ISA Certified Arborist Municipal Specialist



When you become an ISA Certified Arborist Municipal Specialist®, you are recognized by your peers and the public as a tree care professional who has attained a specialty in municipal arboriculture with a generally-accepted level of knowledge in other areas within the tree care profession, such as tree biology, diagnosis, maintenance practices, safety, as identified through periodic job task analyses. Hiring an ISA Certified Arborist Municipal Specialist® provides tree owners and government decision makers the opportunity to become better informed about proper tree care and their selection of services based on the expertise represented by your credential.

Prerequisites for this certification:

  • You must be an ISA Certified Arborist
  • Have a minimum of three additional years of documented and verifiable work experience in a position managing the establishment and maintenance of urban trees.

Examples of experience sources include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • city/municipal arborist
  • city/municipal forester
  • tree warden
  • urban forester
  • urban forestry specialist
  • park superintendent
  • municipal/urban forestry consultant

The examination is made up of 115 multiple-choice questions. Each question has four possible answers listed, only one of which is correct. You will have two hours (120 minutes) to complete the written exam. You must pass the exam to obtain the certification. The current passing score is 72 percent.

The written exam content for the ISA Certified Arborist Municipal Specialist® is divided into six 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. Communication Skills—11%
  2. Public Relations and Education—6%
  3. Administration—16%
  4. Risk Management—30%
  5. Arboricultural Practices—20%
  6. Policy and Planning—17%


The CEU requirement varies for your first certification period as an ISA Certified Arborist Municipal Specialist®. Please read the exam application guide for this information and more information on this exam: