Christian Plunkett | Consulting Arborist | Hillsborough, NJ

Christian Plunkett

Consulting Arborist

Independent Expert Advice on Tree Care

ISA Master Arborist


Christian Plunkett is an independent consulting arborist with 14 years of experience in the fields of arboriculture and urban forestry. He is a skilled diagnostician with extensive experience in the areas of Tree Health Care, Tree Risk Assessment, and Appraisal of Tree Value.

Mr. Plunkett is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University and holds a BS in Urban Forestry. He is a member of the International Society of Arboriculture and the American Society of Consulting Arborists. He has distinguished himself within his profession by earning the highly respected ISA Board Certified Master Arborist and New Jersey Certified Tree Expert credentials.


VIDEO: What is a Consulting Arborist?

Arboriculture and Urban Forestry

Trees offer many benefits to a community. There are environmental benefits; they improve local microclimates, mitigating solar heating in the summer and reducing blustery winds in the winter. Trees reduce noise and air pollution and their shade helps soils to retain moisture, making it available to other plants and soil dwelling organisms. They provide psychological and aesthetic benefits; many people feel that just being in the presence of trees lifts the spirit and scientific data is accumulating on the connection between the presence of green vegetation and improved human mental and physical health. Finally, trees have economic benefits; they increase the value of real estate and local governments capture some of this monetary value since enhanced property values increase assessed values and therefore the tax base.

To realize these benefits trees must be properly selected, planted, maintained, and ultimately, removed and replaced.

For municipalities, homeowners, estate and property managers, or anyone charged with the maintenance and risk management of trees, we offer a full range of Consulting Arborist and Urban Forestry Services including:

Diagnosis of Tree Health Problems

When a tree shows signs of stress or decline, such as thin or off-color foliage, branch tip dieback, or early fall color, quickly and accurately determining the cause is vital to increasing the tree's chance of recovery. Whether the problem is an insect, disease, or site factors, ISA Board Certified Master Arborist Christian Plunkett, will identify the underlying cause of the disorder and make expert recommendations for effective treatments based on his 14 years of plant health care education, experience and training.

Since we do not perform any of the treatments, or other general tree care services, that may be recommended, any conflict of interest concerns that tree owners might have about accepting tree care advice directly from the service provider are eliminated. Tree owners who retain our consulting services can be sure that they are receiving a truly objective, independent opinion from an expert diagnostician.

Tree Risk Assessment

Living with trees, and enjoying the many benefits that they provide, requires also accepting a certain degree of risk. All trees will eventually fall down and both private property owners, and municipal governments, have a responsibility to manage tree-related risk. Having a well-documented inspection program of the trees on your property, designed to identify any structural problems of the crown, trunk or roots, will not only reduce the risk of living near trees, but will help limit tree-related liability as well. Mr. Plunkett is Tree Risk Assessment Qualified (TRAQ) by the International Society of Arboriculture.

Tree Valuation / Tree Appraisal

Depending on the tree species, condition, and location, a tree may have no monetary value at all, or it may be valued at tens of thousands of dollars. We use industry recognized methods of tree appraisal, as described by the Guide for Plant Appraisal, 9th ed., authored by the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers, (CTLA) to determine the value of a tree. These methods of appraising tree value have been accepted by insurance companies and many courts of law.

Tree Preservation and Retention

Construction occurring near trees must be carefully planned to limit soil compaction and root damage, as well as broken branches and trunk abrasion, if the trees on site are to be retained. We work with developers and construction companies to determine how to best preserve desired trees during site development, working with contractors from the planning stage, until construction is complete.

Tree Inventories

We use GPS and GIS systems, along with traditional tree inventory equipment and methods, to accurately define the quantity, composition, and condition of the trees in a community or estate, allowing for management decisions to be made based on accurate and up to date information. The first step in developing any Community Forestry Management Plan is to conduct a tree inventory.

Compliance Assistance

Recognizing that trees are an asset to their community, many Municipalities have enacted Tree Ordinances that regulate the management of the trees under their jurisdiction. It is often illegal and punishable by law to remove, kill, or damage a street or other public tree. Failure to adhere to the stipulations of the Tree Ordinance may lead to fines and/or criminal penalties. We assist developers, contractors, tree companies, and other parties in navigating any regulations that may exist in the municipalities in which they operate.

Supervision of Tree Planting and Care

Care must be taken during all types of tree work to adhere to Industry standards. A single instance of improper pruning can initiate a cascade of health and structural problems that will decrease the health, and increase the liability, of that tree for as long as it stands. A tree that is planted incorrectly, over-mulched, or is simply the wrong species for a particular site, has a greatly reduced chance of long-term survival. We monitor tree planting, pruning, and other tree care activities, to ensure that project specifications, industry standards of care, and best management practices are followed at all times.

Expert Opinion and Litigation Support

We assist lawyers, and other parties preparing for litigation, with expert opinions regarding tree issues.

Writing Planting and Care Specifications

Properly written specifications help ensure that planting, and other tree care work, is performed in a systematic and consistent manner. We start with the ANSI A300 Tree Care Standards and tailor your specifications to your individual situation.


Christian Plunkett Consulting Arborist, LLC
639 Montgomery Road, Hillsborough, NJ 08844
(908) 824-0412