What’s The Difference Between An Arborist And A Tree Surgeon?

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Written By Berry Mathew

Arborists and tree surgeons are both professionals who work on trees. For anyone who wants tree removal services or tree care services, knowing who to go to between these two tree service providers can be confusing. This is mainly because the terms arborist and tree surgeon are used interchangeably. However, although these tree experts have similar duties, they also have major differences that you should know about before choosing a suitable Portland’s trusted tree service provider that’ll adequately meet your needs. 

In this article, we will be discussing the differences between an arborist and a tree surgeon. Let’s get right to it.

Who Is An Arborist And What Are Their Duties

An arborist is a tree service provider who practices arboriculture and whose job involves caring for, maintaining, and preserving trees. They understand how trees grow and what they need to survive. An arborist is also knowledgeable about diseases that affect trees. They can identify the disease a tree is suffering from by checking the signs and symptoms on the leaves, bark, flowers, and other parts of the tree. When they do, they can recommend what’s needed to nurse the tree back to sound health. That’s not all; arborists are also knowledgeable about soils, hence, they know which soil is best for a species of tree, and they can also tell if the surrounding soil causes the problem of a tree. Furthermore, arborists can also educate you about some best practices for your garden.

Arborists are generally referred to as tree doctors. Before arborists can receive a license to practice, they must undergo extensive training in various courses related to tree biology, diseases, growth stages, and many more. They’re also required to complete and pass some examinations before they can become certified arborists. In addition, continuous education is also required to stay in the know about trees.

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When To Hire An Arborist

Here are some situations where an arborist can be of immense help;

  • For the treatment of diseased trees
  • To give recommendations about the best tree species that can thrive in an environment based on the soil type, climate, and other factors in the location.
  • Tree inspection 
  • For advice on how to grow trees on residential or commercial property so they can thrive in different weather

Who Is A Tree Surgeon, And What Are Their Duties

A tree surgeon is a well-trained expert who specializes in tree pruning, tree removal, stump removal, and others. This tree service provider can help you trim trees in such a way that it won’t harm the tree or cause damage to your property. Tree surgeons are horticulturists and tree maintenance engineers who understand the nitty-gritty of cutting trees with precision. They are also skilled in assessing the health of, inspecting, and caring for trees. Tree surgeons can also help in tree cultivation and maintenance. 

In addition to the aforementioned duties, you can hire a tree surgeon if you wish to perform the following tasks;

  • Generate tree survey report, 
  • Plan and prepare the landscape of a residential or commercial property, 
  • Validate insurance documents
  • Eliminate pests from your trees

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What To Consider When Choosing An Arborist Or A Tree Surgeon


When it comes to tree felling, pruning, or other tree care services, experience is crucial. Endeavor to choose a tree service provider that has been in the industry for a couple of years. Their years of experience would have exposed them to several common ups and downs faced during tree care services, and with their sharpened knowledge, they’ll provide you with top-notch services.


Tree services are somewhat dangerous. During tree removal, the arborist or tree surgeon can get hurt, a trimmed tree branch could fall on your building, and a family member could get hurt. All these are unexpected eventualities that could happen during tree removal services. If any of these incidents happen, you could be faced with a serious financial burden. To avoid a case of financial burden, make sure to hire tree service providers that have full insurance protection that’ll protect their workers while working on your property, your property as well as your family.

Reviews and Recommendations

You can get a clearer picture of what to expect from a tree surgeon or arborist when you check out online reviews from previous customers. Endeavor to choose a company whose positive reviews outweigh its negative reviews.

Whether you hire a tree surgeon or an arborist, you’ll get expert tree service that’ll benefit you and your trees.