A certified arborist refers to a person who has received some formal training and can back it up with a certificate certifying their credentials to practice arboriculture. Most arborists prefer to charge for work rather than by the hour because different companies have their own organization, number of employees and overheads. Most people tend to prune or remove trees on their own, without hiring a professional arborist. Small service providers, such as arbolists, tend to charge more when they have a lot of work on their hands and charge less when there is a clear shortage of work.
While you can prune and remove smaller trees on your own, it is recommended to hire a professional arborist to handle large trees. Always ask your potential arborist for proof of certification before allowing them on your property to do any work. Get quotes from different arborists and consider each of their positions, as well as how long it would take them to do the work. If the inspection is part of a job you want to do, for example, you would like to prune your tree, but you would like the arborist to be the first to inspect the tree and advise you which branches should be removed, then that's fine.
If you need more than one service, the arborist will provide you with a detailed quote for the project. Those who get their hands dirty doing pruning or cutting down trees, and those who specialize in tree inspections and arborist reports. Professional arborists are generally more than happy to share the wealth of knowledge they have accumulated over the years about trees. Arborists also need liability insurance, workers' compensation insurance and equipment insurance, all of which require money.
Tree pruning and removal costs generally vary depending on the situation, but arborist reporting charges are usually fixed between different arborists. When you hire an arborist for a service, they will give you a free quote over the phone if possible, and they will come to inspect the tree for free if necessary so that they can give you a quote. In the winter season, for example, there is not much tree maintenance work during this period, so your local arborist will be looking for work and will most likely charge less. A free quote is usually provided when arborists have seen the work on the site to understand what needs to be done.