The ICF, which was founded in 1925, is the Royal Chartered body for foresters and arboriculturists in the UK that regulates the standards of entry to the profession and offers qualifications to promote expertise in tree and woodland management.
ICF president Fenning Welstead said: "Chartered status is a matter of pride for all who hold it. It is also a reassurance for professionals in other fields, for employers and for the public. It demonstrates our members’ proven expertise, skills and integrity and is no doubt one of the reasons that applications for ICF chartered status are at an all time high.
"Recent events which saw the UK’s ash trees hit by Chalara fraxinea, or ash dieback, has shown the vital role of the professional forester or arboriculturist in managing our woodlands and trees and protecting them from this and other diseases and pests.
"Also, in the current economic climate the value of being qualified to chartered standard is increasing in importance. It is estimated that the lifetime economic benefit associated with holding professional qualifications and membership of a professional institute is around £152,000 in today's terms. The fact that professional members have to continue to prove their learning through continuing professional development adds a reassurance that they remain qualified to do their job."