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Certified Tree Expert FAQ’s and General Information

Q:        Does an individual have to be licensed or certified in the State of New Jersey to do tree work?

A:         No, there is no mandatory licensing in New Jersey at this time for individuals.

Q:        Do tree care companies have to be licensed?

A:         Companies do not have to be specifically licensed to do tree care work in New Jersey.  Tree care companies, like any other company that does business in the state, have to be registered with the Department of State and may need to be registered with a particular municipality, depending on local municipal ordinances.

Q:        What is a Certified Tree Expert?

A:         A Certified Tree Expert is someone who has met the eligibility requirement of N.J.A.C  7:3-1 et seq. and successfully passed the certification examination.  The New Jersey Board of Tree Experts has been administering the state certification program since 1940.

  • Since 1940, the State of NJ has certified its tree care professionals. Over 550 CTE certifications have been issued since that time.

  • Excluding the Commercial Pesticide Applicator license, it is the only state certified tree care credential recognized in New Jersey. 

  • Only individuals are certified, not companies.

  • A CTE is skilled in the following areas:

    1. Tree identification, including the common and botanical names of the tree

    2. Tree physiology including the function and parts of trees and their interrelationships

    3. Proper tree planting procedures and theories

    4. Soil characteristics, including how factors such as fertilizer, lime, soil amendments, pH and soil organisms affect the health of trees

    5. General tree maintenance, including insect and disease identification and both chemical and non-chemical control

    6. Structural repairs, such as cabling, bracing, bark tracing, root aeration, drainage and grade changes and construction damage

    7. Proper pruning methods and theories

  • This professional certification requires either a degree in forestry, arboriculture, ornamental horticulture, landscape architecture or natural resource management or 5 years experience in the tree care industry or a combination of the two, with at least two years of college courses.

  • It is a voluntary certification, not a mandatory license.  Only those in the profession that believe in achieving the highest standing in the field take and pass this examination.

  • Certified Tree Experts follow a code of ethics and are subject to revocation of their certification for failing to adhere to these standards.



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CTE test 4