Arborists are professionals who work in arboriculture, which is the cultivation, management, and study of individual trees, shrubs, and other perennial woody plants. The specific duties of certified arborists vary depending on their level of experience, location, and the services their company provides or specializes in. One of the tasks that arborists and other tree workers are most known for is climbing trees to prune or cut branches that are dead, dying, diseased, damaged, and hazardous using various tools and other equipment, such as chainsaws, handsaws, pole pruners, and more. In addition to climbing and removing limbs from a tree, an arborist is also responsible for ensuring that the area surrounding the tree is safe to work in and then transporting the fallen limbs away, either by truck or by repurposing the branches for other uses, such as mulch.
More than just cutting down trees, an arborist also needs to understand the many issues that can affect trees. Taking samples from trees and soil to diagnose any tree health problems is another core duty of an arborist. Burkholder PHC is a plant health care company, meaning that we take a holistic approach to cultivating, strengthening, and maintaining the health and appearance of your trees. So if one desires to plant trees on their property, we, as certified arborists, help them create the ideal conditions for exceptionally healthy and well-maintained trees.
In every industry, we as consumers depend on formal certification, licensing, and credentials to know which service providers are specifically qualified to perform specific tasks. This is true of commercial pesticide applicators, who must pass written tests in general chemistry and biology, insect and disease pest management, safe work practices, and testing specific to their specialty: landscapes, aquatics, field crops, parks, etc. Technically, a commercial plant health care (PHC) company can operate with only one such licensed individual. At Burkholder PHC, our client service and employee development policies require that all field staff are individually licensed by the state of Pennsylvania as Certified Commercial Pesticide Applicators. This license also requires that certified field specialists maintain continuing education credits annually in their field of work. This provides two clear benefits to our company and our clients:
As noted previously, arboriculture is the science and practice of cultivating and managing trees and shrubs, specifically for ornamental purposes. As with licensing of commercial pesticide applicators, professional arborists can be certified by a rigorous review of credentials, validation of education and experience, and testing of technical and applied knowledge administered by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). This credential can be challenging to achieve, genuinely demonstrating a person’s field-based experience and expertise in the aspects of tree care including:
Identification and Selection
Installation and Establishment
Safe Work Practices
Diagnosis and Treatment
Tree Risk Management
To become an ISA-certified arborist, one must officially have a “minimum of three years of full-time experience in arboriculture or a combination of education and practical arboricultural experience.” The ISA defines 1 year of full-time experience as approximately 1,795 hours of work, and candidates must provide documentation of this work experience. Candidates can also be eligible for certification through several formal education and training and practical work experience combinations. Once an aspiring arborist has met the work and education experience requirements and applies for certification to the ISA, they must pass an exam that tests their knowledge on a broad range of arboriculture topics.
Unlike commercial pesticide applicator licensing, qualifying as a certified arborist is optional in Pennsylvania; the certification is not a required credential to perform or administer tree work. However, given that recognition as a certified arborist is a formal acknowledgment of applied experience, education, and technical competency, all of our technical, sales, and managerial staff members are certified arborists, recognized by the International Society of Arboriculture and the Pennsylvania-Delaware Chapter of the ISA. From plant and pest identification, soil analysis, and pruning methods to management recommendations, soil amendment prescriptions, and structural tree care, all arborists exceed the standards of experience, education, and commitment to property and client care.
Trees are complex organisms that constantly interact with other plant life on your property, so a comprehensive understanding of those environments and the plants within them is crucial to ensuring your trees are properly cared for. In addition, landscapes and the knowledge/tools needed to care for them are constantly changing, from homeowners planting new non-native species of trees to new pests arriving and disturbing landscape trees. A certified arborist’s knowledge is also continually growing thanks to the educational opportunities and requirement that certification dictates.
At Burkholder Plant Health Care, our program emphasizes proper diagnosis and precise treatment. We use state-of-the-art, research-backed methods and equipment. Our certified field specialists are trained and experienced in managing all insect and disease pests, soil chemistry, and plant physiological problems to deliver lasting results. Our staff’s field knowledge, coupled with the precision of our spray rigs, material selections, and treatment methods, allow us to maintain proactive plant health care management, identifying and intercepting problems before they become economically or aesthetically damaging.
In addition, our objective is to maintain a close relationship of open and reliable communication with all clients, building partnerships that will promote the development of beautiful, long-lasting, healthy landscapes. From spot treatments to comprehensive, whole-property management and from the largest landscape trees to the smallest bedding plants, Burkholder Plant Health Care has the certified arborists and resources to deliver the attention to detail and professional care that your landscape deserves.
359 Paoli Pike
Malvern, PA 19355
Monday - Friday: 7 - 5
PA HIC #035148