Tree care is dangerous work and choosing a certified arborist is prudent both for your own safety and for the health of your trees. When large trees need to be pruned, never let someone use climbing spikes. Never, ever trust a drive-by tree service with a pick-up truck and a chainsaw.

Tree care should always be provided by a certified arborist. Arborists are trained in the identification, diagnosis and care of trees. They understand how to provide proper tree care safely.

Tips for selecting a certified arborist.

  • Look for the ISA Certified Arborist logo.
  • Make sure arborists are aware about any permits they may need to get before performing work.
  • Ask for proof of workers’ compensation and personal and property damage insurance. Verify that each policy is current by calling insurance carriers. This helps protect you from liability related to injuries or property damages that may result from tree work.
  • Call references and visit their sites to see finished work.
  • Get written estimates, even there is a charge to have an estimate completed.
  • Ensure that estimates include credentials, written scope of work, and all costs.
  • Compare quotes on the basis of services to be performed and costs for each service.
  • If a certified arborist only performs consultations, ask for recommendations for arborists who do the work themselves. Then, compare quotes these quotes with other.

Tips on contracting with an arborist.

When you are ready to select an arborist make sure to have a signed contract and ensure that work only starts after a contract is signed by both parties.

Read contracts carefully before signing. Make sure contracts say:

  • when work will start and end
  • which party is responsible for cleanup
  • the total price
  • the certified arborist’s hourly rate for additional work approved by the customer

Homeowner Resources

Check out these resources for maintaining your trees and advice on how to select an arborist.

TitleDescriptionDocument Type
Assessing Soil Water Resource Space

Trees require high quality resources in the correct proportions to perform best. Water, and the soil volume which holds water, are critical to great tree growth.

Certified Arborist Directory

Certified arborists are experienced professionals who have passed an extensive examination covering all aspects of tree care. Check this list for your city or county arborist if you have questions or concerns about street or park trees in your neighborhood.

Page on GFC Website
GA Tree Owners Manual

From Planting to Maintenance

Georgia Arborist Association

A resource for tree care professionals and the public to protect and care for Georgia’s trees.

External Website
Healthy Trees, Healthy Lives Research

Take care of the forest, and it will take care of you. As research is being conducted and becoming available, findings reinforce what much of the urban forestry community already knows — that trees have a positive impact on human health. Check out research on why Healthy Trees make Healthy Lives.

External Website
Homeowner’s Role in Maintaining the Urban Forest

Download this guide to get tips on maintaining trees, selecting an arborist and a homeowner tree survey checklist.

How to Plant Trees – A Homeowner’s Guide

“How do I plant a tree?” This is a common question, and tree planting and establishment guidelines have changed considerably over the past 20 years. Learning how to plant a tree and following proper practices when planting trees can lead to long term benefits from well established plants.

How to Water Your Trees

Summer heat often prompts us to wonder how our trees can survive when too little rain falls to keep the grass alive. There are important tips to follow for proper watering and maintenance.

Managing Storm Damaged Trees: Do’s and Don’ts

Check out this resource for the Do’s and Don’ts on how to manage damaged trees from a storm. Includes: how to hire a professional for clean up, chainsaw safety, pruning and maintenance for damaged trees and more.

Planting Container Trees

Containerized trees may come in many different sizes but and are usually available in 1,3,5,7 10 or 15 gallon-sized containers. Ideally, the size diameter of the container should be 8-10 inches for every inch of trunk diameter measured at 6” above the ground.

Save Energy – Plant Trees!

This video provides insights into the value of planting trees.

Trees and Drought

Drought is a main contributing factor to shade tree decline. Extended drought can influence the health of shade trees by the loss of absorbing roots.