Arborist Certification

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  • #159740
    Judith Mercado
    Participant

    Recently at work I got to meet our Certified Master Arborist. We got into discussing all things related to trees, its growth patterns, disease infestations, carbon sequestration, photosynthesis ect. I asked him how hard it was to complete the certification and how valuable it was to get certified as a landscape architect. He right away insisted that I get certified, because to his knowledge a landscape architect should not only know how to design but should also be able to pick and choose which plants will adapt and survive best, keeping in mind their climate zone, hardiness, and susceptibly to insects and diseases. I told him that as a recent college graduate in landscape architecture I had taken classes in insects, soil types ect. He suggested that I take the exam since most of those topics I had studied as an undergraduate would show up. I went to the ISA website and found that there are several options to becoming certified.

    http://www.isa-arbor.com/certification/benefits/credentialsExplained.aspx

    Have any of you been certified as an arborist? If so which certificate program? Do you feel that it has help in your profession?

    #159752
    Craig Anthony
    Participant

    I think it’s interesting that you brought up the subject. I’m looking to get ISA certified even though I’m an RLA. I thought it might open doors for my business as a Landscape Architect.

    #159751
    Jordan Lockman
    Participant

    I have considered it. Never hurts to have another certification. As I have learned in the past. I learn a lot just studying for the test and then I have a certification that does not really benefit me all that much.

    #159750
    Mike G
    Participant

    Unless you have an interest in arboricultural operations the basic ISA Certified Arborist would be the way to go.  The Municipal and Utility Specialist are more specialized toward operations management while the Tree Worker and Aerial Lift credentials are intended for a more production oriented working position.

    I can’t say if my certification has benefited my entering the LA field.  However, I can say that I will never be without work if the LA industry completely ka’puts out. 

    -Trees for life.

    #159749
    Judith Mercado
    Participant

    Well ultimately I would like to own my own firm someday so I figured I have as much experience as I can get. Besides trees fascinate me. Everything from their photosynthesis process to carbon sequestration. My goal is to first become a certified arborist and then become a board certified master arborist. I heard to become certified you not only have to know about trees but also about insects and soils.

     

    Mike: Was the test hard at all? Do you know if I have to certified in all the lower divisions before becoming a board certified master arborist?

    #159748
    Mike G
    Participant

    Judith, If you know or have experience in arboriculture it is not hard.  By this I would include pruning, fertilization, climbing knots, chain saw safety, etc…

    I wouldn’t worry about studying at all, learn the craft.  Don’t worry about the BCMA exam either, take that after you already are a Master Arborist.

    If you want to really learn about arboriculture read Alex Shigo, Modern Arboriculture.  He printed the best advise for studying trees on the cover of this book: ‘Touch Trees.’

    #159747
    Ryan N. Ochsner
    Participant

    I became certified as a requirement for my current position. Getting the certification does require knowledge that many LA’s are lacking in. While it is a commendable and respectable certification, my feeling is that it’s more of a technical certification that’s geared more toward technicians or contractors. I think anyone designing with trees, specifying trees, or answering questions about trees will benefit from the knowledge needed to be certified.

    #159746
    Dotty Daly
    Participant

    I have been certified for 9 years. I am not an RLA yet, so it has been helpful in my work. If you know trees its not a difficult test. In addition, you can get CEU credit when you get your continuing education credits for your RLA. Its fairly inexpensive. Keep in mind many LA’s dont know trees. Learning more about them can only be a good thing.

    #159745
    Judith Mercado
    Participant

    Thanks Dotty. Some LA do know trees =) I know this might be a dumb question but as I always say someones gotta ask it. I keep seeing this RLA term what does that mean?

    #159744
    Dotty Daly
    Participant

    Registered Landscape Architect. In California its CLA and I am not sure if other states have their own initials. Landscape Architecture is governed by title laws and you cant be called a Landscape Architect until you are registered. You can be an associate landscape architect or landscape designer etc…RLA or CLA designates that you have gone through the process. What is your background?

    #159743
    Judith Mercado
    Participant

    Now its all coming back. I’m a recent college graduate from landscape architecture. Technicly I’m not a CLA but working on it. I also received a minor in GIS and thats where my career at the moment is taking me. Looking into getting a masters in urban planning pretty soon. How about yourself?

     

    #159742
    Dotty Daly
    Participant

    MLA in ’98, certified arborist, AICP planner and 1 exam left for my RLA. I am basically an environmental planner (transportation industry) who also gets to do some landscape design projects. Have you started the LARE process?

     

    #159741
    Judith Mercado
    Participant

    I have not yet but thats on my list to get done along with getting my masters, and becoming a certified master arborist.

     

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