Tree Care as a Profession: The Skills and Qualifications Required to Become an Arborist

Trees are vital in the environment, and maintaining their health is crucial. This is where a certified arborist comes into the picture. A certified arborist is a highly trained expert who specializes in tree care and is knowledgeable about the needs of trees. 

Skills and Qualifications of an Arborist

In this article, we will discuss the skills, qualifications, and steps required to become a certified arborist and some of the various tree care services such experts provide.

Understanding What an Arborist Does

Arborists focus on tree and plant care by maintaining the health, safety, and appearance of trees and shrubs. Their primary responsibilities include:

  • Assessing and diagnosing tree health
  • Pruning and removing branches or trees
  • Planting and transplanting trees
  • Providing advice on tree care and management
  • Tree risk assessment and hazard reduction
  • Soil management and fertilization
  • Insect and disease management

One example of a highly trained expert arborist is a tree company in the West Michigan specializing in various tree care services.

Skills Required to Become a Certified Arborist

Several skills aspiring certified arborists must develop to excel in this field. Some of these skills include:

  • Knowledge of tree biology: Understanding how trees grow, and their biological structures is essential for proper tree care.
  • Physical fitness: The job often involves climbing trees, lifting heavy equipment, and working at heights.
  • Attention to detail: Identifying potential hazards or health issues is an essential skill that requires keen attention to detail.
  • Problem-solving and decision-making: Arborists must evaluate a situation, weigh options, and make the best tree care and safety decisions.
  • Communication skills: Arborists work with clients, property owners, and their teams, so communicating clearly and effectively is essential.

The Path to Becoming a Certified Arborist

Those who want to become certified arborists typically start by gaining experience in the tree care industry. They may gain experience through internships, working with a mentor, or through on-the-job training. In addition, aspiring arborists should pursue formal education and certifications, such as:

  • Earning an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in arboriculture, horticulture, forestry, or a related field.
  • Gaining practical experience through internships or entry-level positions in the tree care industry.
  • Obtaining certifications from organizations like the International Society of Arboriculture and Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA).
  • Pursuing ongoing education and training to stay updated with the latest industry developments.

The Importance of Tree Care Services

Tree care services are essential in ensuring that trees thrive and function optimally. They maintain the structural integrity of trees and help prevent problems that can become hazardous or costly in the long run.

One such tree care service is a pruning service for overgrown trees. This service removes dead, dying, or diseased branches, allowing trees to develop more robust and healthy structures. Other tree care services include emergency tree removal, stump grinding, and plant health care programs.


Becoming a certified arborist requires education, experience, and a passion for tree care. The skills and qualifications developed through education and on-the-job training equip these professionals to provide essential tree care services. While the certification path can be challenging, the rewards of working with trees and improving the environment make it a fulfilling and worthwhile profession.