ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Spring is in the Air: It's Time to Call Your Certified Arborist


New York, Apr 16, 2002

It's springtime--the Earth awakens, buds swell, bulbs burst and birdsong fills the air. The annual, much anticipated seasonal rebirth of all things green renews our appreciation of one of nature's most beneficial gifts: the tree.

Trees keep our air oxygenated, decorate our thoroughfares and provide cool shade in the dog days of summer. Keeping these benevolent beings healthy is the main concern of the National Arborist Association, an ANSI member and ANSI-accredited standards developer. NAA serves as the secretariat for the Accredited Standards Committee A300 that maintains a series of standards for Tree Care Operations (ANSI A300 Part 1-2001; Part 2-1998; Part 3-2000).

These documents provide standard definitions for tree care maintenance and performance standards for tree pruning operations, utility line clearance and writing tree-pruning specifications. In addition, they promote practices to ensure healthy pruning and fertilization practices as well as procedures to protect and treat trees from pests and diseases.

In many cases, homeowners will need to call upon professional assistance in the care of their trees, preferably those who follow the guidelines in the A300 standard. That is where the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), an ANSI membership organization dedicated to fostering a greater appreciation for trees and to promoting the research, technology and practice of professional arboriculture, comes in.

ISA-certified arborists will agree in writing to perform all work to ANSI A300 standards. According to ISA, an arborist is a specialist in the care of individual trees who is knowledgeable about the needs of trees and trained and equipped to provide proper care. ISA's certification program ensures the skills and qualifications of an arborist in twelve domains:

  • Nutrition/Fertilization
  • ID/Selection
  • Installation/Establishment
  • Safety/Climbing
  • Tree Risk Assessment
  • Biology
  • Pruning
  • Diagnosis/Treatment
  • Soil/Water Relations
  • Trees/People/Ecology
  • Tree Preservation/Construction
  • Cabling/Bracing

In addition to their intrinsic benefits, trees are an investment. Well-cared for trees can increase property value, while poorly maintained trees could be a significant liability. Proper care can lead to substantial returns and hiring the right arborist can help protect your investment. Both NAA and ISA recommend seeking the services of a certified arborist and have included a database on their websites to help consumers find one in their area. Check the ISA database and NAA database for more information.

This season, when you get into the swing of spring, remember to provide your trees with proper care and maintenance. They will reward your efforts with longevity and beauty.

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