massachusetts arborists Association

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CONSUMER INFORMATION


HIRING AN ARBORIST

Hiring an arborist is an excellent investment in your property and your valuable trees!

The following are the most common activities for arborists to undertake:

Pruning - as needed to improve the growth, health, structural integrity of a tree or shrub.  Young trees require pruning to grow properly.  Older tree require pruning to reduce weight and improve tree health.

Planting - specifically, choosing the right tree for the right location!  Some tree care companies also specialize in large tree installation, which requires specialized tools and equipment.

Plant Health Care / Insect and Disease Treatment - insects, diseases and stressors in the landscape such as urban hardscape or drought can all cause harm to trees.  An arborist can advise on how to maximize the health of your trees to endure these stresses.

Emergency Tree Care - storm damage is prevalent in New England.  The clearing of a downed or damaged tree is a highly specialized and risky endeavor, made more complex if power lines are involved.  Arborists are specially trained to remove damaged limbs and fallen trees safely to avoid further risk to lives or property.

Tree Removals - it is a common misconception to believe that hiring a tree care company means you will be advised to take down your trees!  Arborists focus on the health and well being of your trees.  They will take into account the risk a particular tree may present to you, your property, as well as the health of surrounding trees.  Tree removal may be recommended if there is reason to believe people, property, or surrounding trees and plants may be impacted by a dead, dying, or structurally unsound tree.  Some tree companies specialize in tree removals due to the type of equipment and skillset required to remove tree safely without damage to surroundings.

                    

In Massachusetts there is no licensing requirement for arborists.  (This is why we strongly recommend seeking a MA Certified Arborist to work on your trees). New Hampshire and Massachusetts have arboriculture certification programs.  Connecticut, Maine and Rhode Island have a licensing requirement for arborists.

Other respected certifications and credentials are available through Tree Care Industry Association and International Association of Arboriculture (ISA).  You can verify credentials for those associations here:

ISA's Find a Certified Arborist web page

TCIA "Find Qualified Tree Care" web page

RESOURCES

Information on Massachusetts Tree Laws (with regard to neighboring properties and trees, fences, etc).

ASCA - American Society of Consulting Arborists 
If you're looking for someone to consult on a tree-related matter or dispute, ASCA members service a wide variety of clients, including property owners, municipalities, contractors, attorneys, insurance professionals, developers, engineers, other arborists, and more. Services include: Expert Witness and Litigation; Forensic Investigations; Tree Risk Assessments and Surveys.  A number of MAA members are also members of ASCA.

MTWFA - Massachusetts Tree Wardens and Foresters Association 
Massachusetts law requires that every town and city have a qualified tree warden, either elected or appointed. The tree warden mandate is found in Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 41, Section 1 and Section 106.  Town tree wardens may be volunteers or paid town employees.  The tree warden is the person to call if you have a concern about a street tree or other public trees in your town.  Many members of Mass Tree Wardens are also MAA members and some are also Massachusetts Certified Arborists.

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