An arborist is an expert in the care and maintenance of trees. The technical definition of an arborist is a professional who studies, manages, cultivates, and cares for trees, shrubs, and other woody plants. They are also known as tree surgeons, arborists, or tree experts. Arborists are sometimes referred to as “tree doctors” and they help assess the condition of trees, diagnose possible diseases, and provide recommendations on how to properly care for and maintain plants. In France, a qualified arborist must have an ornamental tree management certificate and a qualified climbing arborist must have a tree pruning and care certificate, both issued by the French Ministry of Agriculture.
In the United Kingdom, any tree can be covered by a tree conservation order and it is illegal to do any work on a tree without seeking permission from the local council. Trees require regular care and maintenance, especially before winter and after the cold season to check for damage and help the tree recover quickly. Depending on the jurisdiction, there can be a number of legal issues surrounding arborists' practices. These include border issues, public safety issues, heritage trees of community value, and neighborhood issues such as property obstruction of view, impacts from roots crossing borders, annoying problems, quarantines due to diseases or insects, and the safety of nearby trees. An example of this is pruning trees or felling or cutting hats. This involves removing the entire crowns of the trees or the main stems by cutting the main stems or tips transversely which can leave large and unsightly stems.