Arborist vs. Tree Surgeon

Date August 02, 2022

Author TreeNewal Staff

When it comes to tree service, there are two main types of professionals: arborists and tree surgeons. These terms are often used interchangeably and can be mistaken for the same thing.

While they share some similarities, there are key differences between the two that homeowners should be aware of. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the distinctions between a tree surgeon and an arborist and how they work together to support and maintain the ecosystem.

Here at TreeNewal, we believe our tree care specialists must be at the top in their field to provide industry-leading tree care for our North Texas communities.

Arborists and Tree Surgeon Similarities

Think of an arborist as a tree doctor and a tree surgeon as a medical surgeon; they share commonalities, but their responsibilities and skills are widely different. Both professions require high-level training and experience in the field of arboriculture. Each respective role contributes to the ecosystem and keeps it healthy and thriving.

What is an Arborist?

As tree doctors, arborists specialize in the science of arboriculture. They study a tree’s symptoms, diagnose the tree’s condition, and provide a detailed treatment plan. Understanding the ecology of the tree and its relationship to the environment is complex, which is why certified arborists can provide knowledgeable advice on tree planting, soil conditions, and all things concerning the environment and its trees.

Some of their duties include:

  • Provide recommendations for tree planting based on local ecology
  • Assess soil type and pH levels
  • Accurately diagnose tree health and identify stressors
  • Planning and overseeing the job site to ensure the safety of workers and homeowners
  • Tree preservation efforts
  • Proactive construction solutions
  • Tree surveys and mitigation

A significant difference between an arborist and a tree surgeon is the qualifications they hold. Arborists can receive certification from the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), which is the gold standard for arborists and is respected worldwide.

What is an ISA Certified Arborist?

To be eligible to take the ISA Certification exam, arborists must have at least three years of full-time paid experience working in arboriculture and have completed an accredited arboriculture training program.

The ISA exam covers all aspects of arboriculture, such as tree biology, nutrition and fertilization, cabling and bracing systems, tree risk assessment, and much more.

To learn more about why ISA Certification is so important, check out our blog on Why an ISA Certification is so important.

After the arborist is certified, they must maintain their credentials by completing credits every three years. This ensures that they are up to date on the latest advancements in technology and the science of arboriculture.

What is a Tree Surgeon?

After the arborist conducts a complete diagnosis of the tree and provides a tree wellness plan, the tree surgeon carries out the course of treatment. Like medical surgeons, tree surgeons specialize in the meticulous tasks required for proper tree health, like trimming, felling, and removal.

With so many factors that could go wrong when removing a large tree, extreme precision and extensive training are essential. Experienced tree surgeons are adept at performing these exceptionally difficult and dangerous projects accurately and safely. They can carry out these tasks with a manner of control that is paramount to the safety of homeowners and on-site workers.

Some of their duties include:

If you need any of these services, contact a TreeNewal tree surgeon today.

Tree Surgeon Qualifications

While tree surgeons may not require as many credentials as arborists, it doesn’t take away from the fact that not everyone can be a tree surgeon. Tree surgeons must know the effective methods for specific tree services, safety training, equipment handling, years of on-the-job training, and more.

TreeNewal’s highly trained tree surgeons undergo rigorous training to ensure they provide the best and safest tree care services for North Texas homeowners.

TreeNewal Tree Surgeons and ISA Certified Arborists

Despite the title of this blog, these two extremely difficult roles work together to promote and maintain ecology and the health and vigor of trees. Our team of professional tree care experts understands the full scope of tree care, and we have all the tools and skillsets needed to provide the best possible tree care serving North Texas communities. All of TreeNewal’s arborists are ISA Certified, and we hold our tree surgeons to this standard of excellence.

When you choose TreeNewal for your tree care services, you choose a team committed to providing the highest quality care for your trees. If you need tree care services or are interested in becoming an ISA Certified Arborist or tree surgeon, contact TreeNewal today.

If you need advice or assistance with tree maintenance, get in touch with our ISA Certified Arborists at TreeNewal and enjoy tailored tree care services.


To learn more about Arborist vs. Tree Surgeon?, call our Argyle and Southlake-based teams

at (817) 592-6846 or send us a message.

We’re a little different than the average tree services company.

Learn more about TreeNewal’s ISA Certified Arborists!

Our Dallas/Fort Worth-based tree doctors can explain how sustainable tree care services add more value to your bottom line.

Healthy trees, healthy lives.