When it comes to tree care experts, not all are made equal. They have different qualifications and experience levels.

A level 5 arborist is an arborist who has attained the highest level of qualification and experience that is possibly attainable in the field. Their extensive training, unrivaled tree knowledge, and wealth of experience usually make them ideal consultants.

Here is what you should know about level 5 arborists.

What is a level 5 arborist

An AQF level 5 arborist deals with all aspects relating to tree care and removal. This is in addition to providing consultation services and giving recommendations to government organizations, property developers, and homeowners.

Some of the things that a level 5 arborist does include the following.

Preparing impact assessment reports

These reports examine the effects that the actions and plans of homeowners and developers could have on trees and the environment at large. They help to ensure that stakeholders have a full picture of how their efforts affect the environment and the steps that they can take to minimize any negative effects.

Coming up with tree protection plans

In cases where an assessment shows that trees could be negatively affected by a project or plan of action, having a level 5 arborist on-site usually comes in handy. This is because their extensive knowledge, expertise, and experience usually prove invaluable in developing effective protection plans for trees and existing vegetation.

Root mapping

Root mapping is essential in case one wants to build near trees. It is also essential when setting up utilities and other structures. This is so mainly because roots can damage these structures or they may simply compromise their ability to serve their purpose.

A level 5 arborist is the perfect person to carry out root mapping. In doing so, they help homeowners and developers figure out ways to avoid the damaging effects of root invasion. The level 5 arborist may give them recommendations on how to mitigate the destructive effect of this invasion through creating barriers. In some cases, removal of the trees and planting trees with less aggressive root systems is recommended.

Assessing the benefits and downsides of having trees for maximizing land use

Level 5 arborists have a wealth of experience and knowledge that positions them perfectly for carrying out value assessments — as far as trees are concerned. They can advise homeowners, developers, and government institutions whether the presence of certain tree species on a given piece of land offers the best value. They can thus recommend the removal or planting of new tree species. They can also offer justifications as to why leaving the trees in place is a prudent financial decision.

Disease and pest management

In cases where there have been pest infestations and disease attacks, level 5 arborists can help to find a permanent solution for these problems. They are the perfect go-to experts especially if all other efforts at pest and disease management have failed. Their superior knowledge, coupled with their wealth of experience, is usually enough to come up with excellent solutions to disease and pest-related tree problems.

General consultation

While you can consult just any arborist and get great advice, consulting a level 5 arborist tends to be way more beneficial simply because of their advanced expertise and knowledge. With an expert that has achieved the highest possible qualification, you are guaranteed superior advice in relation to tree health, tree planting tips, tree species selection, and tree yield and value maximization.

All things that the average arborist can do

While level 5 arborists tend to specialize in offering consultations and preparing technical reports, they are well qualified to do all the things that the average tree surgeon does. When the need arises, they can competently:

  • Plant trees
  • Provide trees with the appropriate nutrition
  • Prune and trim trees
  • Storm-proof trees
  • Remove trees, and
  • Treat trees
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What qualifications does a level 5 arborist have?

Level 5 arborists qualify for the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) level 5 diploma in arboriculture or a related discipline. They have to have undergone extensive training, have demonstrated knowledge in carrying out assessments and writing reports. Most also tend to have certifications from certifying organizations like ISA.

Consulting arborist vs level 5 arborist

The main difference between a level 5 arborist and a consulting arborist lies in the fact that one doesn’t need to meet a specific set of qualifications in order to be a consulting arborist.

Even though consulting arborists tend to be level 5 arborists, level 3 and level 1 arborists can also be consulting arborists provided they are offering advice on a project or to a homeowner. The simple fact that they are more tree-knowledgeable than the average person qualifies them to give professional advice.

However, when it comes to becoming a level 5 arborist, you need to have had extensive experience, a deep well of knowledge, and must have undergone extensive training. They must be well versed in the art and science of preparing technical reports, carrying out verifiable and dependable assessments, and giving professional-level advice.

Consulting arborist vs level 5 arborist happe arborist

How much does a level 5 arborist cost?

A level 5 arborist will cost between $300 to $1,500. What they end up charging you will depend largely on the type of report that you want them to prepare. Development and application arborist reports tend to be a little more detailed and pricier and can cost up to $1,500. On the other hand, a simple arborist report can cost as little as $300.

What is a level 3 arborist?

A level 3 arborist is an arborist who has attained an intermediate level of expertise as per the Australian Qualifications Framework. They have attained a level of knowledge and experience that is better than that of level 1 arborists, but they haven’t yet undergone the extensive training that is necessary in order to attain the level 5 arborist qualification. Therefore, they are generally arborists who have attained the basic requirements to be competent in practical and theoretical tree assessment and tree care.

Level 3 vs level 5 arborist

Level 5 arborists tend to be consulting arborists. They attain this status by undergoing additional extensive training on arboriculture and they are typically well-versed in the preparation of technical reports. They are essentially level 3 arborists who have undergone extra training and who have gotten a few more years of experience under their belt.

While level 3 arborists have extensive knowledge in tree care and tree assessment, they are not as experienced and as trained as level 5 arborists.

Do level 5 arborists have a degree?

No, level 5 arborists do not necessarily have a degree. In order to qualify for this level, the requirement is that one has to have at least a diploma (according to the Australian Qualification Framework). This, in addition to extensive training, certifications, and years of experience, is what it usually takes in order to become a level 5 arborist.

Generally, you want your trees to have the best care possible, hiring a qualified arborist is imperative. While it may cost you a little more than what the unqualified tree surgeon may be charging, it will pay off in the long run in terms of better tree health.

Ben McInerney
Author: Ben McInerney - Ben is a qualified arborist with 15 plus years of industry experience in Arboriculture. He ran a successful tree service before turning to writing and publishing. Ben is dedicated to providing users with the most accurate up-to-date information on everything trees.