If you are a homeowner or landlord in need of tree maintenance or management for your garden, it can be confusing to determine who to call for assistance. With various terms used interchangeably, such as tree surgeon, arborist, and arboriculturalist, it begs the question: what is the difference between them and which should you be seeking out?
A tree surgeon is an expert in the mechanical side of tree maintenance, using equipment such as chainsaws to perform tasks like pruning, crown reduction, and dead branch removal. They are skilled in cutting wood precisely to minimize recovery times and the chance of infection or infestation. They also understand and adhere to health and safety regulations.
An arborist, on the other hand, focuses on tree management and advises on the overall health and wellbeing of your trees. They can identify conditions that could infect or damage your tree, understand the best placement for a tree, and know how to deal with a sick tree. They are the masters of tree management and have the necessary qualifications and experience within the industry.
Interestingly, an arboriculturalist is the same as an arborist, despite the different term being used. Ideally, a tree care firm should have both tree surgeons and arborists who collaborate to ensure your trees are planted, managed, and maintained as well as possible.
However, it’s essential to beware of those who misuse their titles. The tree care industry has relatively low barriers to entry, so it’s crucial to check qualifications and credentials. An arborist typically has letters after their name and/or more than four years of continuous industry experience, while a tree surgeon would be qualified enough to carry out works by displaying their practical qualifications to an employer.