The Arborist: An Insider’s Guide to the Tools of the Trade

Tree care professionals share what it takes to be an arborist in California.

What Tools Does an Arborist Use?

When it comes to tree health, tree trimming, and tree removal, you may think that anyone with a chainsaw or a pair of loppers can do what’s needed. Unfortunately, people who employ this strategy often find out how wrong they are through disastrous consequences. For the safety of both the property owner and the workers, having an arborist do the work is the best bet.  

What does it take to be an arborist and how do they do their job? Those are the questions that this brief article hopes to answer.

An Arborist’s Toolkit: Equipment and its Uses

While it takes more than just the right tools to qualify for a job in tree service, there are many specialized tools involved in this sort of work. They fall into approximately four categories: Climbing, Rigging, Cutting and Trimming, and Safety. 

Though the following list is necessarily incomplete, it will give you several examples of tools that fall under the heading of each category.

  • Category #1: Climbing Equipment:  These tools are used to get high into trees in order to inspect and trim limbs in the crown.  Much as a mountain climber scaling a sheer rock face, an arborist must use equipment to prevent falling and injury. These include the following:
    • Rope (and more rope)
    • Harness
    • Carabiners
    • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Category #2: Rigging:  This type of equipment is actually made to put less force on the tree itself during rigging operations. When used properly rigging can be a beautiful art. Items such as those listed below are included in this category.
    • Blocks
    • Lowering devices
    • Large diameter ropes
    • Knots
  • Category #3: Cutting and Trimming: Despite what the general public may think, arborists do not use the terms cutting and trimming interchangeably. They are entirely separate things. While cutting is removing large damaged parts of the tree , trimming involves removing smaller portions of the tree for aesthetic value or convenience. Though the terms are different, the same tools are often used.
    • Pole Pruners
    • Handsaws
    • Chainsaws
    • A knowledge of best management practices
  • Category #4: Safety Equipment: No matter the job, the safety of workers and clients should be a top priority. In order to work safely around trees and falling limbs, arborists employ the items below:
    • Cones and other signs alerting people 
    • Safety Goggles
    • Hard Hats
    • Protective Clothing

How Does an Arborist Become an Arborist?

As previously stated, not everyone can become an arborist just by having some cutting tools. There are several things that are required to be classified as an arborist, the final step being that of receiving certification from the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). Here are a few other requirements that an arborist may need prior to certification:

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field like Horticulture
  • On the job training
  • Ability to identify trees and diseases
  • Knowledge of equipment and techniques.

Putting Safety First

Though you may think that the primary concern of a tree care and service company is to take care of trees and plants, this is not the case. The first and foremost concerns of any business should be workers and customers safety. If the safety of the workers is at risk, then they may not be able to do their job. 

If the customer’s property or person is endangered, that is a completely different set of problems that can harm present and future business. In order to be responsible as a business person and a human individual, arborists should take safety into account first.

About Ned Patchett Tree Care and Consulting

Call Ned Patchett Tree Care and Consulting today for tree removal and trimming services in the San Carlos, CA area. Our highly trained staff will take the steps necessary to preserve the life of your trees.

By |2022-02-11T17:02:04+00:00February 8th, 2022|Blog|