Arborists are people who actually practice the science of arboculture, which is the study of individual trees and plants. An arborist usually selects a specific tree or plant and tries to assess ways and means to improve its growth and prevent diseases. They do not focus on protecting the entire forest and its varied species of vegetation. Instead, arborists try to preserve the population of one species of tree or flora at a time. In order to become professional arborists, candidates need to be certified by the government.
An individual arborist will make it his or her mission to protect and secure the life of one or two species of plants. The different disciplines of arboculture include the diagnosis and treatment of endangered species of trees, as well as their climbing and felling. It even involves cabling and protecting the trees from lightening. Sometimes arborists are also asked to write reports and provide consultation on trees that are hazardous to public life, diseased, or need protection from public because of their ecological importance.
Certified Arborist
In order to be a specialist in this field, individuals need to be trained so as to become certified arborists. This certificate is not readily available in every country, and institutions that teach this science are scattered all over the world. In the USA, the requisite is to pass the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) test. The candidate must also have three years of experience and practical training as a student of arboculture. The other qualifications required to be an arborist in America are, the Board Certified Master Arborist (BCMA), ISI Certified Arborist®, ISA Certified Arborist Municipal Specialist®, and ISA Certified Arborist Utility Specialist™.
In the UK, the qualifications provided do not usually allow arborists to be trained beyond chainsaw safety certification, which is also known as NPTC. Though many agriculture colleges offer national certificates and some diplomas for arborists, a few colleges offer degree courses at bachelors and masters level. In France, candidates wanting to become arborists need to gain certification from the 'French Ministry of Agriculture', get 'The Management of Ornamental Trees arborist certification, and get the 'Pruning and Care of Trees' certificate so as to be able to climb, inspect, or trim trees.
In Australia, the training is widespread because the 'Australian Qualifications Framework authority' offers many vocational and professional courses that help candidates become specialized arborists.
For the members of this profession, the learning never stops because they are expected to continuously update their knowledge and qualifications through practical as well as written exams.
Arborist Certification Online Courses
The ISA is the official authority in the US that conducts Arborist Certification examinations. These exams have been made available online since 2006. However, the candidates are required to go to a test center to give the exam. The details about the venue of the test centers within and outside US as well as test schedule are updated on ISA's website.
The certification is a matter of personal choice, because the interested candidates get a chance to be evaluated by professionals who have years of training and work experience. The costs for an arborist certificate is USD 250 for ISA and chapter members, and USD 350 for non-members. In order to be eligible for this test, the candidate must have 3 years of full-time arborist work experience as well as 2 years of professional work experience.
The ISA certificate expires every 3 years, and can be renewed after some basic requisites are completed. For example, during the 3 years of the valid certification, the arborist must have gained a minimum of 30 hours of ongoing education in arboculture. The renewal depends on the candidate's examination date, which is usually either on the 30th of June or the 31st of December. Renewal charges are applicable on the certificate.
Getting an arborist certification enables environment enthusiasts to contribute towards the welfare of nature. They dedicate their time and efforts trying to protect vegetation from the wrath of man. They examine, study, and identify the age of tree barks, and collect further data in order to protect similarly threatened species of trees.