If you have a project that needs doing in your yard or elsewhere on your property, you may be at a loss as to whose help to seek. If the project involves the care of a tree or other plant, you might not be sure if you should hire a landscaper or an arborist. After all, either one of these professionals could be responsible for taking care of the plants on your landscape.
There are, however, significant differences between the two jobs and it’s important that you know what those differences are for safety reasons. A landscaper is responsible, broadly for the creation of landscapes. While this may seem obvious, we should narrow this down into exactly what responsibilities that entails.
Among their other responsibilities, landscapers plant trees, bushes, and flowers and then maintain them afterwards. They will mow the lawn on a property, taking care to make sure the grass is healthy and safe from the threat of hot or cold climates. They will also test the pH and nutrients of the soil where your plants are growing to ensure optimum health for whatever flora you have decided to grow on your property.
Landscapers will also create mulch, which will be used on flowerbeds to keep them healthy and looking their best. Besides this, they are responsible for making sure whatever flowers are growing on your property are suited to the climate and time of year. If necessary, they will switch out the flowers as needed once the seasons change. If you have trees or shrubs, landscapers will prune those and regularly water them, especially before the winter to prevent dehydration. They are trained to know which plants to prune and which ones not to, and to provide adequate water and nutrition to suit the needs of each particular species.
In many cases, hiring a landscaper will yield you excellent results when it comes to the creation and maintenance of a presentable yard or garden. However, there are some limitations in what they are trained for and that is where arborists come in.
There is a bit of overlap in the jobs of a landscaper and that of an arborist; for example, both of them are expected to water and prune trees. However, when it comes to specialized work for trees, a landscaper may not have the proper training or equipment to carry out said work.
In addition to basic tree care, an arborist is responsible for several more in-depth needs that a tree may have. If you have a tree that is mature, or ailing, you should secure the services of an arborist as they will be uniquely qualified to assess the condition of any given tree. They will also be able to handle areas of tree care such as dealing with any sort of diseases a tree may have, or solving an insect infestation problem. If a tree is struggling to receive the necessary nutrients, an arborist will be able to make recommendations for fertilization as well.
Besides these duties, an arborist is also qualified to remove dead or dying trees from your property. Removing trees is generally a last resort option since it is a difficult process, so you will only want to do so on the recommendation of a certified arborist. Since trees are big and potentially dangerous if proper care is not taken, it’s essential you secure the services of the right type of professional if you need a tree removed. This process often requires a variety of specialized equipment, including everything from chainsaws to log splitters. An arborist is almost certainly the best person for the job under these circumstances.
Arborists are also the best ones to contact if your tree is in need of emergency care. There are a number of emergencies that can beset a tree and you’ll want to make sure that you are being helped by someone who knows what they are doing. Certain diseases can quickly spread from one tree to another and end up killing whole populations if action is not taken quickly. If a storm comes through or is likely to come through, an arborist can make recommendations as to what safety measures to take, such as the removal of limbs that are not strong enough to survive the storm.
If you are looking to plant new trees on your property, hiring an arborist to make recommendations as to the best species for your area and how to ensure the long-term health of the tree may also be the best option to take. Arborists will be certified specifically to work with trees and will be able to help you set up a tree health care plan so that if your tree does need any type of care in the future you will be prepared to deal with it.
If you are looking for more information, the Tree Care Industry Association provides information regarding standards for tree care and helpful advice for safety when dealing with trees. Their website is http://tcia.org. Additionally, the International Society of Arboriculture, at http://www.isa-arbor.com will provide similar information.