A person who practices professional arboriculture is termed an Arboriculturalist / Arboriculturist. The different terms are often used interchangeably, but which one is the correct spelling?
The Oxford English Dictionary has the noun of arboriculture as arboriculturist; likewise, the Collins dictionary refers to arboriculturist (they don’t list Arboriculturalist).
Leading authorities within the industry are clear. The Terms and Definitions of the British Standard 5837:2012 refer to an arboriculturist (as a person who has, through relevant education, training and experience, gained expertise in the field of trees in relation to construction).
By law, a Professional Member of the Institute of Chartered Foresters may describe him or herself as a Chartered Forester or Chartered Arboriculturist.
AWA Tree Consultants have recently been published in the ARB Magazine, the quarterly publication for Members of the Arboricultural Association, with a opinion article titled: “An Arborist by any other name…”.
The ARB Magazine is the quarterly magazine for 2,500+ Members and 260 Tree Surgery and Arboricultural Consultancy Businesses, who have copies sent directly to them, as well as digital copies. Since 1964 the Arboricultural Association has promoted trees and the professionals who enable their sustainable management. It aims to be at the cutting edge of tree knowledge, set the agenda for trees in the built environment and show leadership on how best to care for and manage amenity trees. As such, it is the perfect publication for our opinion article on this subject.
There is now more than enough authority to say arboriculturalist is incorrect and we should call out those who continue using it as having made a spelling mistake.