Arborists: The Unsung Tree-Care Pros Who Keep Our Trees Growing Strong and Living Long
The weather is slowly warming up, birds are more frequently chirping and the sun’s setting later—which means spring must be approaching in the coming months. This also means it’s time to start preparing for your spring gardening and tree care needs. And no one is better equipped to help get your trees ready for spring than a tree care professional, also known as an arborist.
What is an arborist?
An arborist is a specially trained tree care professional who has expertise on how to plant, care for and maintain trees. In order to perform tree work in Denver, all contractors must be licensed and insured by the city. Licensed arborists help the City of Denver and property owners maintain private and public trees through tree removal, pruning of dead, diseased or damaged branches, and treatment of insects and diseases. This maintenance helps ensure our urban forest remains heathy and resilient and prevents potential damage to our properties, city rights-of-way and utilities.
What does an arborist do?
Think of arborists like a primary care provider for your trees. They can help assess a tree’s condition, provide recommendations based upon the needs of the species and complete the necessary work, ensuring the health of the tree. Services arborists can provide include:
- Pruning: Arborists can help you determine what kind of pruning your tree needs, including improvement of health, appearance and safety of the tree. This may include removing limbs that interfere with utilities or structures or obstruct streets or sidewalks. While some pruning can be done on your own, if you’re pruning a large branch or anything from your tree that can’t be reached from the ground, be sure to hire a tree care professional.
- Tree removal: Some trees, like ash trees, are susceptible to an invasive insect called Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) which impacts all ash species and quickly kills untreated trees. If you need assistance removing a right-of-way ash tree, Denver’s Office of the City Forester can potentially help through the Ash Tree GAP removal and replacement program. Thyronectria Canker is increasingly common on honeylocusts and is easily spread between trees if pruning equipment isn’t properly disinfected between cuts.
- Emergency tree care: Removing or pruning storm-damaged trees may be necessary after severe weather events to keep trees healthy and to ensure broken or damaged limbs don’t pose a risk to you or the public’s safety.
- Planting: Arborists can also help with getting a new tree off to a healthy start by assisting with planting and creating a care plan that you can implement with ease. If you’re interested in planting a tree in the public right-of-way adjacent to your Denver property, you can apply for a free tree.
Why should I hire an arborist?
Trees are assets on our properties. They provide natural beauty year-round, summertime shade and a place for our flying friends to rest their wings. They increase the value of our homes, provide numerous environmental benefits and improve our quality of life and mental health. They’re also an investment—meaning they require proper and regular care. When it comes to caring for your tree, arborists are specially trained and equipped to perform the necessary work.
Depending on what’s required, tree work may be dangerous for homeowners to perform themselves. Licensed arborists are insured and specially trained in safety precautions while treating trees and will come to your property prepared with the appropriate equipment and training to keep themselves, the public and your property safe while caring for your trees. Every tree is unique, and each requires a different plan of care.
What should I look for when hiring an arborist?
When looking to hire tree care professionals, you may want to make sure the company has an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist on staff. This certification ensures an individual is proficient in the competencies needed for proper tree care. ISA Certified Arborists have knowledge in areas like tree biology, diagnosis, maintenance practices, proper safety procedures and other subject and practical areas within the tree care industry.
Where can I find an arborist in Denver?
Denver’s Office of the City Forester provides a helpful list of tree care professionals in Denver.
Professional, trained arborists know how to properly maintain trees for the safety of the public and the health of the tree. The best way to ensure your tree stays healthy is to hire a professional arborist. Watch this video to learn more about arborists.