woman examing ulu tree branch, woman on banyan tree. photo: Will Loomis

Certified Arborist Prep

Arboriculture is the science and art of tree care in developed landscapes. This course covers the following range of topics generally encountered in the arboriculture industry, with an emphasis on practical knowledge for those working in Hawai‘i: soil management, identification and selection of woody plants, installation and establishment of woody plants, safe work practices, tree biology, pruning, diagnosis and treatment, urban forestry, tree protection, and tree risk management. Furthermore, the course will prepare those wanting to take the International Society of Arboriculture’s Certified Arborist Exam.

The course consists of 13 online modules to be completed on your own time, two modules per week (total of 32 hours) and 1 in-person training (8 hours). The instructor will have office hours on Thursdays and Sundays from 3–5pm to answer questions and assist you with practice testing.

There are two requirements for passing this course.
1) Pass final course exam - The final course exam will be held online the last week of the class. Each student will be able to re-test once, and you must pass the course exam to be eligible to take the ISA certification test.
2) Take the ISA certification test.

Enrollment is conditional on meeting first two pre-requisite requirements listed below . Consult the ISA Certified Arborist® Application Guide regarding the requirements needed for earning and maintaining this credential and other important information.

  • Submit a resume to wccocet@hawaii.edu that provides evidence of 3 years of full-time experience in arboriculture or a combination of 3 years of education and practical arboricultural experience. Examples of experience include: employment at Tree care companies, Nurseries, Landscape companies, Municipalities, State forestry agencies, Utility companies, Academic arboriculture/horticulture departments, Horticulture/extension programs, Consultancies, and Pest control providers.
  • Students who meet initial prerequisite will be asked to submit an application to ISA. The ISA will screen applications for final eligibility and notify students. 
  • You must be able to attend the lab  class on your island.
    Lab dates: Oahu students - Feb. 18; Maui students - Mar. 4 ; Hawai'i students - Apr. 1; Kauai students - Mar. 18 (all locations tbd)

  • Desktop or laptop computer (laptop loaners available upon request)
  • Access to high-speed Internet
  • Ready and able to connect to meetings through Zoom
  • Access to updated web browsers: Chrome, etc.

Dates:  February 6–March 25
Meets: This is an online asynchronous class. Course material should be completed on your own time.
Location: Online - independent learning

Lab meeting: One 8-hour lab day on a Saturday, 8:00am–4:30pm, which includes a half-hour lunch break. Mandatory attendance.
Lab dates: Oahu students - Feb. 18; Maui students - Mar. 4 ; Hawai'i students - Apr. 1; Kauai students - Mar. 18 (all locations tbd)

Tuition: $690

All Fees: Tuition cost is $690. Text book and tools required for class is $250.  ISA testing fee is $170.  Information on how to purchase these additional items will be posted soon.

Scholarship funding is available though the Hana Career Pathways grant. This course is listed under Skilled Trades Course Offerings. If applicant is eligible for funding, all course fees will be covered. 
For more information email adinam@hawaii.edu
Jolie Dollar
Dr. Jolie Dollar  is the Sustainable Agriculture Instructor at Windward Community College and has degrees in International Agriculture Development (UC Davis), Natural Resources (University of Arizona), and Forest Resources (Mississippi State University). Jolie is a Certified Arborist (since 2014) and holds a Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (since 2019) from the International Society of Arboriculture. She specializes in fruit tree pruning, invasive plant management, and provides training in chainsaw safety, maintenance, and tree felling.