Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is
the difference between an arborist and a certified arborist?
A: Arborists are trained professionals that are knowledgeable
and equipped to provide proper tree care. They are specially trained to provide
a variety to services to maintain trees. ISA Certified Arborists are
individuals who have achieved a level of knowledge in the art and science of
tree care through at least three years of experience and have passed a
comprehensive examination. They are also required to continue their education
in order to maintain their certification, ensuring their knowledge is updated
on the latest arboriculture techniques. ISA Arborist Certification is a
non-governmental voluntary process that operates without mandate of law. It is
an internal self-regulating device administered by the International Society of
Arboriculture, and therefore, cannot guarantee or assure the quality of
performance. Certification provides a measurable assessment of an individual's
knowledge and competence required to provide proper tree care.
Q: Why are trees
A: Trees provide a variety of benefits besides environmental,
such as social, community, and economic. Trees provide an array of benefits,
Cost Reduction? reduces yearly heating and cooling costs by 2.1 billion dollars
Increase Property Value? well-cared landscape properties are 5-20% more
valuable than non-landscaped estates.
Privacy and Scenery, aesthetic values
The following facts are results from studies conducted by UIUC
Human-Environment Research Laboratory:
Fewer Crimes? apartment buildings surrounded by trees and greenery are
dramatically safer than buildings devoid of green
Improves Concentration- children with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) are
relieved after contact with nature. The greener the setting, the more the
Sound Barrier- acts as sound barriers and provide protection against crowding,
noise, and danger, which all can contribute to mental fatigue, and can help
inner-city residents cope with the many poverty related-stresses
For more information on the benefits of trees, please visit
Benefits of Trees and What Are Your Trees Worth.
Q: What type
of tree should I buy?
A: Tree selection is one of the most important investment
decisions for a homeowner. First, examine the location conditions of where you
want your tree to be planted. Take the following into consideration before
selecting the tree species you want:
Amount of space
Clearance from overhead and underground utilities
Tree functions you desire
Exposure to sun and wind
Then, utilize the information you have gathered and select the tree
species that works best with the conditions. For assistance, contact your local
ISA Certified Arborist, tree care professional, or garden center to plant the
right tree in the right place.
For more information on selecting and purchasing trees, please
visit Tree Selection and
Buying High-Quality Trees.
Q: How should
I plant my tree?
A: Location conditions are extremely important and vital to a
tree's health. Be sure to examine the tree location conditions and follow these
steps when planting your new tree:
Dig a shallow, broad hole: only as deep at the root ball, but 3x's as wide in
Identify the trunk flare: this is where the roots spread at the base of the
tree. This should be partly visible after planting.
Place the tree at the proper height: majority of the roots should be within 12"
of the soil.
Straighten the tree in the hole
Fill hole, gently but firmly
Stake the tree, if necessary
Mulch the base of the tree
Maintain with follow-up care
For more information on tree planting, please visit
New Tree Planting.
Q: How often
does my tree need care?
A: The type and frequency of tree care depends on the species,
age, location, climate, and other factors that affect the tree's growth. The
first step is to educate yourself about your trees and understand their needs.
It is imperative to understand that proper tree care is a life long process,
and that planting and caring for a tree is a long-tern commitment, not just a
one time deal. Contact your local tree care professional for proper assistance.
Q: What is
pruning a tree?
A: Pruning is the cutting or removing branches or parts of trees
or for improving the shape or growth of trees. This is the most common tree
maintenance procedure. Usually, trees are pruned preventative or as a
corrective measure to remove dead branches, crowded or rubbing limbs, eliminate
hazards, and increase light and air penetration. Since each cut to a tree has
the potential to change the growth, it is important to educate yourself,
considering no branch should be removed without any reason.
For more information on pruning the proper techniques, please visit
Pruning Young Trees for young trees and Pruning Mature Trees
for mature trees.
topping a tree?
A: Topping is the indiscriminate cutting of tree branches to
stubs or lateral branches that are not large enough to assume the terminal
role. Other names for topping including "heading," "tipping," "hat-racking,"
and "rounding over."
Topping is perhaps the most harmful tree pruning practice known. It
is usually done to reduce the size of a tree. Often, homeowners top their trees
because they feel that they have become too large for their property and are a
hazard. However, topping will make a tree more hazardous in the long term and
is very harmful to the health of a tree.
For more information on topping, visit
Why Topping Hurts Trees.
A: Mulches are materials placed over the soil surface to
maintain moisture. Mulching is extremely beneficial to trees. It can reduce
water loss from soil, minimize weed competition, and improve soil structure.
Properly applied, mulch gives landscapes a health dose of benefits for your
For more information on proper mulching techniques, please visit
Proper Mulching Techniques.
should I do if I think my tree has insect and/or disease problems?
A: As soon as you notice any abnormality in your tree's
appearance, you should begin a careful examination of the problem. Insects and
diseases can threaten a tree's health. By identifying the specific symptoms of
damage and understanding the causes, you may be able to diagnose the problem
and take appropriate actions for treatment. You should contact a tree care
professional for assistance immediately.
For more information on insect and/or disease symptoms, diagnosis,
causes, and treatment, please visit Insects & Disease Problems.
Q: Can trees
A: Trees are essential to our world, offering a wide range of
benefits to our environment. However, trees become hazardous liabilities if
they fall and injure people or damage property. Proper constant maintenance
will help prevent and identify when a tree becomes dangerous. Evaluating the
seriousness of a trees condition is best done by a professional ISA Certified