I need to have some tree work done. How do I select a qualified arborist?

Question: 

I need to have some tree work done. How do I select a qualified arborist?

Answer: 

Trees are valuable assets to the home landscape.  Occasionally the services of a professional arborist are needed to prune a large tree or assess the condition of a tree after a storm.  For many individuals, selecting an arborist is a difficult task. 

Several things can be done to increase your odds of finding a qualified arborist rather than just someone with a truck and a chainsaw.  Check with friends, relatives, and neighbors and ask if they’ve had positive or negative experiences with any tree service in the last few years.  Consult the yellow pages in the telephone directory for a listing of arborists under the heading Tree Service.  Check the directory advertisements to see if the individual or company belongs to professional organizations, such as the Iowa Arborist Association or the International Society of Arboriculture.  Professional arborist organizations offer training and certification programs for their members.  Membership usually indicates a willingness to remain current in tree maintenance practices.  Check with city hall.  Some communities require arborists to be licensed.  Get references from the individual or company.  Call the references and, if possible, visit past work sites to ascertain the quality of the work.  Doing some background work should dramatically improve your odds of hiring a qualified arborist. 

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