Arborist vs. Gardener: What Are Their Differences?

One home-buying study revealed that around 70 percent of homeowners invested in their yards and gardens in 2021, and it looks like the demand won’t be declining anytime soon.

This situation makes taking care of plants a lucrative business. But what career path should you consider? Should you be an arborist or a gardener, for example?

What Is an Arborist?

An arborist is a professional who studies and cares for trees. They have knowledge about the various types of trees, how to care for them, and how to prune them as needed.

What Do Arborists Do?

Arborists can do several things with trees ranging from installation, removal, study, and pruning. Some tree care companies specialize in a particular aspect of this field. Some might only do installation and removal as part of a complete package to build a house from the ground up, while others might only study trees and provide an expert opinion for those who need them.

An arborist will look for several things when inspecting a tree. They will check the tree’s overall health, identify any signs of disease or decay, and determine if any pruning is necessary. Arborists can also be called in to check for storm damage and help clean up.

There are many types of trees, and it is essential to know how to care for them properly. Arborists can help with that and recommend the best kind of tree for a particular area. They might also offer advice on how homeowners should prune a tree if they wish to limit or remove certain branches.

What Is Certification or Licensing?

Arborists have certifications and licenses. The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) provides accreditation for arborists who wish to learn more about proper pruning techniques, care for trees in urban areas, or study specific professional practices.

The ISA’s Collegiate Outreach Training Program offers training and certification for those who wish to pursue a career in arboriculture. There are also licenses available through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which certify arborists as plant health care professionals.

What Tools Do Arborists Use?

An arborist’s tools depend on what they are doing with the tree. Some of the most popular ones include:

  • Tree Trimmers and Edgers: These tools can cut small branches for precision pruning and cutting. Some invest in new options like electric tree strimmers, which are more efficient and cost-effective.
  • Loppers: These tools are helpful when a large branch cannot be reached by hand or with a pole saw.
  • Pole Saw: The blades on these saws sit atop a long pole, allowing the user to reach higher branches than they could normally.
  • Chainsaw: This is a large saw that can cut down branches or trees.

An arborist will also use other tools such as bolt cutters, wire cutters, and a hammer and chisel to prune trees. Arborists must be very familiar with the use of these tools to avoid causing any additional damage to the tree.

loving trees

What Is a Gardener?

A gardener is someone who grows plants in a garden. They may specialize in a particular type of plant or produce a variety of plants.

What Do Gardeners Do?

Gardeners may do several things with the plants they grow. They might cultivate them by watering and fertilizing them, removing weeds or pests, or harvesting the plant if it is ready to be eaten.

Some people might only work with flowers, while others might only do the initial planting but not worry about caring for them afterward. A gardener can also choose to sell what they grow at a farmer’s market or through other means to make money off of their work.

What Is Certification or Licensing?

Some types of plants are more accessible to grow than others, so gardeners need to train to be successful. There are certifications and licenses available depending on what kind of gardening they wish to accomplish, along with any other restrictions that might apply (such as needing a permit to sell goods at a farmer’s market).

What Tools Do Gardeners Use?

Gardeners will use various tools to care for the plants they are growing. Some of the most common include:

  • Spade or Shovel: These are necessary when planting by loosening up the ground and creating holes to put new plants. They can also dig up weeds or cut through weeds that are hard to reach.
  • Axe or Hatchet: These tools can be used to cut up wood for firewood, but they might also be necessary for cutting twigs off of smaller plants if they need more room to grow.
  • Bow Saw: A bow saw is perfect for cutting branches up high in trees, making it difficult to use a chainsaw.
  • Hedge Trimmer: A hedge trimmer can trim bushes or hedges into the desired shape.
  • Weed Eater: A weed eater can be used to cut down small weeds and grass that are difficult to reach by hand.

Gardeners will also use other tools such as a rake and shovel, and while these tools may not be necessary for all gardening jobs, they can come in handy depending on the situation.

A gardener and an arborist are both people who work with plants. Their jobs depend on how they work with these plants and what kind of gardening they do. Either way, both require specialized training to ensure the proper care of plants.

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