October 26th, 2015

One of the biggest misunderstandings with customers seeking tree services is the assumptions surrounding the phrase "Certified Arborist."

The phrase sounds impressive, and inspires trust and the belief that the certified person is, in fact, able to do a good job. A tree service company in Edmonton with Certified Arborist sounds like it would be a highly competent company. But this is not necessarily so, any more than a Certified Mechanic would be a skilled mechanic. It's important to understand the Certified Arborist standards and where they come from.

Arborist pruning tree

A person can become a certified arborist by the International Society of Arboriculture. The organization is a well-recognized, international society that provides a training standard, organizes meetings and events, and shares affiliation with other tree service organizations.

Sounds pretty good! But what does it take for a person to be certified?

It's actually quite simple. To become a certified arborist, a student studies a manual and writes an exam. That's it. No classroom instruction and no hands on tree work. In other words, when a tree service company says they have certified Arborists on staff, those staff members may have never touched a tree.

Now, having an ISA Certification is not a meaningless thing. The exam itself is challenging and does provide a very basic understanding of tree species, pruning techniques, rope knots, and safety. So it does have value...just not the value many tree service companies and potential customers place on it. Certification is merely a starting point, and not the only starting point, that can branch out (pun intended) into many different fields: pruner, feller, consultant, etc. It provides a small background to each field, but by no means guarantees an expertise in any such field.

And since the certification has no hands-on component, no tree company should assert their expertise merely though certification. For a tree service company to claim they are better than their competition because of ISA Certification is misleading at best.

So how can you ever be assured you're hiring a great company that has the skill-set to safely remove trees, beautify your yard and provide expert opinions?

Being a member of the BBB is a good start. It shows the tree service company is willing to do right by their advertised services, and is communicating in a very public forum that they are dedicated to quality work and treating customers right.

Online reviews can also hold some merit, so long as the reviews are legitimate, not fabricated by paid on-line review companies to boost a tree company's search ranking. Such practices are illegal, but they do occur.

The number of years a tree service has been in business, and their associations with other quality partners is another indication that you're dealing with a reputable company.

Finally, we believe the best way to find a quality tree service is to spend time getting to know your company. Speak with them, read through their website, watch their media, and read their blogs. For us, authenticity is where it is at: we deliver what you see and what you read on our website. We believe in delivering the best of expertise in an ethical and true-to-face service. Our customers love us and they see our enthusiasm and love for trees.

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