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Tree Terminology


Arborist - A person does not need any special training to call themself an arborist. Anyone with a truck and chain saw can say they are an arborist.

 ISA Certified Arborist - A person who has a minimum of three years of experience in the arboricultural field and has passed an extensive exam from the ISA (International Society of Arboriculture). A Certified Arborists must be in the profession of arboriculture and complete continuing education training annually. They possess the competence to provide or supervise the management of trees.

Plant Health Care (PHC) - To maintain or improve the landscape’s appearance, vitality and in the case of trees – safety, using the most cost-effective and environmentally sensitive practices and treatments available. PHC involves monitoring, using preventative treatments, and adopting a strong commitment to work closely with the tree owner.

Tree Removal - The removal of an unwanted or dead tree or shrub form the landscape

Stump Grinding - Grinding the remainder of a stump 8-12” below surface level. We can leave the chips from the stump, unless hauling the chips is requested.

Deadwooding - Removal of the dead and dying limbs from the tree

Selective Pruning - The selective removal of plants parts to meet specific goals and objectives

Crown Thinning - The selective removal of branches to reduce the density and weight of live branches and to increase light penetration and air movement

Crown Raising - The removal of the lower branches of a tree in order to provide clearance or view

Topping - Reduction of tree size using indiscriminate cuts without regard to tree health or structural integrity. Topping is not an acceptable pruning practice.

Roots- Structural support for the tree: absorption of mineral nutrients and water; storage of “food”

Trunk/Limbs/Stems - Structural support for the top portion of the tree and storage of “food”; they also house the transport system that carries water, nutrients, food, and other plant materials between the roots and leaves

Leaves - The leaves take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen during the process of photosynthesis, creating energy for the tree survive.

Crown - The leaves and branches of a tree or shrub: the upper portion of a tree from the lowest branch on the trunk to the top of the tree

Lateral - A branch or twig growing from a parent branch or stem

Parent branch/stem - The tree trunk or a large limb from which lateral branches grow

Leader - A dormant upright stem, usually the main truck, there can be several leaders in one tree

Branch Collar - Trunk tissue that forms around the base of a branch between the main stem and the branch or a branch and a lateral; as a branch ceases in vigor or begins to die, the branch collar becomes more pronounced. All pruning cuts shall be made at a branch collar

Wound - The opening that is created any time the tree’s protective bark covering is penetrated, cut, or removed, injuring or destroying living tissue. Pruning a live branch creates a wound, even when the cut is properly made

Girdling - An object, staking material or root that encircles the tree and as the tree grows the object stays same size and begins to apply pressure to the tree (in a sense choking the tree), ultimately restricting movement of energy and starches, or growth of the tree itself, frequently resulting in reduced vitality or stability of the plant

Decay - Degradation of wood tissue caused by biological microorganisms


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