So You Want To Be An Arborist?
There exists a misconception that tree work is a low-skilled job. However, being an arborist is a lot more than just being a skilled tree climber.
It’s important to keep in mind that the terms “tree surgeon” and “arborist” are very often used interchangeably, although they are not the same. Both perform an important function in your garden and around your property, but the main difference is their qualifications.
A tree surgeon “surgically” removes branches for a number of different reasons. However, to become a tree surgeon, formal training may not form part of their background. Of course, there are still innumerable tree surgeons without formal training that will be able to solve many problems with the trees and shrubs around your property.
An arborist is a professional that acts in the care of woody trees, plants, and shrubs. The work can entail tree support, tree removal, tree care, plant health care using chemicals, and more. They are able to accurately diagnose diseased trees by identifying the symptoms.
Arborists differ from tree surgeons in the sense that they offer different solutions to removing the tree. As a requirement, a qualified arborist should have at least a high school diploma, an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in arboriculture, forestry, or horticulture, and a professional certification from the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA).
The Dangers of Being an Arborist
There exists a misconception that tree work is a low-skill job. Nothing can be further from the truth. In fact, when it comes to dangerous professions, it may come as a surprise to many that an arborist has one of the most dangerous jobs in America. Dealing with heights, slippery conditions, falling limbs, sharp equipment, and electrical wires makes it more dangerous than most jobs.
Unfortunately, it seems that safety training in the industry is not regulated all that well. Regardless of the many safety measures put in place, professional arborists continue to have accidents every year.
Equally, storms and hurricanes destroy thousands of trees that require action. Long hours under tough conditions exacerbate the risks and it takes real determination alongside good knowledge and reliable equipment to get the job done safely. This is not a career for the faint of heart. Other dangers arborists face every day include:
- Gravity – Falling is arguably the biggest risk, but working with dangerous equipment high up a tree comes with a whole new set of skills. A lot can go wrong very quickly in the process of cutting down a tree.
- Equipment – The equipment can be dangerous. Wood chippers, chainsaws, log splitters are incredibly dangerous when the correct safety standards are not adhered to.
- Electricity– Arborists do no use the same equipment as electricians so working around power lines can be extremely dangerous.
- Falling trees and branches – Nobody can be completely sure that a tree falls is going to go down exactly as planned. Mistakes, and accidents, are common in this industry.