In the world of tree care and arboriculture, the ANSI A300 standards have long been regarded as the gold standard for industry practices. This collection of 10 standards, which covers various aspects of tree care, has provided essential guidelines to arborists, urban foresters, horticulturists and landscape architects and contractors for decades. However, a group of collaborators, including the authors of this article, recently completed a significant change, redesigning, restructuring and consolidating these standards into one comprehensive document.
In this article, we introduce you to the consolidated version, the “ANSI A300 2023 Tree Care Standards,” a remarkable tool designed to enhance best practices in the tree care industry.
Evolution of ANSI A300 standards
The ANSI A300 tree care standards were developed as separate entities, called “parts,” each focusing on a specific aspect of tree care practices. The ANSI Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) A300 wrote and revised these parts over a period of 28 years to include topics such as pruning, soil management,
lightning-protection systems and tree-risk assessment, among others. While these standards have been invaluable to the industry, the recent initiative to consolidate all 10 parts into one cohesive document signifies a leap forward in simplicity and accessibility for tree care professionals.
A key benefit of consolidation is ensuring that a practitioner is working with the current version. They don’t have to keep track of parts that are on asynchronous review cycles. In addition, all parts are in harmony with one another and don’t conflict because of different review cycles.
A unified approach to tree care
The newly restructured “ANSI A300 2023 Tree Care Standards” offers tree care companies and workers a single, comprehensive resource that encompasses most aspects of tree care. Whether you’re an arborist, an urban forester or a landscape architect, this consolidated document is designed to make your job more efficient. Gone are the days of navigating through multiple standards; now, you have all the essential information in one place.
The key role of ANSI A300 standards
These standards are not just a collection of guidelines; they are the cornerstone of the tree care industry. Developed by the A300 committee, these consensus standards are based on extensive research and sound practices. They serve as the foundation for writing specifications, training programs, best practices and even regulations related to tree care. Their primary mission is to ensure that tree care professionals can provide the best possible care to trees, shrubs, palms and other woody landscape plants.
Using ANSI A300 standards
While the “ANSI A300 2023 Tree Care Standards” is a comprehensive guide, the standards are not meant to be used as standalone work specifications. Instead, they should be used as a framework for developing specifications tailored to individual tree and site characteristics. This flexibility allows tree care professionals to adapt the standards to various situations and requirements.
The scope of ANSI A300 standards
It’s important to note that ANSI A300 standards are not intended for use in agriculture, horticultural production or silviculture. They are specifically designed for those who care for or manage trees, shrubs and woody plants in urban and landscape settings. Whether working for property owners, property managers, businesses, governments or utilities, these standards provide the guidance you need to excel in your tree care practices.
The better-designed and consolidated “ANSI A300 2023 Tree Care Standards” represents a significant improvement for the tree care industry. By streamlining these standards into one comprehensive document, the industry can now access the wealth of knowledge more easily than ever before.
These standards continue to be the guiding light for tree care professionals, ensuring that the care of trees and woody plants remains at the forefront of arboriculture practices. As we embrace this unified approach to tree care standards, we move closer to a future of healthier and more beautiful landscapes for all to enjoy.
Embracing the future of arboriculture education
As we celebrate the redesigned “ANSI A300 2023 Tree Care Standards,” it’s crucial to acknowledge that our dedication to progress extends beyond the standards themselves. The tree care industry is undergoing rapid transformation, and so is the manner in which we disseminate critical knowledge to industry professionals. In tandem with the launch of the consolidated ANSI A300 standards, we are excited to introduce innovative digital delivery methods, including an interactive PDF and supplementary courses available on the TCIA Brightspace platform. These advancements are set to enhance how arborists and tree care specialists not only access, but also effectively apply, these standards, keeping them at the forefront of industry best practices.
Bridging theory and practice
Imagine having the entire ANSI A300 tree care standards library at your fingertips, not just as a static document, but as a dynamic, interactive learning experience. Our digital PDF standard and online ANSI A300 course, accessible through the TCIA Brightspace platform, provide interactive experiences with embedded links and hot-spots, offering quick access to additional definitions, comments and relevant resources. This comprehensive digital standard is designed to enhance the understanding and application of the standards, catering to both seasoned arborists and newcomers to the field.
The online course brings the ANSI A300 standards to life by offering engaging multimedia content, including videos, animation and interactive assessments. It’s not just about reading the standards; it’s about understanding and applying them effectively in the field.
Key features of the online ANSI A300 course include:
• Interactive standard modules: Each part of the ANSI A300 standards is broken down into bite-sized, easy-to-understand modules. You’ll navigate through the content effortlessly, with real-world examples and practical scenarios.
• Assessments and certificate of completion: Test your knowledge with quizzes and assessments after each module. Successful completion of the course will earn you a certificate, demonstrating your expertise in ANSI A300 standards.
• Accessible anytime, anywhere: Whether you’re in the field, at the office or at home, our online course is accessible on various devices through the TCIA Brightspace platform. Learn at your own pace and revisit modules whenever you need a refresher.
Bundling education with standards
Our goal is not only to provide you with the most up-to-date ANSI A300 tree care standards, but also to ensure that you can implement them effectively. That’s why we’re bundling the online course with the standards. When obtaining the new consolidated ANSI A300 standards, you’ll also have access to the online course, creating a seamless learning experience.
What if I just want a paper book?
That will still be available through ISA publishing. However, your purchase will not include the online course. That will need to be purchased in addition to the paper book.
Shaping the future of arboriculture
As we embrace this exciting chapter in tree care standards and education, we invite you to be part of this transformative journey. Stay tuned for more updates on the launch of the online ANSI A300 course. Together, we’re shaping the future of arboriculture, one tree care professional at a time.
Want to Learn More About A300 Standards in Person?
Join us November 15, 2023, in St. Louis, Missouri, at the TCI EXPO ’23 Pre-conference “A300 Workshop: Standards, Strategies & Specifications.”
This half-day workshop is an excellent opportunity to learn everything you need to know about the A300 standards and how they can help your business. Go straight to the source and meet members of the ANSI A300 committee as they teach you how to craft accurate work proposals, specifications and work orders, to help you get jobs and streamline your operations.
“This workshop is a great way to jump start the process. Participants will get a quick introduction to the A300 standards and then practice writing specifications on their own under the guidance of the committee members,” says Bob Rouse, senior vice president of business support and manager of industry standards and internal compliance at TCIA. “It’s one of the easiest ways a tree care company can streamline their sales and service-delivery process.”
Speakers include Sam Hill, president of Sam Hill Tree Care and ASC A300 committee chair; and committee members Geoff Kempter, technical services manager, Asplundh Tree Experts; Wayne Dubin, CTSP, vice president and division manager, Bartlett Tree Experts; Dr. Richard Hauer, director of urban forestry, CN Utility Consulting (CNUC); and Dr. Tom Smiley, plant physiologist and soil scientist, Bartlett Tree Research Lab.
Emily Bowman is a self-employed course and content developer living in Spain. She helped consolidate the A300 standards and is working with TCIA and the ANSI A300 committee in developing the online standard offerings.
Sam Hill is president of Sam Hill Tree Care based in Dallas, Texas, and ASC A300 committee chair.
Bob Rouse is senior vice president of business support and manager of industry standards and internal compliance for the Tree Care Industry Association in Manchester, New Hampshire, and is the secretary of the ANSI A300 committee.
Tim Bushnell, CTSP, is an arborist skills specialist with The Davey Tree Expert Company in Oxford, Pennsylvania, and a member of the ASC A300 committee.