Tree Foundation of Kern

How To Hire an Arborist

General Information: 


¨       Pruning trees every year is not necessary

¨       Pruning evergreens is not necessary (deadwood is an exception)

¨       Arborists are certified by the International Society of Arboriculture.  No other certification has the standards that the ISA holds.  Other memberships are bought, and not tested

¨       Different trees have different pruning standards.   They should not all be pruned alike

 ¨      Do not allow topping under any circumstances

¨       Do not allow any blunt or major cuts

¨       Do not allow "lion tailing" or "feathering".  (Stripping the branches and leaving "tufts" of leaves on the end, common in Chinese Elm work)

¨       Have no more than 25% of the tree removed at one time

¨       Allow no spikes on the ankles for climbing

¨       Gardeners are not pruners, shrubs are not trees

¨       If your trees are in the city of Bakersfield Right of way, call 326-FUNN and have the city prune your trees.  It is free and they are great?it just may take awhile!


Questions for pruners:

¨       Do you have workman's compensation insurance, may I see it? 

¨       Do you have a business license?  May I see it?

¨       Do you have a contractors license?  (If the pruner ascends a ladder higher than 15 feet, this is the law)

¨       Do your workers speak English (if this is your native tongue, this if very important!)

¨       Can you give me the addresses of some of your other work? (If you choose to check this, be sure you talk to someone to make sure they did the work!)

¨       Do you adhere to ISA pruning standards?

¨       Who will supervise the job?

¨       Show me your tools.  (You are looking for sharp saws, decent chain saws, no frayed ropes, etc.)

¨       Can you prune these trees without removing more than 25% of the foliage?


Other Information of value:  Companies that are not licensed contractors in the State of California CANNOT ascend over 15 feet on a ladder, in a tree or a bucket truck.  There is no such entity as a "Certified Arborist Company".  The ISA certifies individuals, not companies. 


Other links for more tree care information: