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What does “forensics” have to do with trees?

Most people associate the term “forensics” with popular TV shows like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. It’s amazing to see how the actors portraying skilled investigators solve complex “who done it” mysteries within a short 60 minute episode.

These TV crime scene dramas feature really cool technological devices and investigators who use their scientifically-trained mind to:

  • build a timeframe of events
  • interview all the people they suspect
  • collect all the evidence at the scene
  • logically connect all these factors to provide objective answers to difficult questions

All the evidence in the case is then presented in a public forum like a courtroom. In fact, the word “forensic” is a Latin word– meaning “public”.

So…forensics is the art of formal arguments and debates of facts and evidence that merit qualification to be presented and judged before a public venue for discussion and decision. The Romans knew that venue as “the forum”.


Solve the tree mysteries…are you ready to play the role of consulting arborist in these example situations?

The examples shown in the Forensic Investigation section illustrate the skills required to objectively diagnose and solve the complex “who done it” and “what caused it” questions that tree owners expect you to successfully answer to their satisfaction.

However, beyond the necessity of possessing a specialized skill set of logical thinking, a consulting arborist also needs to maintain a strong sense of ethics. Being technically right must be balanced with being truthful and trustworthy in character and behavior.

I believe that most often people have a natural instinct, or feeling, if the person they are depending upon for information is being open and honest with them. I believe that most of the people in our lives or that cross our path in business dealings learned and live by the basic “do unto others” rule of right and wrong from our parents or significant others.

If you contract me for tree consultant services, I promise to give you sound information based on experience, education, and training. I also promise that this information will be presented in an ethical manner that ensures you are receiving information that is:

  • Competent
  • Impartial
  • Independent
  • Objective
  • Honest
  • Complete

Please know that the rules of personal respect and regard that you and I learned and now share in our daily lives are extended to my professional and business side as a Registered Consulting Arborist®. I uphold and conform to the Standards of Professional Practice as a provision of membership in the American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA).


ASCA’s Standards of Professional Practice imparts education and guidance for members to conduct their professional behavior. I take great pride in being the first, and only, arborist who lives and works in Montana to achieve the status of Registered Consulting Arborist® #461.