Is There a Tree Doctor in the House?

When to Call for Professional Help

tree doctor

As humans, when we feel sick or need some sort of preventative health plan, we typically turn to a professional. As living things, trees are also susceptible to health issues that may require immediate attention. Since trees are unable to make this decision for themselves, it’s our responsibility to speak for them. So, when your trees start to show signs of disease, it’s always a good idea to call a pro who knows what could be the root cause. Consulting with a tree doctor is also a wonderful way to start preventative plant care. Don’t know who to call? Here are some suggestions.

What’s a Tree Doctor

Just as medical doctors specialize in certain levels of care, so do tree care professionals. Knowing which one to contact depends on what you’d like to accomplish.

Consulting Arborist. For specific questions on tree care, you may want to start with a professional consultant. These arborists are trained to diagnose tree problems and recommend treatments. While they may not be able to perform all tasks, they’re highly knowledgeable about where to find the right help.

Certified Arborist. When it comes to tree care, this is the general practitioner of the group. From planting and pruning to tree removal, they’re your go-to specialists. They’re also equipped to offer treatments for pests and diseases.

Tree Surgeon. If you have an individual tree, shrub, or another plant with a specific issue, find a surgeon who specializes in the species in question. They can help diagnose and treat disease, deficiencies, and other related issues.

If you try to self-diagnose a problem, this could be dangerous in any situation. While the internet may be a good place to research what could be happening, a professional will be able to evaluate your tree in person, run any necessary tests, and give you a more comprehensive treatment plan.


If you’ve determined you need professional tree care, here’s what to look for:

  • Certification. Verify they’re as professional as they say they are.
  • References. What kind of work have they done before? Do they have reviews? Are they part of a professional organization?
  • Insurance. Make sure they’re covered in case anything happens to them or your property during the job, especially if the work includes tree removal or pruning high branches.
  • Quote. Make sure all details of the work they plan on doing is in writing. Compare different quotes before choosing a company.

It may seem like a lot for something as simple as tree care, but remember there could be a lot involved with this choice. It’s not only a tree, it’s also a large part of your property. If there’s a disease, it could spread to other trees. If it’s a hazard, it could affect you, your family, and your neighbors. It’s also a living thing that deserves proper care.

What to Expect

When you call a tree doctor for help, it’s more than likely they’re going to want to see the tree firsthand. It usually starts with an initial consultation. Any further work should be heavily detailed in a quote. Here’s how the examination is likely to play out:

  • Analyze the leaves for spots, tears, or changes in color
  • Inspect the bark for signs of decay
  • Examine the root structure
  • Remove any dead or diseased branches
  • Collect samples of the leaves, bark, or soil
  • Run any necessary tests
  • Report any findings
  • Create a treatment plan including pesticides or fungicides
  • Follow-up with any subsequent treatments
  • Schedule tree removal if needed

If for some reason the results come back inconclusive, it’s not a bad idea to get a second opinion. You would do the same when it comes to your health. Don’t leave the future of your tree and the preservation of your property up to anyone or chance. You don’t want a dying tree to go unnoticed and cause future damage. Get the job done right and reap the rewards: a healthy, happy tree and attractive property.