Word games are fun, right? Let’s try one: Describe the industry you work in using one word, and one word only.

I’ll go first. To describe the publishing industry, I’d use the word informative — our job as editors and writers is to inform you about topics and points of interest that help you succeed both at your jobs and in your careers.

Now it’s your turn. Describe your industry in one word.

We posed this question to our social media followers, on Facebook and Twitter, and we got some interesting answers.

The answers we received were: growing, green, unpredictable, dedicated and crucial. Would you agree with these descriptors of the arboriculture industry?

Growing: I like this one best. Trees certainly grow, and the tree care industry has certainly grown in leaps and bounds over the past several decades. There’s no reason why this growth can’t continue. Whether it’s companies growing their businesses, arborists growing their skill sets, or the industry has a whole growing (thanks to groups like the International Society of Arboriculture and the Tree Care Industry Association), the tree care profession is on the upswing. It’s imperative that veteran arborists foster this growth by embracing the next generation. That means it’s on you to teach and educate (when and how you can) in order to secure the future of this vital industry.

Green: No debating the accuracy of this one. It’s obvious that trees, plants and vegetation are mostly green. Color aside, what about the industry as a whole? You could easily make the argument that the tree care/arboriculture industry was the original “green” industry. That’s quite a statement. Think about it – it’s now trendy in our society to embrace “green” in terms of protecting the environment, being conscious of nature and embracing sustainability at work, at home, in what we eat and how we live. Terms like natural and organic, that were just becoming hip a few years ago, are becoming the norm. This ties into the tree care industry because arborists have been embracing nature, the environment and sustainability long before it was hip, or cool, to do so.

Dedicated: This is a trait I’ve observed in talking to the many arborists and tree care pros I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. Dedication is a bedrock of this industry, and you certainly have to possess a high degree of dedication to your job to risk your life every day, as some arborists do each time they suit up. I’ve learned that for many, arboriculture is much more than a job – it’s a lifestyle. The dedication extends beyond just being a productive worker; arborists are dedicated to being stewards of the environment.

Unpredictable: It was once said in a movie that, “The only thing predictable about life is its unpredictability.” I think this quote could easily be applied to tree care – often, the only thing you know is that you don’t know what you’ll encounter. Whether it’s unpredictable events that occur when climbing a tree, discovering something wrong with a tree when you’re inspecting it for something altogether different, or even unpredictability with customers. All of these aspects of the job revolve around not knowing what’s coming and being able to react. That not only requires much skill and patience, but also being able to handle the unforeseen and unpredictable is a learned practice that arborists must excel at in order to be successful.

Crucial: It’s hard to expect anyone to put deep thought into the role their profession plays when they’re going to work each morning, in order to support themselves and their families. So, let me do it for you – the care of our planet’s trees (a most critical natural resource) is absolutely crucial for so many reasons. Not only the regular and routine maintenance done on trees and plants both residentially and commercially, but think about other crucial roles that tree care pros play, like storm cleanup. That’s just one example; there are many others. The bottom line is that arboriculture is crucial (and always has been) to the environment and our planet. That’s something that you should be proud of.

What word you use to describe the tree care industry? Tell us in the comments below!