TREE WORK EXEMPT UNDER EMERGENCY ORDER
The New Jersey Board of Tree Experts with the cooperation of the NJ Arborists — ISA Chapter, the Committee for the Advancement of Arboriculture (CAA) and supportive legislators have received word from the Governor's Office that: Tree Care and Tree Work can continue under the Governor's Executive Order as long as tree care businesses and licensees follow social distancing recommendations.
While tree care and tree work can continue, it is the decision of the owner/operator/employer to work. If that decision is to work. Please make your business decision based on what is best for you, your family, your employees and customers.
If you plan on continuing operations, the Board of Tree Experts, as the regulated agency for tree care in New Jersey will insist that all Tree Care Businesses and Licensees shall practice social distancing during the time that the Governor's Executive Order is in place.
The Board of Tree Experts encourages all tree care businesses and licensees to go to the Tree Care Industry Association's website at TCIA.org and review under the Resources and Guidance section on how to deal with Coronavirus as tree care workers. From here you can find a link to the CDC website and get guidance from OSHA about the need for employers to implement work practices and personal protective equipment (PPE).
Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 104, implementing aggressive social distancing measures to mitigate further spread of COVID-19 in New Jersey. We understand the concern and uncertainty you may be experiencing around the evolving situation, and we're committed to being responsive and flexible, hoping that you and your families are staying safe in these unprecedented times.
The Board is prepared for remote work in the event of a state or national quarantine order. Due to restrictions regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), our office is closed to the public until further notice.
If you do plan on contacting The Board of Tree Experts over the phone, please know our staff will continue to work throughout this situation. Contact us at 732-534-0982, the Board staff is available Monday - Friday from 8:30 am - 4:00 pm, if you reach our voicemail, please leave a message and our staff will return your call within the next 24 hours. For your convenience, a drop box is available outside our office during regular business hours. We continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will follow guidance from public health officials and other government agencies, so we can make ongoing assessments and consider ways to further support our industry and communities as needs unfold.
For more information about COVID-19 and what you can do to keep healthy and safe, visit the Centers for Disease Control at cdc.gov or your local health department's website.
CONSUMERS: CHECK BEFORE YOU HIRE!
Click here for listings of non-registered tree care businesses.
Note to Consumers: Any business that provides tree care services for hire in the state of New Jersey shall be registered with the NJ Board of Tree Experts and have, in its employ, at least one full time Licensed Tree Expert or Licensed Tree Care Operator, depending on the services that are offered.
It is important to make sure that the company is qualified to do tree work and fully insured in case an accident happens. Incorrect tree work can predispose your trees to many future problems, including tree failure. In addition, many homeowner policies will not cover injuries or damage done by an under-insured tree care contractor, which may leave the financial burden on the homeowner.
Click here to go directly to the Directory of Licensees and Businesses that are in compliance with the Law.
LTE, LTCO Written Examination
The April 1, 2020 exam has been postponed until further notice due to the coronavirus restrictions. As soon as we have been cleared to allow the public to access to our office, we will schedule new examination dates. When the restrictions are lifted the Board plans on providing multiple dates for the examination to be given. Please feel free to contact us by phone or e-mail if you have any questions.
- May 6, 2020 in Jackson - application deadline April 23, 2020
LTE, LTCO Written Examination and LTE Field Examination
- June 3, 2020 at Rutgers University (New Brunswick) - application deadline May 22, 2020
- July 22, 2020 at Rutgers University (New Brunswick) - application deadline July 8, 2020
As of APRIL 13, 2018, the following fee requirements were put into effect by the Board of Tree Experts:
LTCO Written Exam fee is $100.00
LTE Written Exam fee is $100.00
LTE Field Exam fee is $100.00
These fees are in addition to the license application fee of $50.00 submitted when applying to take an examination. Once the Board has qualified the individual to take the license examination from the exam application, that individual will be invoiced the exam fee(s) noted above and payment must be received prior to the examination date to sit for the exam. These fees were approved in the adopted rules of April 17, 2017 and are now being enforced.
Late Business Registration
The Deadline for Business Registration was September 14, 2017. Please use the Business Registration Application to apply. Please note that the Board may issue civil penalties (click here for list) of up to $1000.00 for the first violation of 7:3A-9.6. for "engaging in the business of providing tree care services for hire in New Jersey without first registering with the Board." A late fee of $25.00 is charged to all businesses that file for a registration after January 1, 2018.
TCIA - License by Reciprocity
The Board of Tree Experts voted at July 12, 2017 meeting that, TCIA's Tree Care Safety Specialist AND Tree Care Specialist credentials together, are equivalent to the Licensed Tree Care Operator (LTCO). Use the License by Reciprocity Application (fill-in version) or License by Reciprocity Application (static version) to apply for the LTCO and include a copy of the certificates of both credentials as evidence. Remember to include the application fee too.
