Hiring a Professional Arborist VS. DIY

When it comes to projects around the home, it is not uncommon for most homeowners to want to tackle as much as they possibly can on their own before seeking help from the professionals. While there are tree services and/or landscaping projects you can likely DIY, the bigger jobs and/or ones that require a vast knowledge of trees, should be left to a professional arborist. In addition to the knowledge a professional arborist possesses, they are also extensively trained, certified, and equipped with the right machinery to ensure a safe job. Many tree services can be dangerous to an untrained individual, as well as the health of your tree.

When attempting to go the DIY route, consider a few things before proceeding:

  1. Safety
  2. Necessary equipment for the job
  3. Limited knowledge
  4. Complexity of job


Safety is always the biggest concern when it comes to large DIY projects. Any job that requires climbing a ladder comes with safety concerns. Adhering to all recommended ladder safety is extremely important if you do decide to climb. In addition to potential dangers associated with ladders, when it comes to tree services, there are many other safety factors to consider.

  • Dangerous tools – The tools that are used by professional arborists, like chainsaws and hand saws, can be dangerous if your experience with such tools is limited.
  • Misleading appearance – Some tree weaknesses or red flags are not easily identifiable by an untrained eye. A branch that may look sturdy and healthy, may actually be suffering from illness or rotting. A professional arborist is trained to identify these warning signs of an unsteady or unhealthy branch, and will know not to put any weight on this branch, that may look otherwise perfectly healthy to a homeowner. If you attempt to put your weight on this branch during a DIY project that is high off the ground, it could break causing you to fall.
  • Maneuvering at heights – Although you may have experience climbing a ladder, if you have never operated machinery, like a chainsaw, at high heights, balancing may be challenging. A professional arborist will not only have years of experience in the art of maneuvering heights, but they also have equipment that makes these types of jobs easier. At Red Cedar, we use a crane for complicated tree removal jobs.
  • Tree tension – Taking a chainsaw to a tree can be extremely dangerous if you are not aware of where the tension within the broken tree is. Identifying the tension point of a damaged tree can be much more difficult to assess than you may think.

professional arborist equipment Equipment

A project can easily turn into a hack job if the proper tools are not being used. Even a project as simple as pruning can result in damage to your tree if it is not done correctly. Each tree requires a specific process for pruning demanding a vast knowledge of all kinds of trees. For jobs like stump removal, stump grinding is the best method for several reasons. These reasons are identified in our blog “Tree Removal: Do I Need A Stump Grinder?”.

Limited knowledge and job complexity

To become a certified arborist, years of full-time training is required. The arborists at Red Cedar are certified by The International Society of Arborists (ISA), and have nearly two decades of experience, allowing us to achieve a high level of knowledge and competence in the art and science of tree care. As mentioned above, many tree jobs are much more complicated than you may assume and because of this, having these years of experience under our belt is key in producing an effective and safe result that may not be possible in a DIY project.

Although there are some small jobs on your property that most homeowners can tackle successfully, when it comes to the larger and more complicated jobs, it may be best to leave it to the professionals. DIYing tree services on your property can not only potentially cause dangers to yourself, but also to the health of your tree. Relying on the extensive knowledge a professional arborist has, as well as the machinery they use, will produce the best and safest result. Hiring an arborist also allows for the overall health of your trees on your property to be inspected by a trained eye. Being able to identify other potential issues at an early stage will allow for the best chance of recovery and most effective plan.

Rely on the professional staff at Red Cedar to help you with all your tree needs. Contact us today for your free consultation!

3 thoughts on “Hiring a Professional Arborist VS. DIY”

  1. Hiring a good arborist definitely is the way to go. We need to take down a tree in our front yard, but I don’t dare try it myself. Like you said, climbing a ladder and using dangerous tools isn’t smart, unless you’re trained for it.

  2. There’s a dead tree in my back yard that I need to get rid of. I didn’t know that it could be dangerous! I’ll be sure to hire professionals to handle it for me.

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