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A resource for tree care professionals and the public to protect and care for Georgia's trees.

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    Certification by the International Society of Arboriculture is an important goal and achievement in the career of anyone who works in or around trees.

    Complete information about certification -- including exam dates, location, and costs -- can be found on the ISA website. For a brief summary, scroll down. 

    Study options are below, however the first step is to apply for eligibility (also in Spanish).

    The GAA offers review courses combined with a test. Check our upcoming events.

    Alternatively, you can order the study guide (electronic version) and look for an upcoming exam. All certification exams are available as computer-based exams. Visit the Pearson VUE site to learn more about testing locations in your area.

    The ISA FAQ is also helpful.

    Tambíen en Español, Aqui

    Also helpful are the application handbooks produced by the ISA.

    ISA CREDENTIAL GUIDE (Click to link to correct ISA Page)

    The written exam content is divided into 10 areas of knowledge, and the percentage next to each area below reflects the percentage of questions associated with that area. These are subject to change when a new job task analysis is completed for the exam.

    1. Soil Management—12%
    2. Identification and Selection—8%
    3. Installation and Establishment—5%
    4. Safe Work Practices—15%
    5. Tree Biology—8%
    6. Pruning—16%
    7. Diagnosis and Treatment—12%
    8. Urban Forestry—7%
    9. Tree Protection—4%
    10. Tree Risk Management—13%


    The Study Guide is divided into the following Chapter (domains in parenthesis)

    1. Chapter 1: Tree Biology (5)
    2. Chapter 2: Tree ID (2)
    3. Chapter 3: Soil Science (1,5)
    4. Chapter 4: Water Management (3,7)
    5. Chapter 5: Tree Nutrition and Fertilization (7)
    6. Chapter 6: Tree Selection (2)
    7. Chapter 7: Installation and Establishment (3)
    8. Chapter 8: Pruning (3,6)
    9. Chapter 9: Tree Support and Lightning Protection (9)
    10. Chapter 10: Diagnosis and Plant Disorders (7)
    11. Chapter 11: Plant Health Care (7)
    12. Chapter 12: Tree Assessment and Risk Management (10)
    13. Chapter 13: Trees and Construction (3,9)
    14. Chapter 14: Urban Forestry (8)
    15. Chapter 15: Tree Worker Safety (4)
    16. Chapter 16: Climbing and working in Trees (4)


    -3 years of experience or a 2-yr degree in a related field + 2 yrs of experience or a 4-yr degree + 1 yr of experience

    -A letter of recommendation from a former or current employer


    -3 Letters of reference (invoices, contracts, etc.)

     Application Process

    2 step process: Apply on ISA's website, then enroll for the exam once approved

    Cost: $170 for ISA & Chapter members, $280 for ISA non-members 

    Dates & Deadlines

    Paper Exams: You must enroll & pay within at least 12 business days before the date. 

    Online Exams: Once you submit your application and gain approval, you may schedule your exam up to 90 days in advance. $125 additional fee.

    Exam Content & Format

    3.5 hour exam, 200 questions

    You must pass with a 74% or higher. You may retake the exam within 1 year.


    Your certification will be valid for 3 years.

    To renew, you can retake the exam or accumulate 30 CEUs (Continuing Education Units)

    Cost: $120 for ISA members, $230 for ISA non-members

    Georgia Arborist Association

    Phone:  (404) 913-1422
    Address:  GAA ~ P.O. Box 2516~ Decatur, GA  30031

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