Jordan Blonski
Jun 25, 2020

What Does Seattle’s Arborist TRAQ Credential Mean?

TRAQ stands for Tree Risk Assessment Qualification and is an instructor-led course offered by the ISA (International Society of Arboriculture).  Tree professionals who complete the class and pass the accompanying exam prove they have a working knowledge of tree risk assessment.

From the fundamentals of a tree’s biology to learning a systematic process for evaluating tree risk, those who earn the TRAQ accreditation will be able to provide needed information to tree owners so they may make an informed decision.  

What do you learn in the course?

Based the ISA’s Tree Risk Assessment Manual, the comprehensive course covers these 9 areas.

  • Introduction to Tree Risk Assessment
  • Levels of Assessment
  • Target Assessment
  • Site Assessment
  • Tree Biology & Mechanics
  • Tree Inspection & Assessment
  • Data Analysis & Risk categorization
  • Mitigation
  • Reporting

Priorities of the TRAQ course

Overall, the purpose of this course is to promote the safety of people and property while enhancing a tree’s benefit, health, and longevity. 

  • Understanding the tenets of limited-visual and basic tree risk assessment as defined in the TRAQ manual.  
  • Knowledge of the principles of advanced diagnostic procedures for assessing tree risk.
  • Mastering methods for gathering and measuring information to assess tree risk.
  • Developing logical judgments and recommendations for calculating identified risk.

Course consists of the following

This 2-day in-person course is a combination of lectures, discussions, small group activities, applied case studies and field activities.  The half-day exam is 2 parts.

  • 1. Written test with 100 multiple choice questions
  • 2. Performance-based exam with an actual outdoor tree assessment to test the ability to apply learned tree risk principles to a tree at the training site.  

Who can apply to the TRAQ course?

Not just anyone can apply to take the course.  Eligible applicants must have earned certain credentials.  The most common are already having a TRAQ credential, ISA Board Certified Master Arborist, ISA Certified Arborist or a degree in arboriculture, urban forestry or horticulture from an accredited college or university.  Other credentials may qualify and you must provide documentation to prove eligibility.

TRAQ course prep

Once your application is approved, a confirmation packet is shipped 3 weeks before your course date. It includes the Tree Risk Assessment Manual, Tree Risk Assessment Workbook, Tree Risk Assessment Clipboard along with the date and time of your course.

It is each participant’s responsibility to study the manual and complete the workbook before attending the course.

Completion requirements

In addition to completing the course, you must also get a passing score of 75% on the written test and 80% on the performance-based exam.  Participants are notified by mail 6 weeks after the exam.

What the TRAQ credential represents

The ISA TRAQ credential is valid for 5 years.  To reinstate your qualification, you are required to take a one-day refresher course and exam, the TRAQ Renewal Course.  This includes 5 hours of instruction and 3 hours to complete the exam. 

To provide the best tree services to our Seattle, Snohomish and North Bend customers, Eastside Tree Works has many employees who have earned their TRAQ credential.