An Arborist’s Role with Treehouses
It is wise to consider the health and well being of the tree right from the begining and continue throughout the entire building process. Proper care and concern for your trees starts with the expertise of a tree expert, such as an Arborist or a Forester.
Should I Hire an Arborist, a Forester, or both?
Arborists generally work with individual trees or landscapes and work for tree care companies. Dan Wright, our founder, is an ISA certified Arborist. You can look up other certified arborists on the ISA website . A higher certification level is an ASCA registered consulting arborist. If you hire an ASCA arborist, you should expect more detailed information and reports in addition to a higher consulting fee.
Foresters generally are employed by industries that manage lumber resources, study the environment, or manage government property. They often know a lot about individual trees and can help pick a good species that are known to do well in the region where they study and work. You can sometimes get great information through your state university system’s forestry division. They will often test your soils for a nominal fee. What they don’t usually do is visit your property to assess specific trees.
With an unlimited budget, you would hire the best arborist and the best forrester you can find. Sometimes Dan even refers to other arborists for a second opinion. But if you are trying to build a low cost treehouse and just want to know if the tree is safe to build in, then a local ISA certified arborist is probably sufficient. The information you get will depend on the specific professional that you hire.
The first stages of treehouse design and tree assessment go hand in hand. What treehouse style do you like? What construction methods can the trees reasonably bear? So the arborist is typically involved at the begining to create a tree friendly design. We suggest bringing the arborist back to assess the impact of the construction and start keeping a log recording the tree health. To get the best level of service, the arborist should visually inspect the tree and it’s environment, keeping writen and photographic notes, somewhere between twice a year and every 3 years. The more frequently the arborist inspects, the more likely you will be to nip any developing problems in the bud.