Tree Surgeons vs Arborists: Are They the Same, and Which Do You Need?

Trees can transform a garden and are an important part of landscaping. They bring a wealth of benefits to both the garden and the property. They provide some relief from the sun on hot summer days, and they help to cool the home too.

Adding greenery could be one of the best backyard improvement ideas you have had, and trees add much beauty to the landscape. They can even help raise the value of a residential property. However, they need care and maintenance from time to time.

The question is, who do you call for assistance with your trees? You have almost certainly heard of tree surgeons, but what about arborists? Are there any differences between these two roles, and what are they? 

What Are The Distinctions Between A Tree Surgeon And An Arborist?

Both tree surgeons, and arborists, are professionals who help to care for the wellbeing of trees.

Some people say they are effectively the same, but their positions are actually pretty different. The way their careers progress is different too.

When people choose to work with trees, they can choose employment in different areas. The two most common titles perhaps are tree surgeons or arborists, and they are separate roles.

The arborist is sometimes described as more of a tree doctor Salt Lake City, analyzing, diagnosing, and treating the problem. Whereas, a tree surgeon has a more invasive approach which includes removing limbs, and even whole trees. 

Who Are Tree Surgeons, And What Do They Do?

To become a tree surgeon takes time and they need to gain a large amount of experience and knowledge to become proficient in their role.

According to the National Careers Service, to become a tree surgeon requires relevant university qualifications in forestry or arboriculture, for instance. Someone could become a tree surgeon through an apprenticeship with college qualifications, and other training too.

Tree surgeons are responsible for felling trees, pruning, trimming, removing damaged branches, and cleaning up after storms. They know how to spot diseases and hazards such as dead limbs 

What Does An Arborist Do, And How Do They Become One?

To become a member of and be certified by the International Society of Arboriculture, a person would have to undergo studies and training for several years.

They can assess and analyze bark and spot diseases long before they have been able to take hold and cause damage. This skill means that they can prepare a plan to treat trees and save them from being felled.

However, there are still areas where arborists and tree surgeons cross over. By and large though, if you have trees in your garden, you are probably more likely to call a tree surgeon than an arborist. 

When Do You Need To Call In A Tree Surgeon?

The most common problems a homeowner would experience are likely to be dealt with by a tree surgeon.

Perhaps the most common reason for calling a tree surgeon is when a tree becomes a hazard. This can be when a tree is dying and the branches are decaying, presenting a danger. Trees can subside if the ground becomes extremely waterlogged, and they can be damaged in storms.

You would want to find local tree surgeons after a storm if your tree is damaged. A broken limb could easily fall, and trees can become weakened or lean over after a storm.

Tree surgeons can assess the problem, and either repair the tree, remove the hazardous branches or even fell the tree completely if necessary. 

Can’t You Just Do The Tree Repairs Yourself?

In specific circumstances, there is no reason why you can't prune a small tree yourself. You can learn how to do this, and keep the tree looking good with few problems.

However, this should only be done with small trees. Anything that involves heavy branches that are above eye level or trees that need to be climbed should be left to the professionals. Tree surgery is a dangerous, difficult job that is best left to experienced workers.

The CDC reports that during a fifteen-year period from 1992 to 2007, there were nearly 1300 fatalities from performing tree care. 44% of these were from tree trimming and pruning.

Tree surgeons need to be mentally and physically fit, as the work involves climbing and heavy dangerous tools such as chainsaws. 


If you feel that there is something wrong with your tree, the bark is discolored or there are unusual markings, then you may want to call in an arborist. They can take samples of the bark, diagnose the problem, and then treat it.

Tree surgeons will also recognize issues such as disease, but they will also be able to help with issues such as storm damage.

Knowing how to decorate your garden means that you will be able to enjoy a wonderful outdoor area. Flowers, plants, and trees can transform a backyard.

Tree surgeons and arborists can help you to keep that beautiful garden safe and healthy so you can enjoy it for a long time.

I am Vera Watson. Drawing The House is a dream that was conceived when I saw a niche in consumer guide on almost everything in our homes. My main aim is to help you save money by testing the products you need and recommending you the best of them all. I believe in the family as an institution and the first way to make a family happy is providing the best for them.

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