Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet

Ohio State University Fact Sheet

Horticulture and Crop Sciences

2001 Fyffe Court, Columbus, OH 43210-1096

How to Hire an Arborist


Susan R. Metzger

The services of an arborist may be required if a tree is in need of pruning, fertilizing, weather-related damage assessment, or other problem diagnosis. The homeowner should have an idea of what needs to be done to a tree before hiring an arborist. Full-service arborists are professionals who possess skills in planting, transplanting, pruning, fertilizing, pest management, disease diagnosis, tree removal and stump grinding. Consulting arborists are experts who offer advice, but do not perform services. They specialize in tree appraisals, diagnosing problems, and recommending treatments.

Tips for Selecting an Arborist


Reputable arborists have made large investments in equipment and training. Trucks, hydraulic booms, chippers, sprayers, stump cutters and chain saws represent major capital investments and maintenance costs. Labor, insurance, safety training and continuing education add to the overhead. The price charged for a job reflects all these costs as well as a reasonable margin of profit. Work is usually priced one of two ways: as a single price for the job; or on an hourly basis plus materials. Remember that pruning is an art. The arborist's skill and professionalism may be more important than a low bid.

Ways to save on the cost of tree care:

Possible hazard tree Improperly pruned tree Properly maintained tree

Note: ISA offers various membership categories for professionals, students, and interested lay citizens. ISA promotes the improvement of arboriculture among its members and the public, sponsors research, produces educational materials and maintains a computerized information service.

International Society of Arboriculture
P. O. Box 908
Urbana, IL 61801

* A list of certified arborists in the United States is available on the Internet. The list can be sorted by Zip Code or state. The World Wide Web address for this list is: http://www.ag.uiuc.edu/~isa/arborists/arborist.html Information taken from: The National Arbor Day Foundation, Tree City USA Bulletin No. 6, "How to Hire an Arborist," 100 Arbor Avenue, Nebraska City, NE 68410.

All educational programs conducted by Ohio State University Extension are available to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, gender, age, disability or Vietnam-era veteran status.

Keith L. Smith, Associate Vice President for Ag. Adm. and Director, OSU Extension.

TDD No. 800-589-8292 (Ohio only) or 614-292-6181

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