Friday, January 20, 2012

Congrats to Our Newest ISA-Certified Arborists!

Casey Trees just got smarter and more skilled! Two of our staff members - Mike Nelson and Michael Ferguson - just became International Society of Arborists (ISA)-Certified Arborists. We are gushing, just gushing.

Michael Ferguson cleans his pruning sheers.
Mike Nelson prunes an American elm tree.
What is a Certified Arborist and why are we so proud of Mike and Michael? A Certified Arborist is an experienced professional who has passed an extensive examination covering all aspects of tree care. It's a big deal because we know that when Mike and Michael plant trees through our RiverSmart Homes Shade Tree or Community Tree Plantingprograms, perform structural pruning or consult on tree care and health issues, their actions and advice are rooted in experience, hands on training and continuing education.

Congrats gents to a job well done!

Michael explains below just how and why he and Mike chose to become Certified Arborists. Read on.

Mike Nelson and I have worked on the tree planting crew for about 18 months. In that time, we've learned a great deal about planting, watering and pruning trees and arboriculture in general.

Eager to learn more about trees and urban forestry we have attended several Casey Trees training opportunities and attended the Mid-Atlantic Chapter, International Society Arboriculture (MAC-ISA) Conference. With this base of knowledge, we set out to become ISA-Certified Arborists. We both believed that becoming Certified Arborists would help us better understand how our actions in the field can affect trees and the surrounding environment and help us mentor our fellow crew members.

In preparation for the Certified Arborist exam we joined MAC-ISA and registered for a MAC Arborist Certification Course. Before the course we studied the Arborist Certification Study Guide, Principles and Practices of Planting, Trees and Shrubs and ISA Best Management Practices. Mike and I found the arborist certification course extremely helpful and we especially enjoyed the teaching style of Joseph Murray, an expert in the field.   

The prep course itself covered a wide array of tree topics including tree biology, urban forestry, pruning, tree risk management and safe work practices. After class we exchanged notes and reviewed practice questions. Following three days of coursework we took the certification exam consisting of 200 multiple choice questions. A few weeks later we received our results and were happy to learn that we both passed and were ISA-Certified Arborists!

There is a lot to know to properly manage trees. Being a Certified Arborist tells co-workers, volunteers and industry professionals that we employ the latest techniques in carrying out the mission of Casey Trees - to restore the tree canopy of D.C.

Learn more about why it is important to hire a Certified Arborist and when. We even give you tips for hiring a Certified Arborist.

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