Difference Between an Arborist and Tree Lopper

Not sure whether you need an arborist or a tree lopper? On the surface, these two types of professionals seem very much the same, but there are in-fact considerable differences. So before you hire someone to prune or cut your trees, lets take a look at what makes an arborist different to a tree lopper.

Qualification and Certifications

A certified arborist is a trained professional with the relevant certifications and understanding of trees’ structure, body, health etc.. They have the technical know-how on the care and maintenance procedures a tree needs to thrive.

On the other hand, a tree lopper is an uncertified individual that cuts trees out of passion and self-learned skills. These people do not have any documented qualifications. In some cases, a tree lopper may offer more of a short-term – quick fix solution to tree problems whereas the knowledge an arborist has enables them to provide more considered approaches for the long-term.

Quality of Service

Since tree loppers do not have the right credentials and knowledge in tree health, their service may not be quite as reliable. For example, a tree lopper will cut or chop a tree based on your directions. They do not look at important factors like onion points and what matters most to the tree. This way, hiring a tree lopper may cause further damages to your tree in the long run.

Arborists use the prevailing set standards plus their trained knowledge when working on your trees. They will advise you on the best practices and different approaches to tree pruning. An arborist will recommend a carefully considered action plan and explain the reasons behind it.

Occupational Safety

Besides lacking the proper training, most tree loppers do not have the appropriate equipment for the task. It can make the practice dangerous to the property, the lopper themselves, and the tree you are cutting.

On the other hand, Arborists with the appropriate training and modern equipment, follow strict health and safety guidelines to keep the tree, surroundings and individuals safe.

Since certified arborists hold professional accreditation, you can hold your arborist liable in case of damages or negligence at work. Just make sure that they are also insured before hiring them. The same may not apply with tree lopper because most of them do not even understand the industries’ best practices and ethical guidelines.


When considering short term goals, tree loppers are cheaper. However, you may need to call them frequently for a series of these short term solutions. If you add this to the resultant costs related to potential risks that come with tree lopping, it is much more expensive in the long run.

Arborists, on the other hand, focus more on the long term rather than short term solutions to tree problems. This factor makes the initial cost of hiring them higher than that of tree loppers. However, once they provide you with a solution to your tree care problems, you’ll likely need fewer follow-up services, if any and will not be in a worry for immediate care.

Madd Beaver Tree Service holds an arborist license: Arborist# B3292 in the state of Connecticut and is fully licensed and insured.