ISA - License by Reciprocity
The Board of Tree Experts voted at its June 20, 2017 meeting that the ISA Certified Arborist (CA) is equivalent to the Licensed Tree Care Operator (LTCO). Use the License by Reciprocity Application (fill-in version) or License by Reciprocity Application (static version) to apply for the LTCO and include a copy of your current CA certificate or CA card as evidence. Remember to include the application fee too.
The NJ Department of Agriculture has issued a quarantine for Mercer, Warren and Hunterdon counties to prevent the spread of the Spotted Lanternfly. Under the quarantine, households and businesses that transport certain outdoor articles must obtain and fill out a checklist before moving any of the listed items.
In addition to the checklist, businesses that routinely travel in and out of the quarantined counties have training requirements with which they must comply.
All Tree Care Businesses and Licensees are required under N.J.A.C. 7:3A-2.16 to cooperate with quarantine restrictions. Registered Businesses and Licensees shall cooperate fully and adhere to all mandated restrictions. Any business or licensee that fails to cooperate or adhere to such restrictions shall be in violation of N.J.S.A. 45:15C-20 and subject to penalties under the Tree Expert and Tree Care Operators Licensing Act.
Some of the items on the list are:
- Cardboard boxes
- Building materials (brick, block)
- Trees, shrubs, plants
A copy of the full press release, including contact information at the NJ Department of Agriculture for questions, is available at: nj.gov
New Licensing Rules Adopted and Promulgated
On Monday April 17, 2017, the New Jersey Register posted the New Jersey Board of Tree Experts' rules, setting standards for professional practices, qualifications for Licensed Tree Experts (LTEs) and Licensed Tree Care Operators (LTCOs) and the registering of tree care businesses. Click on the links below for a copy of the Tree Expert and Tree Care Operators Licensing Rule and the Certificate of Adoption and Promulgation.
NEW PHONE & FAX NUMBERS FOR THE NEW JERSEY BOARD OF TREE EXPERTS
Phone #: 732-534-0982
Fax #: 732-534-0983
Please return to this website periodically, as new updates will occur daily. Updates to this site will contain the information, forms and instructions you will need to participate in the Tree Expert and Tree Care Operators Licensing Law and the newly adopted rules.
Overview of the Licensing Program
- The Act repeals the “Tree Expert Act” (1940) and provides a new licensing scheme for tree care providers. It establishes the titles “Licensed Tree Expert” and “Licensed Tree Care Operator.”
- The Act re-establishes a “Board of Tree Experts” in the DEP with increased membership from 3 to 9 members.
- The Act establishes minimum qualifications to take the examinations and identifies specific tree services that each title can perform.
- The Act requires that at least 1 person in each company hiring itself out to perform tree care services be licensed.
- The Act requires minimum continuing education units be earned prior to re-issuance of the license.
- The Act requires businesses provide instruction and training on safe use of equipment and safe working procedures at the work site and document this training to the board.
- The Act requires tree care businesses to carry minimum levels of liability insurance and to provide proof they are adhering to workers compensation insurance rules.
Tree Expert & Tree Care Operator Licensing Act
The Tree Expert & Tree Care Operator Licensing Act was passed on January 16, 2010, to protect the public and make the tree care industry safer.
Due to changes within the industry, including the workforce and machinery utilized, a need was identified to protect companies and consumers from avoidable accidents. The licensing legislation was proposed by industry groups and passed by the New Jersey legislature on January 16, 2010. The legislation is known as the Tree Expert and Tree Care Operators Licensing Act.
The Tree Expert and Tree Care Operators Licensing Act requires businesses performing tree care work to register with the New Jersey Board of Tree Experts, and to train their employees in the safe operation of equipment and the maintenance of a safe work area. This law allows the Board to identify and communicate directly to all companies doing tree care work and provide opportunities for worker safety information and materials to be disseminated. The training requirement will ensure that employees have regular safety instruction and bring about the reduction of injuries and fatalities to tree care workers.
Benefits of Hiring a Registered Business
Because tree pruning and removal is dangerous work, tree work should be done only by those trained and equipped to work safely in trees.
A Licensed Tree Expert (LTE) is a person who has been examined and proven to be competent in the science and art of diagnosing, treating and preventing tree injuries. These professionals demonstrate high ethical and moral standards in the practice of tree care and are licensed by the New Jersey Board of Tree Experts. LTEs produce correct, long-term management techniques required in the science of tree care. Licensed Tree Experts must obtain continuing educational credits over their licensing period, thereby insuring LTEs are up-to-date on new information, skills and techniques in the tree care profession.
History of the "Old" Certified Tree Expert Program
In 1940, the State of New Jersey authorized the creation of the Board of Tree Experts to develop a professional examination for individuals with arboriculture knowledge and background. The Board has been awarding the Certified Tree Expert (CTE) credential since that time and it was the only credential recognized by the State for those individuals working in the tree care industry. From 1940 to 2016, 640 individuals were certified as Tree Experts. This certification was voluntary, not mandatory and the Board had found that those individuals that take and pass the test were among the most knowledgeable and ethical arborists in the state. Because of the qualifications and integrity of Certified Tree Experts, it was unlawful to promote or advertise oneself as being certified if they did not hold the CTE credential.