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Tree Care Academy

Arborist Training is Important

In many jobs, you receive on the job training from another employee who has the specific knowledge to teach you the correct procedures. Tree care can be hard to learn because different species of trees, shrubs and plants need different levels of care in the manner they are planting, irrigation and fertilization--not to mention diseases and insects as well. This makes training a very important step in becoming a tree care specialist.

What is the Tree Care Academy and Why is it Important?

The Tree Care Industry Association (TICA) is an association of tree care businesses and their affiliate companies nationwide. They were first established in 1938 as the National Arborist Association. TCIA teaches tree care academy (TCA) courses for lessons in safety and education on all things involved in caring for trees. You can rest assured that anyone holding a certification from TCA has the specific knowledge they need and the hands-on experience in tree care.

What are the Benefits of a TCA Certification?

Employees, as well as employers, have specific benefits when a person has a TCA certification. For the employee, the credentials will show your interest and understanding of tree care to a prospective employer or to a present employer. Credentialed employees also show that this individual is motivated and maybe the best person for future promotions because they take great interest in their profession. Employers can secure lower insurance premiums because of credentialed employees and a lower rate of accidents and injuries due to the safety portion of TCA training. The TCA ensures these insurance savings to all employers that have established training courses. These training courses not only lower injuries but also increase productivity through prior knowledge and in the end--it saves business money. The TCA courses also verify that OSHA and ANSI Z133.1 training has been performed so you are compliant.

How Does TCA Work?

The process to credential employees is quite simple. The courses can be administered at your business to credential your employees according to the tree care industry standards. Each course will teach and test for the critical skills and knowledge that tree care employees need so they can work safely and professionally. You have videos and books to teach employees in the business and then they take that knowledge to work with them for hands-on training on the job. There are three levels of courses: foundation, intermediate and advanced. It is recommended that your employees or you as an individual complete these courses in a specific order because you will need prerequisite knowledge for the next course you take.

What are the Foundation Courses?

Tree care apprentice is the first basic foundation course. It teaches about hazards in the tree care business and how to avoid them. It also teaches individuals how to work safely as a member of a crew in tree care.

The second foundation course is chain saw specialist. This course teaches about hazard awareness and procedures for the maintenance and operation of chain saws. It includes the proper protective gear that should be worn at all times, using a chain saw while up high in a tree, communicating with all crew members whether they are on the ground or a bucket operator and bucking pruning cut and felling techniques/

The chipper operator specialist course is next in line. It teaches hazard awareness and all the procedures for hooking up, transporting, setting up, operating and maintaining a chipper.

A ground operations specialist course includes how to work with other crewmembers and how to assist climbers on the job. It also includes basic information about chippers and chain saw safety.

The tree climber specialist course focuses on the fundamentals of climbing. It includes how to plan and execute any climbing operation and uses various methods of climbing systems and techniques. It also has an introduction for a person to rigging tree parts for removal.

What are the TCA Intermediate Courses?

The first of the intermediate courses is the aerial lift specialist in which individuals learn about aerial lift safety, inspection, preparation, and driving techniques. They also learn about general standards and guidelines and how to prevent common accidents. Electrical and environmental hazards are covered in this course as well as additional truck backing guidelines.

The aerial rescue training program supplies individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to evaluate an emergency situation and how to rescue an injured tree care worker. It includes emergency preparedness, techniques of aerial rescue, the protocols and how to work efficiently and effectively with EMS.

The compact lift specialist course is about general safety, inspection, preparation and transport of the machinery. It includes set up and operation as well as emergency response and aerial rescues along with environmental and electrical hazards to be aware of.

The single rope climber or SRT climber course covers how to use a single rope to climb a tree and safety measures in doing so. It includes anchoring, support points, directing the climbing line and calculating the vector forces on the tree while you are climbing it along with equipment selection for specific operations and rope compatibility.

What are Advanced Courses?

There is a trio of advanced courses starting with the crew leader qualification. This course teaches individuals how to develop and grow their leadership through great communication skills and personal skills as well as how to apply them to strengthen the entire crew.

The plant health care technician certification course covers plant health care concepts as well as nutrition, soil management, fertilization, pest identification and controls and biotic diagnosis of diseases.

The tree care specialist is training that builds on the ground operations specialist and the tree climber specialist certifications. It results in enhanced knowledge of all types of tree care. It covers safety, pruning, transplanting, fertilization, tree biology, bracing and cabling, lightning protection and plant health care in general.

Taking the TCA accreditation courses results in a very knowledgeable individual who can work in any aspect of tree care as well as an employee who is safety-minded, avoids hazards, is very productive and willing to learn. You can also get continuing education from TCA and receive additional courses as they become developed.

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