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arborists: the professionals our trees are begging for

Susan Cita

Arborists focus on arboriculture, meaning their focus is on the cultivation of trees and shrubs. Arborists are trained in the art and science of planting, caring for, and maintaining trees and possess a deep understanding of tree biology, diagnosis, maintenance practices and safety. It’s important to use a professional when it comes to tree care and having an arborist involved on your project helps ensure the health of your trees for years to come.

Luckily, we have an on-staff arborist within our TBG walls – Susan Cita, Senior Associate, is an integral part of our Houston office and is an ISA Certified Arborist.

Susan Cita in the field

what does an arborist do & how does it benefit my project?
ISA-certified since 1990, Susan’s knowledge of arboriculture ensures our projects are set up to be successful near-term and long-term. Generally speaking, an arborist is qualified to consult on and make recommendations for:

site inspection
If a project site has been recently acquired, an arborist is useful in understanding the inventory and health of the trees on your site.

On site with Patti Dodson, former City of Austin arborist

tree health identification
An arborist’s knowledge and understanding of overall tree care will typically uncover issues with a tree’s health – oftentimes before it’s noticeable to the untrained eye.

Observations from the field

tree selection
Because of their deep knowledge of tree species, arborists are well-suited to select and make recommendations for species of trees based on certain micro-climate conditions within a site.

A “one size fits all” preventive maintenance plan will likely protect trees from dying or becoming unhealthy, but an arborist will ensure that each tree is receiving the appropriate maintenance based on type of tree, location, season, etc.

One of the most important practices in keeping trees healthy, an arborist understands the benefits of proper mulching — and can make recommendations to ensure mulching does not have a negative impact on tree health.

An example of volcano mulching — excessive mulching against a tree’s trunk that causes excessive moisture retention against the bark, stunted growth, encourages pest damage, and encircling girdling roots, all of which are detrimental to healthy tree growth and may lead to a tree’s death

A properly mulched tree with exposed root flare

form and functionality
In addition to providing shade, trees can also be useful in privacy screening – an arborist will be able to make specific recommendations of species based on the project’s needs.

Pruning can be necessary for various reasons including, improvement of health, appearance and safety. An arborist can determine what type of pruning is necessary.

land clearing
Sometimes trees need to be removed, due to health issues or otherwise. An arborist understands how to do this in a safe way that will not disturb other trees or damage the land.

tree removal
Tree removal can be expensive. Consider an arborist when a tree is dead or dying, posing an unacceptable risk, causing an obstruction, crowding other trees, or located in an area where there is new construction.

emergency tree care
Removing trees damaged by wind or freezing temperatures can be dangerous. An arborist can perform the job safely while reducing further risk.

Trees offer community benefits that encompass social, communal, environmental, and economic aspects as long as they are maintained properly. Certified Arborists like Susan are an essential resource to preserving valuable landscapes because they are equipped with the skills and must keep abreast of the latest techniques necessary to protect and properly care for trees.

Stay tuned for future editions sharing Susan’s knowledge on proper tree staking, tree protection and post-construction evaluation in the coming weeks!