Jordan Blonski
Jun 9, 2020

Why Use Seattle Certified Arborists For Tree Services?

You have many choices when it comes to hiring a tree company to perform work at your Seattle home or business.  Choosing a company with ISA Certified Arborists on staff guarantee you receive quality tree services using only proper procedures.

Why is this important?  Because improper pruning techniques can cause damage that lasts the lifetime of the tree or allow insects and disease to take hold.  In addition, tree work can be dangerous (especially removals), which is why it’s important to use approved techniques to safely complete work so no one gets hurt. 

Why become an ISA Certified Arborist?

Eastside Tree Works takes great pride in delivering quality tree services and to that end, have multiple ISA Certified Arborists on staff.  ISA Certification is a voluntary program that tests and certifies someone’s professional and practical knowledge in the field of arboriculture.

Being an ISA Certified Arborist shows our customers that these specific employees have attained a high level of knowledge in tree biology, diagnosis, maintenance practices, safety, and related tree industry areas. 

Value of Certified Arborist

Eastside employees who work under the supervision of our arborists and customers alike can be reassured that the information they receive is accurate.  Professional recommendations are based on their vast pool of knowledge, which is a combination of textbook studies, on-going training and years of field work putting learned practices to work.

A valuable part of any Certified Arborists job is to educate the public about general tree care, approved techniques for said care and the role trees play in the environment.  This also includes the consequences of using incorrect methods and potential threats from diseases and insects.

What does the exam cover?

The written exam is made up of 200 multiple choice questions covering a wide range of arboriculture topics divided into these 10 areas. 

  • Soil management 12%
  • Identification & selection 8%
  • Installation & establishment 5%
  • Safe Work Practices 15%
  • Tree biology 8%
  • Pruning 16%
  • Diagnosis & treatment 12%
  • Urban forestry 7%
  • Tree protection 4%
  • Tree risk management 13%

The number reflects the percentage of questions dedicated to that subject area.

Purpose of ISA Certification program

The main purpose is to provide a way for the public and government to identify professionals who have demonstrated (by passing an exam) that they possess an in-depth knowledge and skill in tree care practices. 

The ISA also sees the program as a way to improve competency in the industry by increasing on-going education and the adoption of safe working practices while generating incentives for tree care workers to expand their credentials.

Qualifications for taking exam

No just anyone is eligible to apply for the exam.  The ISA Credentialing Council require candidates to have a minimum of 3 years of full-time experience in arboriculture or a combination of education and practical experience.  Note:  1-year FT experience equals 2,080 hours of work.

Acceptable experience includes practical knowledge of arboriculture topics (pruning/treatment, etc.) obtained by working at a tree care or landscape company, nursery, state forestry agency or other related jobs. 

A 2-year associate degree with a minimum of 2 courses related to arboriculture plus 2 years (or equivalent) of FT experience.  A 4-year bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 4 courses plus 1 year of practical FT experience in arboriculture also qualifies. 

Other combinations of certification programs and/or work experience may satisfy the requirements.  Written documentation must be submitted and approved before permission is granted to take the exam.

What is the process to apply?

To become a candidate, you must first apply online or submit a completed application.  You must pay an exam fee and review/accept the ISA Certified Arborist Code of Ethics as well as the Certification Agreement and Release Authorization.

Once you receive notice your application has been approved, you can enroll to take the exam, which must be done within 90 days.  Exams are either paper-based or computer-based and candidates can choose which works best for them. 

Certification and Recertification

The passing score is 76% and if you do not pass on the first try, you can retake the exam.  When you pass, you receive the title of ISA Certified Arborist along with a congratulatory letter, score sheet, certificate, identification card, decal, and patch.

Certification is valid for 3 years after which, you must recertify.  To do that, you can retake the exam or accumulate at least 30 continuing education units (CEUs) over the 3-year period related to the 10 test areas and pay the recertification fee.

There’s a lot involved in becoming an ISA Certified Arborist so when you see Eastside employees with this credential, you know they are dedicated to the tree industry.