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For many first-time homeowners, yardwork is a sort of rite of passage. Tromping around the yard, peering critically at trees and shrubs, and making a list of new yard maintenance tools to buy are things many new homeowners do. They might even call their mom or dad for advice.

But whether your home is brand new to you or you’ve owned your house for a decade or more, there are some tasks that require a professional opinion or services. You might get away with trimming small trees within an arm’s reach, but some tasks are beyond your skills—trying some types of tree maintenance can be dangerous. So when should you call a certified arborist?

What Is a Certified Arborist?

While the crew members employed by most tree services have extensive knowledge about how to safely trim or remove trees, certified arborists have considerably more training and knowledge. To become a certified arborist, a person must have several years of experience in tree care and an undergraduate degree in forestry, arboriculture, horticulture, or landscape architecture.

They must then pass a comprehensive examination that tests knowledge of tree safety, maintenance, and biology, plus tree diagnosis. To remain certified, arborists must keep up with the latest developments in tree care and diagnosis through continuing education and maintain the standards of the certified arborist’s Code of Ethics.

Now, let’s examine when to call a certified arborist for consultation or service.

Call After a Storm

When Arizona’s monsoons sweep through the area, the sudden onslaught of water can cause erosion around trees, destabilizing them. Trees can even develop root rot where water pools before running off.

Storms can also weaken limbs that endure high winds. If you suspect any of your trees may have been damaged in recent storms, you should call a certified arborist for a tree inspection.

Call When You Notice Sudden Changes or Dying Branches

When a previously robust tree begins to look distressed with no obvious explanation, call a certified arborist. It may be that the tree is simply nearing the end of its natural life span, but it could be something else. Disease, insect infestation, fungi, or extreme weather conditions can affect all trees, but these can be especially devastating for non-native trees that aren’t used to your area’s conditions.

Call for an Assessment of Fire Risk

Wildfire seasons have grown longer and more intense, and areas previously unaffected may now be in danger. If you’ve never had an arborist assess your property for fire risk, now would be a good time to do it. Looking at your trees from the perspective of what could happen in a wildfire can help you prepare to protect your property should an inferno head your way.

ArborCraft’s certified arborists in Phoenix can prune and maintain your trees safely, assess storm damage, and tell you whether your trees show signs of disease. We’ll do everything we can to help save a beloved tree that looks stressed, but we’ll also be candid with you about the risk of falling branches or even toppling. Call ArborCraft today for an assessment of the trees on your private or commercial property.