The job of an arborist is to study arboriculture, and arborists specialize in tree care. They are knowledgeable about health and tree safety. Any community that wants healthy and valuable trees needs an experienced, trained, and certified arborist.
Arboriculture (from Latin arbor, -is = wood and colo, colere = cultivate) is a scientific and practical discipline that deals with the study as well as the planting, care and cultivation of trees , shrubs and woody shoots (perennial woody plants) primarily in urban areas for aesthetic reasons, so that man and plant coexist in a sustainable environment.
Arboriculture science studies how these plants evolve and respond to measures of care and the environment. Practices include all actions taken on and around trees to maintain vitality and prevent occurrences affecting their fitness including cultivation techniques such as taxon selection, planting, formation, fertilization, disease, and pest protection, pruning, shaping, filling the cavities, anchoring and when necessary removing – cutting. Arborists employ various devices and technology in their field, not only formal tools. These can include multiple measuring devices.
An arborist toolset includes tree climbing gear, among which are helmets, sets of carabiners for their double-braided ropes, anchoring elements, wedges, and chainsaw lanyards. Some arborists need to climb dozens of feet up a tree to perform necessary cuts, so proper climbing techniques are of paramount importance. Personal safety is one of the critical points in this field, one that comes first. Helmets must always be worn, and trees must be audited for climbing safety, ascensions and descension techniques must be extensively practiced with the help of seasoned trainers. This also includes various maneuvers, as many species of trees, have thick wiggly branches that go out in different unpredictable directions at every angle. Chainsaws are usually attached to their climbing gear, and an arborist need not worry about dropping it or having it get stucks to a branch, as the chainsaws hang close to their body.
The name “tree surgeon” is a common name for an arborist as well, and it’s well deserved as arborists sometimes have to ‘operate’’ on trees, or trim and maintain them to ensure proper functional growth and look.
Arboriculture is primarily aimed at single trees and other woody plants that make the landscape permanent and provide pleasure, usually in gardens, parks and different categories of green space and form part of horticulture. The profession is experiencing worldwide expansion in parallel with the development of public awareness of the importance of maintaining trees properly in the green spaces of cities. This also means that arborists commonly work together with city and area planners to lay down the foundation and design for various green fields and areas in urban environments.