Tree Surgeon vs Arborist – What’s the Difference?

tree-surgeon-cutting-treeTree surgeon” and “arborist” are very often used interchangeably.

However, the fact of the matter is that there is a difference.

Although both have a very important part to play in your garden and around your property, it’s important to understand which one performs which duty…and which one are you going to need for your particular tree situation.

One of the main differences between the two is the qualifications that they hold. However, this doesn’t quite clarify the difference. Which one will you be looking at to take care of your tree problem?

What is a Tree Surgeon?

tree surgeon is a person that climbs a tree and “surgically” removes branches without damaging the rest of the tree. However, when it comes to tree surgeons specifically, there may or may not be any formal training involved. Of course, an experienced and knowledgeable tree surgeon may be a very skilled individual without any formal qualifications or training.  This type of business is not too hard to get into and there are many good tree surgeons out there able to solve many of your problems when it comes to the trees around your property. On the other hand, unfortunately, there are many tree surgeons out there who simply don’t live up to their titles. This is one of the reasons why tree cutting costs may differ vastly and you absolutely have to compare estimates and not go with the first one that quotes you.

Tree surgeons adhere to many health and safety regulations. Everyday gear includes safety harnesses and equipment like hard hats, gloves, boots, and trousers.

What is an Arborist?

certified-tree-arboristTo draw the easiest comparison – if a tree surgeon can be considered a surgeon of trees, an arborist can be considered as a doctor of trees. This person will be able to accurately identify any disease by identifying the symptoms being displayed.

Moreover, qualified arborists should be able to provide recommendations for alternate treatments instead of cutting down a tree whenever possible.

Qualifications to become an arborist

To become an entry-level arborist, some employers want at least three years of experience, while others do not. However, in most cases, the following will be compulsory.

  • a high school diploma
  • associate’s or bachelor’s degree in arboriculture, forestry, or horticulture

However, professional certification from the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) may be a requirement if you want to pursue this as a career path.