased, or simply old and rotting. If the tree has already fallen, they can help as well, considering their knowledge of the heavy equipment sometimes required, such as tractors, chippers, power saws, and stump grinders.

If you’re hesitant to remove a tree (such as if it’s a high-traffic habitat for your local wildlife), an arborist will be able to tell you whether it’s safe to leave as-is or if it’s safer to remove it. If you can see vertical cracks, seams, and large wounds on your tree, there might be internal rotting and damage, which could make the tree unsafe during the next storm (or even before!). However, some of these wounds are known to heal, so an arborist will confirm whether the tree can stay.

4. Pest Control

Part of an arborist’s job is to keep up with education on insecticide techniques and innovations. Most states require that an arborist pass a state examination in order to receive an additional license after training on pesticides or insecticides. They may also need to provide proof of insurance to keep their license. This way, you know they’ll be able to apply the chemicals to your plants correctly, safely, and with the best results. On the other side of this, they will also know and be able to recommend which fertilizers will be best for your trees and how to employ them.

5. Planning, Plotting, Designing

Being an arborist isn’t always an outdoor job. Sometimes it requires some desk work, such as when an arborist designs a park layout. They will have to consider soil conditions, climate conditions, and native plants in their plans, as well as figure out which trees to plant to the best effect in the allotted space. After all, the best way to ensure the trees grow to be happy and healthy is to place them in optimal conditions, with as much space and sunlight as they require. Then there might need to be irrigation and watering concerns to address, such as where to place the sprinklers so that the trees get enough water, and so there aren’t any standing pools nearby that could contribute to root rot.

If you have any need for an arborist to examine your trees, you can’t do better than the friendly, knowledgeable service you’ll receive at Mr. Tree Service. Contact us today!