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Personal consultations as a Master Gardener and resources for a Certified Arborist

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Abies concolor White Fir Form1.jpgMaster Gardeners are often asked about whether they would make a visit to a private home and examine a tree for disease, insects, form, hazardous quality, overall health, etc.  Some Master Gardeners also have the certification as a Tree Care Advisor and may be asked the same.

As many of you know, I feel that private home visits are not the best use of a Master Gardener's time because:
  • The impact is relatively low - teaching one person about a specific tree instance compared to teaching a more complete class about tree care and disease to a group of homeowners;
  • Advising on personal property (trees) takes business away from local tree care companies;
  • I also have a concern about volunteers entering a private property from the standpoint of a volunteer's personal safety.

Having said that, I understand that many of you in smaller communities are well-know for your knowledge as Master Gardeners and people seek you out. Likewise, personal consultation is sometimes a significant part of what you do as a Master Gardener volunteer, so personal consultations remains an option for volunteers ... for now.

I do ask that if you are asked to provide a personal consultation:
  • take along a fellow Master Gardener / spouse / partner / friend;
  • prior to going, please consult with your local Extension Educator, program coordinator, volunteer leader, or state director (me).
If you are NOT comfortable advising on a tree, recommend a certified arborist. The "certified arborist" credential identifies professional arborists who:
  • have a minimum of three years' full-time experience working in the professional tree care industry
  • have passed an extensive examination covering all facets of arboriculture,
  • has passed a certification exam
  • receives, on a regular basis, continuing education administered by the International Society of Arboriculture or another certifying agency.
The Minnesota Shade Tree Advisory Council (MNSTAC) is a GREAT resource for help in answering tree-related questions, understanding urban forestry and its challenges, and for resources relating to tree care, EAB, maintenance, diseases, etc. around urban forestry. You can also find EXPERTS in just about every aspect of tree care.

Bookmark this link or make it a Favorite: You'll go back to it time and again!

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