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.
Starting April 17, 2017, with the adoption and promulgation of the Board of Tree Expert's Rules, full implementation of the 2010 Tree Expert and Tree Care Operator Licensing Act can occur. Current Certified Tree Experts in good standing with the Board will be converted to Licensed Tree Experts. The Board will start to Register Businesses and bring Tree Care Operators into the Licensing program as well.