What is a Board Certified Master Arborist
The Master Arborist or Board Certified Master Arborist credential identifies professional arborists who have attained the highest level of arboriculture offered by the International Society of Arboriculture(ISA) and one of the two top levels in the field. There are several paths to the Board Certified Master Arborist, but typically on average each has been an ISA Certified Arborist a minimum of three to five years before qualifying for the exam (this can vary depending upon other education and experience). The certification began as a result of the need to distinguish the top few arborists and allow others to identify those with superior credentials. The ISA added specialty certifications of Utility Specialist, for those maintaining vegetation around electric utility wires, Municipal Specialist, for those with additional experience managing public urban trees.
The Master Arborist examination is a far more extensive exam, and covers a broad scope of both arboriculture management, science and work practices. It essentially takes the Certified Arborist exam, broadens it and adds additional areas to it. There are fewer than six hundred Master Arborists in the world, when you look for one you are looking for the best.
Another credential that is on a par with the Master Arborist is that of the American Society of Consulting Arborists, the Registered Consulting Arborist. There are perhaps six hundred individuals with that qualification, and only a few arborists who hold both credentials.
The ISA Board Certified Master Arborist exam covers virtually every area of arboriculture (other than consulting), with the following areas covered on exam.
- Abiotic Influences Soil Factors, Environmental Factors, Mechanical, Nursery Stock and Planting Practice, Phytotoxic Chemicals, Air Pollution (ozone, Peroxyacyl nitrates (PAN), sulfur dioxide)
- Biology Organism, Population Ecology
- Biotic Influences Entomology, Pathology, Wildlife considerations
- Diagnostic Process Causes of Plant Disorders, Steps in Diagnosis
- Diagnostic Tools Field and Laboratory Analysis
- Plant Identification and Selection Classification, Plant attributes and characteristics
- Soil Sciences Soil Formation, Soil Diagnostics and Testing, Characteristics of Urban Soils, Physical, Chemical, Biology, Water Capacity and Movement, Compaction, Organic Matter, Amendments
- Climbing, Rigging, and Removal Equipment, Ropes and Knots, Climbing Techniques and Safety, Principles and Techniques of Rigging, Felling Techniques
- Installation Site Selection, Species Selection, Installation Techniques, Rooted cutting, grafted, seedling, Post Planting Care IPM Definition and Philosophy of IPM, Monitoring, Inspection, and Documentation of Problems, Trees, Stress, and Pests, IPM/PHC Practices
- Water Management Role of Water in Tree Health, Water Absorption and Movement in Tree, Effects of Water Stress, Turf and Tree Issues with Water Management, Soil Water Limits and Key Points, Water Movement, Irrigation, Reclaimed Water, Hydrogel, Water Quality, Plant Age/Condition/Species and Impact of Water or Irrigation Pruning Theory, Objectives, Types of Pruning, Practice, Pruning Specifications
- Soil Treatments Chemical Treatments (Fertilization), Physical Treatments, Biological Treatments
- Support & Protection Cabling, Bracing, Guying Established Trees, Lightning Protection, Inspection and Maintenance of Each System
- Business Relations Professional Ethics in Arboriculture, Industry Standards, Legal Requirements, Business Operations
- Inventory and Management Plans Urban/Rural Inventories, Components of a Landscape or Management Plan, Implementation and Maintenance of Plan Plant Appraisal Methods, Other Considerations
- Risk Assessment Components of Tree Risk Assessment, Factors Influencing Tree Risk, Evaluation of Defects, Evaluating the Effects of Decay on the Potential for Failure, Risk Rating Systems, Tree Risk Abatement, Duty and Standard of Care
- Safety Electrical, Safe Work Practices, Standards, Laws and Regulations, Tools & Equipment Safety, Emergency Response Procedures, Personal Protection Equipment, Work Site Practices, Communications, Oversight, ID of Hazard Trees, Vehicles
- Tree Preservation Tree Preservation Process, Designs to Minimize Impacts to Trees, Pre-construction Treatments, Tree Protection During Construction, Post Construction Care
http://www.isa-arbor.com International Society of Arboriculture
http://www.treesaregood.org TreesAreGood.org (arboricultural resources for the general public)
http://www.isa-arbor.com/certification/verifyCredential/index.aspx Verify a Certified Arborist credential
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