An arborist is a trained to cultivate trees and plants of different varieties in a forested area. An arborist also deals with perennial woody plants and horticultural species. The role of an arborist is different from a forester. An arborist is a specialist in forest management disciplines such as forestry and silviculture. In addition, he is also responsible for the health and safety of each plant and tree of the forest. An arborist is also known by other names such as a tree surgeon or an arboriculturist.
The role of an arborist is quite significant. By assuring proper tree care, arborist makes the household property valuable and aesthetically pleasing. An arborist has comprehensive knowledge about different types of trees present in a garden or forested area. He is also well acquainted with their individual nutritional requirements. Hence, he can take right garden or forest management decisions.
What Skills Are Needed to Become an Arborist?
An arborist may have multiple skills such as techniques for ascending a tree. Ascending with the help of a rope is a very popular skill. An arborist has to be flexible and strong to acquire this skill. There are two ways of climbing a tree by using ropes.
1.Single Rope Technique (SRT)
2.Double Rope Technique (DRT or DdRT)
Sometimes it might get risky for an arborist to climb up a tree. In that case an arborist can get spikes fixed on their chainsaw boats, before climbing. Spikes or spurs can however cause minor injury on tree’s surface, leaving small crevices. An arborist must ensure that very fewer scratches are made on the tree’s surface during his climbing action.
An arborist must have the skill to identify different varieties of plants and distinguish between similar species of plants.
Some other skills where an arborist needs to master include the ability to protect trees from pest attacks and applying fertilisers in optimum amounts. On a routine basis, an arborist can spend some time in the garden for examining plants and identifying if a plant requires sprays or other form of treatment.
Arborists have to be good in research skills and be able to think intuitively. Such skills help them in making report on certain land area, helping in further planning decisions.
Elementary Activities in Arboriculture
An arborist may sometimes have to do complicated tasks involving large numbers of trees. At times, arborist has to take care of the landscape ecosystem and the associated factors. All the steps must be monitored to ensure their safety aspects. Few of the activities that an arborist performs are
- Structural support
- Diagnosis and prevention of phytopathology
- Protecting plants from predators
- Installing lightning accessories for forest protection
- Weeding or eliminating harmful vegetation
- Operation of spraying or other maintenance equipment
An arborist is also involved in documentation-based jobs such as consultancy, preparing reports, analysing clearances, record maintenance and preparing plans for planting beds.
An arborist needs a professional degree such as a graduate degree in Arboriculture or in a related discipline such as environment conservation, horticulture, urban forestry Orland management, etc. Alternately, he can apply for an Associate degree in such disciplines. But apart from the degree, there is practical experience of 2 years required.
Before hiring an arborist, a land owner needs to check if he is licensed or certified. The International Society for Arboriculture (ISA) is a certifying Organisation recognised globally. ISA Certified arborists are not only well trained in practical operations, but also comply with Code of Ethics. A qualified arborist must apply for ISA certification to become professionally competent.