New Licensing Rules

On Monday June 20th, the New Jersey Register posted the Board of Tree Experts’ new rule 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 link below for a copy of the Tree Expert and Tree Care Operators Licensing Rule.

Please submit your comments by August 26, 2016, using our secure form on the Contact Us page. Although not required, please include your full name, address, and affiliation (if any).

You may also contact us by mailing correspondence to: Board of Tree Experts, 101 West Veterans Highway, Jackson, NJ 08527, or email us at njtreeexperts at gmail dot com.

The Rule comment period has expired. No new comments will be accepted. Thank you to all who submitted comments.

Proposed New Rules: N.J.A.C. 7:3A

New Jersey Board of Tree Experts Press Release



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.

Recently Passed Tree Expert & Tree Care Operator Licensing Bill

Download a PDF copy of the Tree Expert and Tree Care Operators Licensing Act.

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.

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The Benefits of Hiring a CTE

Because tree pruning and removal is dangerous work, tree work should be done only by those trained and equipped to work safely in trees, such as a Certified Tree Expert .

A Certified Tree Expert (CTE) 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 certified by the Board of Tree Experts. CTEs produce correct, long-term management techniques required in the science of tree care.

Services offered by Certified Tree Experts include:

History of the Current Certified Tree Expert Program

In 1940, the State authorized the creation of the NJ 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 is the only credential recognized by the State for those individuals working in the tree care industry.  This certification is voluntary, not mandatory and the Board has found that those individuals that take and pass the test are among the most knowledgeable and ethical arborists in the state. Because of the qualifications and integrity of Certified Tree Experts, it is unlawful to promote or advertise yourself as being certified if you do not hold the CTE credential. Violators can be fined $1,000 for each infraction.

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Additional information