Arborist, Landscaper or Tree Surgeon: Which Do You Need?

The difference between an arborist, a landscaper and a tree surgeon may not be obvious to property owners. These terms are often used interchangeably, and you may think it really doesn’t matter which of these professionals you hire.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. While these three professions share a degree of commonality, the differences are significant. Here, we explain when to hire an arborist, and when (or if) it may make more sense to call on a landscaper or tree surgeon instead.

arborist landscaper tree surgeon

What Is an Arborist?

A certified arborist has in-depth training in how to properly plant and care for trees. Obtaining certification from the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), the organization that sets the industry standards, requires at least three years of full-time work experience. A certified arborist must also pass a comprehensive exam and participate in continuing education and ongoing training throughout their career.

What Is a Landscaper?

A landscaper typically doesn’t have nearly the same level of training as a certified arborist. In fact, most landscapers learn the trade while on the job. That said, many of these professionals are well-versed in aesthetic yard design, garden bed preparation, plant and hardscape installation, landscape irrigation and lawn maintenance. However, you could just as easily land someone who’s new to the industry. And, unlike a certified arborist, even an experienced landscaper doesn’t usually specialize in tree care.

What Is a Tree Surgeon?

A tree surgeon offers professional pruning, trimming and tree removal – but lacks formal training in the correct ways to complete these often difficult and dangerous tree services. Like landscapers, tree surgeons learn on the job. Some develop skills after years in the industry. Others, however, may not possess the knowledge or ability to properly care for your trees.

Deciding Which Type of Professional to Hire

Should you hire an arborist? Or is a landscaper or tree surgeon better suited to meet your needs?

To answer that question, consider the scope of work that you need to have done. If your trees are hazardous or unhealthy, turn to a certified arborist. Arborists offer expert planting, pruning, trimming, preventive maintenance and many other essential tree services such as risk assessment, disease and insect control, cabling, bracing and removal.

If, on the other hand, your lawn and property need more of an aesthetic overhaul, calling a landscaper is probably your best bet. Since a certified arborist can do everything a tree surgeon can do and more – and since many tree surgeons have little to no serious training – hiring this type of professional instead of an arborist could ultimately be costly.

Have you decided to hire an arborist? If you live in northern Utah, call on the professional team at Reliable Tree Care.

An industry leader in the greater Salt Lake City area for more than 20 years, Reliable Tree Care offers complimentary comprehensive yard evaluations to homeowners and businesses in the northern Utah region. To schedule an appointment with a highly-experienced certified arborist, contact our Murray office today.