Consulting arborists are qualified tree experts who have experience and qualifications in the field of arboriculture. You can think of them as being distinguished authorities on the health, safety and preservation of trees in the environment, much like a doctor would be to a human patient.

Consulting arborists are often members of a particular organization, which means they receive ongoing training and education, such as from the American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA) and the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). These members must also adhere to a specific set of standards set forth by the organization. When it comes to getting quality advice, this added level of authority is invaluable.

Why Would Someone Need a Consulting Arborist?

There are a number of reasons why a homeowner or business owner would need to call in a consulting arborist. Although trees are necessary to the health and wellbeing of people and our planet, they can pose a problem in developed areas. For instance, if a tree becomes damaged during a storm and poses a threat to people, a consulting arborist will be called to provide an honest and qualified answer as to how the situation should be handled. The role of the consulting arborist would be to diagnose, appraise and evaluate the issue at hand to provide the person with a comprehensive review.

Consulting arborists do not perform the work, so what you are paying for is their professional advice. This is an important point to remember, as some people believe that the arborist will also carry out the task. With this in mind, you will find that many consulting arborists offer both consulting and contracting services. This can create a conflict of interest.  The better choice is to hire an independent consulting arborist who is not affiliated in any way with a company who actually does the work.  This is especially important if your case winds up in a court of law.

What Types of People Need Consulting Arborists?

Just about anyone may need the advice from a consulting arborist as some point in their life. Some of the most common people that request these services include:

  • Law firms

  • Insurance companies

  • Utilities

  • Land developers

  • Architects

  • Municipalities

  • Homeowners

  • Real estate owners

What is the Role of a Consulting Arborist?

Below are some of the most common reasons why a consulting arborist may be called in:

  • Diagnostic testing

  • Appraisal of trees and landscaping

  • Tree assessment and advice

  • Assessment of risks and hazards

  • Treatment advice for pest and disease problems

  • Arboricultural inventories

  • Tree protection advice

  • Supervision of work near trees

  • Root mapping

  • Land planning advice

Consulting arborists provide services in the following sectors:

  • Tree health and structure

  • Trees and development

  • Government consultation

  • Real estate and property

  • Legal

  • Insurance

How Do I Find a Qualified Consulting Arborist?

If you need the professional advice from a consulting arborist, finding one doesn’t have to be as difficult as you think. The best approach is to find a trusted agency that offers a database of certified, experienced consulting arborists. Plus, when you select a professional from a reputable organization, you know that they must adhere to a strict set of standards and receive ongoing education.

You don’t always need the advice of a consulting arborist.  Many times the advice of an ISA Certified Arborist will be sufficient as they are trained to care for trees.  For instance, Growing Earth Tree is an award-winning tree preservation company that has one of the highest ratios of ISA Certified Arborists in the industry. The ISA program offers six credentials that serve as a guiding path for growth and development in arboriculture. Memberships must be renewed as well, and this ensures that the consulting arborists are keeping up with their education and training.  If your particular situation requires the services of an independent consulting arborist, Growing Earth can make recommendations if you live the Northern Virginia area.

Other ways that you can choose a consulting arborist is based on case studies or common terms that will match you with the best professional for your needs. You can also talk to the arborist in advance thanks to helpful online tools.  Just remember that you are obtaining professional consulting advice, not contracting work.