What Makes a Tree Care Pro

Common credentials all serious tree care professionals should possess, along with tips on how to promote them.

An arborist is a professional who cares for trees and other woody plants by pruning, fertilizing, monitoring for insects and diseases, consulting on tree-related issues, and occasionally planting, transplanting and removing trees.

Tree Care Professionals should possess the following credentials:

  • Current certificates of liability and workers' compensation insurance, if applicable.
  • A thorough understanding of ANSI Standards; a professional arborist will be aware of the current safety, pruning, fertilizing and cabling standards.
  • A list of references.
  • Membership in the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) or International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). Additionally, TCIA Accreditation is a voluntary program that credentials companies which meet stringent criteria for professionalism, employee training, state and federal safety regulations, business ethics and customer satisfaction.

David Bellavance, director of safety and training at Tree Tech Inc. based in Foxboro, MA, also has a few suggestions for tree care companies looking to highlight their professionalism while on the jobsite:

  • Display your certifications and affiliations with organizations like TCIA or IS. You worked hard to become a professional, so show it off.
  • Always explain the job parameters to the homeowner, and always practice ANSI standards. Your safety, pruning, fertilizing and cabling work needs to be up-to-date to match current standards.
  • Tree care pros should always arrive on site in a vehicle with the company name on the sides, and should park in a conspicuous area of the property so the customer sees your arrival.
  • Display your company name on your hard hat, shirt or jacket. Also keep your company issued ID card visible.
  • Transparency is key. Homeowners should always know the name of the staff member that they will be meeting with for an estimate, and also know the crew foreman’s name if showing up to perform scheduled work.
  • Tree care employees wearing sunglasses should remove them when speaking with the customer. Most people feel more comfortable when they can see your eyes.

Both homeowners and tree care companies can visit www.TCIA.org for more information on the importance of professionalism in tree care.