Throughout December, we’ve enjoyed looking back at the year’s International Society of Arboriculture True Professionals — arborists who go above and beyond the call of duty to bring arboriculture to the community. Rounding out the list of 2013’s True Professionals is Edward Milhous, ISA Certified Arborist and Consultant and Owner of TreesPlease in Haymarket, Va.
“I have an appreciation for the intangible rewards that come from helping people.”
Ed Milhous is a True Professional of Arboriculture who freely gives of his time to support developing arborists in their careers. A long-time supporter of continuing education, Milhous has spent the past quarter-century promoting arboriculture to future professionals by teaching and speaking at various camps, seminars and events in conjunction with the Mid-Altlantic branch of ISA (MAC-ISA). In addition, as the owner of his consulting firm, TreesPlease® in Haymarket, Va., Milhous has enjoyed an outstanding reputation with consumers and arborists for helping people solve their plant problems.
“I take every opportunity to speak to groups about trees, and I believe that has been a factor in building a successful consulting practice,” Milhous contends. “The Day of Arboriculture we present to students in forestry and horticulture at Virginia Tech each year has reached more than 500 students since its inception.
“I know that these MAC-ISA sponsored programs have recruited a significant number of students into arboriculture, and some of them are among our chapter leaders today. Preparing others to take this profession further is of critical importance to me.”
Milhous has left an indelible footprint so far. Among the projects in his body of work is Evans Farm, a development in McLean, Va., where he inventoried more than 400 significant trees on the site for preservation. He’s consulted on several iconic properties in the D.C. area, conducting a complete tree inventory at the U.S. Naval Academy and the Jefferson Memorial, and consulting with the Architect of the Capitol about Capitol Hill trees. Milhous was also part of a team of extension agents and volunteers who organized the first Master Gardener programs in Virginia and Washington, D.C.
“We had no resources, but still had to publish our own manual for the program, so each volunteer and each agent wrote a chapter,” Milhous remembers. “Our first class included more than 100 people. Now, 33 years later, we have more than 30,000 volunteers trained in horticulture and they provide more than 100,000 hours of community service each year in Virginia alone. In fact, I still teach a class each year.”
While Milhous works tirelessly to promote education at every level, most of his work is in tree preservation. He does what he can to enable research and teach the public the value of a certified arborist.
“On almost a daily basis, I promote using an ISA Certified Arborist to my clients,” Milhous explains. “I tell them the single-most reliable way to ensure that you get work done properly is to require that the person doing the work is certified. It’s always nice if the salesperson knows what he is doing, but it’s unlikely that he will be the one doing the work. I want the person up in the tree to be certified.”
When asked what it means to be a True Professional of Arboriculture, Milhous believes it is someone who recognizes when there’s a need to learn more and wants to keep on learning. “A True Professional promotes his profession as much as his own business. He wants to bring the competition up to his level rather than just beat them on a bid. A True Professional takes pride in the work done, and would rather walk away from a job than do something that isn’t right.”—Ed Milhous and ISA
Did you miss reading about the other True Professionals of 2013? You can find them all here on Loose Leaf: