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How to Find a Licensed Arborist in Toronto

Tree Service Experts in Toronto

If you’re looking for a licensed arborist in Toronto, this blog post is for you. Seeking a qualified tree care professional can be challenging. It’s important to understand the necessary certifications and credentials that an arborist needs. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the intricacies of arborist licensing and certification within Ontario. 

We’ll discuss whether or not arborists need a license in Toronto and compare the differences between licensed arborists and certified arborists. Furthermore, we’ll provide insights on what to look for when hiring an expert for your tree maintenance or removal needs.

Lastly, you’ll discover valuable tips on finding a properly qualified arborist in Toronto who can ensure your trees are well-maintained and protected from potential hazards. By understanding these key aspects, you can make informed decisions when selecting an experienced professional to manage your urban forest landscape.

Table of Contents:

1. Arborist Licensing in Toronto, Ontario: What You Need to Know

Are you seeking a licensed arborist in Toronto, yet unsure how to do that? Here’s the deal: there is no licensing requirement for arborists in Ontario. 

No official accreditation is necessary for someone to be able to declare themselves an arborist and start practicing, regardless of their qualifications or expertise. That doesn’t mean they are a tree expert or tree specialist, or that you’re out of luck.

Look for certifications from organizations like the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) or Journeyman status through provincial apprenticeship programs.

Expertise Varies

Without a licensing requirement, you’ll find varying levels of knowledge among arborists in Toronto. Some have extensive professional credentials, while others are self-taught and may have little to no understanding of tree science or care — they simply cut trees. That’s why it’s important to ask about certifications and qualifications before hiring an arborist.

Arborist vs. Tree Cutter

Arborist services are provided by qualified individuals employed at tree companies. A tree cutter is someone or a group of people who hire out their services to cut trees, but have no formal knowledge or education in arboricultural science. This is often the confusion when people think about Arborists vs. Landscapers.

Sometimes these individuals will claim to be a licensed arborist in Toronto to bolster their appeal, but that phrase is meaningless. Hiring an unskilled labourer can lead to damaged trees, or worse.

Choose Wisely

A qualified arborist can be essential for preserving the health of your trees, so it is wise to ask about certifications and qualifications before hiring one. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Entrusting your trees to an arborist is no small decision, as they are a valuable part of your property and the cost of damaged trees  could be significant.

Licensed Arborist vs. Certified 

Selecting an arborist for the job requires great care, as tree maintenance is a complicated endeavor. In Ontario, there’s no licensing requirement for arborists, but that doesn’t mean you should hire just anyone.

It is essential to recognize the contrast between a professional arborist with formal education and training, and an individual with a chainsaw. 

A certified arborist has undergone formal training through college programs like those at Humber College or Fleming College that teach tree science, along with other relevant topics, such as industry safety standards.

They may have also passed the qualifying trade exam for arborist apprentices and become a Journeyperson or taken the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) exam to become certified.

Certified Arborists can write arborist reports for tree permits, and may have other certifications and qualifications that recognize mastery of tree risk assessment, safety, or tree appraisal.

Why Does Certification Matter?

  • Educational Background: They have a deeper understanding of tree biology and best practices for maintenance due to their formal training.
  • Safety Standards: Certified professionals are more likely to follow safety standards set by organizations such as ISA while performing tree services, ensuring the safety of your property and the arborist.
  • Better Quality Work: With proper knowledge and expertise, certified professionals provide better quality work compared to non-certified individuals who might lack experience or training.

Finding a Qualified Professional

Verify that the arborist you are considering has valid credentials. Additionally, check if they are members of professional organizations like ISA Ontario or the Ontario Commercial Association of Arborists (OCAA) and so forth, which can indicate ongoing commitment to industry standards and best practices.


Key Takeaway: 

When choosing an arborist for your trees, it’s important to understand the difference between a licensed and certified arborist. Since there is no such thing as a licensed arborist in Toronto, a certified tree specialist is your best bet. Certified professionals have formal training in tree biology and safety standards, providing better quality work compared to non-certified individuals who may lack experience or training. 


If there’s no such thing as a licensed arborist in Toronto, what should I look for?

In the absence of any licensing regulations, it is important to ensure that an arborist has the necessary qualifications and expertise for tree removal, tree pruning or hedge care. Don’t worry, we have a list of tips for finding someone experienced and trustworthy — or you can check out our big list of tree care companies in the city.

Finding a Qualified Arborist for Your Trees

Don’t let just anyone take care of your trees. Finding a qualified arborist is crucial for their health and longevity. Whether you need trimming, disease treatment, or removal, a professional touch can make all the difference. Since looking for a licensed arborist in Toronto isn’t possible, here are some tips for finding a qualified one:

1. Check ISA Ontario and OCAA Directories

Start by searching the ISA Ontario (International Society of Arboriculture) and OCAA (Ontario Commercial Association of Arborists) websites for certified professionals in your area.

2. Ask for Recommendations

Word-of-mouth referrals can be invaluable when looking for trustworthy service providers. Connect with those close to you who have had positive experiences utilizing nearby arborists.

3. Inquire About Qualifications

When contacting potential candidates, ask about their certifications and training background. Certification from organizations like ISA or completion of college programs such as those at Humber College and Fleming College indicate a higher level of expertise.

4. Evaluate Experience

Consider how long they’ve been working in the industry and if they specialize in any specific arboricultural services

5. Avoid Door-to-Door Contractors

A reputable arborist will rarely solicit work door-to-door. (That’s not to say never, though! We’ve met some of our own neighbours through noticing their tree issues.) Avoid anyone offering unsolicited services without proper credentials.

6. Request a Written Estimate

Before hiring an arborist, ask for a detailed written quote outlining the scope of work and costs involved. This can help prevent any misunderstandings or unexpected charges later on.

7. Verify Insurance Coverage

Ensure that the arborist you choose has adequate liability insurance to protect both your property and themselves in case of accidents or damage during tree care operations.

By taking these steps, you’ll find a qualified, reliable arborist to handle all your tree care needs in Toronto. Invest time into researching potential candidates to make an informed decision and enjoy peace of mind knowing your trees are in good hands.


Key Takeaway: 

To ensure the health and longevity of your trees, it’s important to find a qualified arborist in Toronto. Start by checking directories such as ISA Ontario and OCAA, ask for recommendations, inquire about qualifications and experience, avoid door-to-door contractors, request a written estimate and verify insurance coverage before making an informed decision.


Homeowners in Toronto: When it comes to tree care, Certified Arborists are your best bet for quality service.

To find a qualified arborist: Ask for referrals, check online reviews, and ensure they are insured and certified by reputable organizations like the ISA or TCIA.

Remember, there is no such thing as a “licensed arborist” in Toronto, but hiring a company with proper qualifications, credentials and insurance in Toronto will ensure your trees receive proper care and maintenance they deserve.

Let's solve your tree problems!

Vista Tree has quick response times, clear quotes and guaranteed delivery. We’re Certified Arborists, who are as passionate about customer service as we are about tree service! Our expertise is backed up with many years experience delivering  the best outcomes for our clients, their properties and their trees, every time. 

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