What is an Arborist?

Tree Service Experts servicing Los Gatos, CA explain the Job Duties of Certified Arborists

While trees are everywhere, the people that care for them aren’t nearly as visible. Arborists, the specially trained tree professionals, are both artists and scientists. Often referred to as “tree doctors” or “tree surgeons,” arborists are essentially the health and wellbeing of the tree throughout its entire lifespan. They are incredibly beneficial to any homeowner with trees on their property.

What Do Arborists Actually Do?

An arborist is in charge of every part of a tree’s life, from planting, tending, maintaining, and even diagnosing (hence the “tree doctor” nickname). They take care of not only trees but also other woody plants and shrubberies.

Arborists have the knowledge to advise on tree-related issues like drought mitigation, disease and insect control, fertilization, and seasonal tree care.

When an arborist is hired, they will come out and first assess the overall condition of the tree. If there are any potential diseases present on the tree, they will then diagnose them and give recommendations for how to best take care of the problem.

Arborists can also perform tree trimming and tree removal services, as well as planting and pruning.

Why Hire an Arborist?

Although formal education is not necessarily required to become an arborist, many have at least a bachelor’s degree in horticulture, forestry, or arboriculture. This is one of the main reasons people should hire an arborist for their tree services…they really care about the trees and have spent time mastering their skills.

In addition, many arborists seek out certification by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). This shows an extra dedication to handling trees with knowledge and skill.

An arborist also can increase the value of the home by placing trees in the correct locations and keeping them healthy. They can also help keep the homeowner safe from the liability involved with a falling tree or tree limb by maintaining the health of the trees. However, arborists do tend to be more expensive than a landscaper at the beginning, although their benefits ultimately save homeowners money over time.

How an Arborist Differs from a Landscaper

While many people think an arborist and a landscaper perform the same job, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Landscapers mostly deal with the physical part of the trees and the area around them, performing services like weeding, lawn maintenance, irrigation, mulching, and creating gardens and walkways. In a lot of cases, a landscaper has only been trained on the job and doesn’t have the right equipment and knowledge to perform the job safely.

An arborist can do many of the same services while also focusing on how to keep those trees and plants healthy and well-cared for. Most arborists also carry liability insurance, which helps homeowners feel even more confident when hiring one.

A good way to remember the difference between a landscaper and an arborist is that landscapers can help physically manage healthy trees and lawns, while an arborist is the way to go when it comes to sick, diseased, and unsafe trees. However, many arborists can also help with general tree service and upkeep, so be sure to reach out when making a decision for your home.

About Arborworks, Inc.

Arborworks, Inc. services Los Gatos, California. With more than 40 years of experience and ISA certification, the staff offers quality service at reasonable rates. They provide tree removal, trimming, pruning, cutting, and care as well as landscape construction and maintenance. Arborworks, Inc. is also a member of the TCIA and CLCA, and can be reached by phone at (925) 828-8733.


A fair price for prompt and superb work… what more can one ask for? ArborWorks owner, Don Mcintyre, came personally to assess my job – pruning one large pine out of the power lines, thinning its crown for more sunlight on my garden, and pulling out some smaller bushes including the stumps – and it was an excellent price for the job. ArborWorks arborist, Hildargo, who bravely and cheerfully climbed to the tips of the highest branches to clear the power lines, successfully turned the heavily…
Tammy M.San Francisco, CA


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