Office: 314-814-0809

Emergency: 314-370-1550


Tree Care Education & Tips

What Does it Mean to be an Arborist?

Posted on March 03, 2021 in: Education

What Does it Mean to be an Arborist?

Other terms used in this field are tree trimmer, tree surgeon, tree climber, tree clipper, tree pruner, etc.  A certified arborist is all of those things and more, but a tree trimmer is not an arborist.  Being a true arborist requires the appropriate education.

An arborist studies arboriculture. What is arboriculture? It's a field of study in cultivating and managing individual trees, shrubs, vines, and other perennial woody plants. The practice of arboriculture is executing these practices to maintain the proper care of trees by selecting the right tree to plant and the right locations in which to plant them. This also includes best management practices in plant health care, tree pruning, and removing trees. The safety and beauty of your trees are just as important to an arborist as they are to you.

Being an arborist encompasses both the physical skills and the knowledge it takes to be successful in caring for trees. A certified arborist is when individual practitioners must pass an extensive exam to demonstrate a higher level of knowledge when it comes to tree care. It's like knowing how to drive and actually passing your driving exam or going to medical school and passing those exams to become licensed.  A certified arborist must maintain their title with regular CEU's (Continuing Educations Units).

So, do I need an arborist?

Three Good Reasons to Call a Certified Arborist:

1. Liability - Certified arborists are professionals who can determine and safely eliminate a potential liability situation. Certified arborists are experienced in pruning and removing trees in areas where houses, powerlines, and pedestrians present potential hazards. 

2. Save Money & Time - Certified arborists apply their professional knowledge to:

  • Prevent injury or damage from existing hazardous conditions
  • Plant appropriate trees in specific locations to prevent future problems
  • Train young, thriving trees to grow healthy and structurally stable
  • Ensure the survival of transplanted trees and shrubs
  • Work quickly and efficiently with the tools and skills required to get the job done safely

3. Education and Credentials - Would you trust just anyone to take care of the trees and landscaping needs on your property? While you might hire the neighbor kid to cut the grass, chances are, you'd hire a company to take care of the trees and landscaping. Not all companies are certified, though. When you hire a certified arborist and an accredited company, you can be assured that the company has met and exceeded the many standards and procedures put forth by the accreditation process, some of which are:

  • Safety
  • Ethics
  • Quality
  • Confidence












Pruning and removing trees can be dangerous work, so we recommend hiring a professional, certified arborist who has the proper insurance coverage that is required to perform tree care.

  • Do NOT mistake the difference between having insurance and being bonded.
    • Tree care companies are not required to be bonded to perform residential tree work.
    • Bonds are only required for long-term contracts and/or commercial tree care
  • Seek more than one estimate, but be cautious about going with the "CHEAPER," lowest estimate.
    • Get your scope of work in writing with line items and make sure you understand it
    • Make sure you are comparing apples to apples with your estimates
  • Request and check references!
  • Most municipalities and neighborhood HOA's are requiring homeowners to hire companies who are on their approved list.
    • This ensures proper licensing, certifications, and insurance coverage.

Be careful of those companies who offer unsolicited work, especially during the slow season or after storms. Reputation is everything, and companies or arborists who have a good one, don't need to go door-to-door to obtain work.

Clipper Tree & Landscape, Inc. happens to be one of the very few companies in the St. Louis area to hold both arboriculture and landscaping knowledge and credentials.  That's why we offer both tree care and landscape/hardscape services.

Clipper Tree & Landscape, Inc. is a member of ISA (International Society of Arboriculture) and TCIA (Tree Care Industry Association).  We also hold ISA-Certified Arborist credentials, ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualifications, and we are TCIA accredited.  Clipper Tree is also a member of the STLAA (St. Louis Arborist Association).

ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualified  

Call the certified arborists at Clipper Tree & Landscape for your next tree pruning and/or landscaping project.

Bookmark and Share