What Exactly IS a Consulting Arborist?

IT’S BEEN WAY TOO LONG since my last Treemendous Blog post.  But now that Bonnie Barabas has joined the team here at Bill Spiewak & Associates, we are committed to providing informative and interesting looks at the world of trees and their care.

In addition to updating our Treemendous Blog, we will also be updating our new Bill Spiewak & Associates Facebook page, Linked In and other social networks so that it’s easy for YOU to stay in touch with the latest happenings, insights and educational opportunities for the professional community,  Santa Barbara homeowners, and tree enthusiasts.

One new feature of our Treemendous Blog will include a Treemendous Featured Tree (see below) that will spotlight an extraordinary, interesting, humorous or questionable feature.


In 2007, after the sale of my tree service to the Bartlett Tree Experts, I created a new company called Bill Spiewak & Associates-Consulting Arborists.  Many friends and acquaintances have asked, “so, what do you do anyway?”  As one of the few Registered Consulting Arborists here in Santa Barbara, I thought I’d offer some clarification on the diversified role of a consulting arborist.

A registered consulting arborist (RCA) with the American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA) has been trained and is qualified to report on tree conditions, both orally and in written form. The ASCA Standards of Professional Practice are the highest professional standards in the tree care industry and are in accordance with the organization’s strict Code of Ethics.

An ASCA RCA provides objective information and follows a scientific protocol when assessing trees in determining conclusions and recommendations relative to an assignment or project (ASCA RCAs are required to obtain continuing education hours that include cutting edge information on trees derived from scientific research).

An ASCA RCA can assess tree condition (health and structure) and provide management recommendations based on priority that can be tailored to a client’s budget. They are qualified to:

  • assess hazardous trees and levels of risk
  • diagnose tree pests and diseases
  • evaluate root systems and create protection guidelines prior to, during, and after development
  • work with people on assessing views conflicts and work towards solutions
  • appraise tree value or monetary damage after a storm event, fire, accident, or property line trespass
  • offer expert advice and/or testimony in a tree related law suit
  • refer qualified tree companies for your tree care needs

Whether a client has a specific concern for one tree or the need to manage trees on a large scale commercial property, an ASCA Registered Consulting Arborist has the competence to report his/her observations, conclusions and recommendations in a comprehensive, cogent manner.

Got Trees? I can help you!



Protect our urban trees.  The lines are getting way too long! (photo:unknown)



  1. Hey Bro,

    Enjoyed reading your tremendous blog. Well written and informative. The dog photo takes the cake!


  2. Just started reading your blog from the beginning. Looking forward read the rest and future post. Greetings from Chile!

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