Industry Organization Spotlight: Tree Care Industry Association

by Jennifer Chan


ArborWorks, Inc. is a member of the Tree Care Industry Association. Photo: ArborWorks, Inc. ©2019

“As members of the Tree Care Industry Association, we strive to…improve the quality of life through increasing our knowledge and skills in the management of trees, shrubs, and other landscape plants entrusted to our care.” – From the Tree Care Industry Association’s Arborist Pledge

If you’re planning to care for your trees this summer, it’s a good idea to get to know the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA). Most people recognize the ways trees make our lives better. Not only are they beautiful, they also improve our air, offer a home to wildlife and stabilize the soil. But the urban and suburban trees growing in our yards need proper care to thrive, especially after a long and wet winter. Established in 1938, TCIA is a trade association that counts more than 2,300 tree care companies across North America as members. As the only program of its kind in the tree care industry, TCIA is committed to maintaining and improving standards of tree care practice around the world. Just as trees improve the quality of our lives, TCIA is dedicated to improving the quality of trees.


As an industry organization, TCIA supports tree care companies with a variety of resources, from free online articles to a “tree care academy” for comprehensive online training. TCIA also educates consumers by maintaining Tree Care Tips, a free website where they can read articles about pruning and planting, find a TCIA Certified professional or submit a question to its “Ask an Arborist” column.


The fatality rate for ground maintenance workers (including tree trimmers) is three times that of the average worker in the United States. Part of TCIA’s mandate involves ensuring every TCIA Certified tree trimmer implements best safety practices. The Certified Treecare Safety Professional (CTSP) program features a combination of online and in-person learning experiences, as well as post-program testing. It focuses on helping individual arborists transform the “culture” of safety within their organizations. Students who complete the certification have the skills to help their companies address the safety challenges that tree workers face on a daily basis.


As with most industry associations, TCIA offers opportunities for tree care professionals to network and learn from each other. In addition, TCIA runs TCIAF, a foundation established to support the organization’s mission. TCIAF supports programs like the Arborist Safety Training Institute (ASTI) and Student Career Days at the annual TCI Expo.