Licensing of Tree Experts and Tree Care Operators

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 and on April 17, 2017, the Tree Expert and Tree Care Operators Licensing Law's rules were adopted and promulgated.

The Act creates a licensing program under which individuals may become Licensed Tree Experts (LTEs) or Licensed Tree Care Operators (LTCOs) by passing an examination and demonstrating good moral character. Licensees will be required to complete continuing education requirements, abide by standards of professional conduct and ethics, and adhere to safety standards, as well as industry practice standards. No individual shall represent himself or herself to the public as a licensed tree expert or a licensed tree care operator or use any title, designation, word(s), letter, or abbreviations tending to indicate that such individual is a licensed tree expert or a licensed tree care operator without obtaining licensure as a tree expert by the Board of Tree Experts.

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Exam Qualifications

The following requirements must be met in order to be eligible to take the NJ Licensed Tree Expert examination:

The licensed application fee and completed LTE/LTCO Exam Application, including three letters of recommendation, must be received by the Board office prior to the posted deadline.

Any verification documents specifically requested by the board must be received by the board no later than two weeks prior to the date of the examination.

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Exam Overview

The Board of Tree Experts has developed examinations for the Licensed Tree Expert (LTE) and the Licensed Tree Care Operator (LTCO) to evaluate the knowledge, ability, and fitness of applicants to perform as tree experts or tree care operators, respectively. Examinations will be held at a minimum of twice a year and will be announced on the web-site as to when and where the examinations will occur. The Licensed Tree Expert examination is composed of two separate parts: a written section and a field section.

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Exam Subject Matter

Licensed Tree Experts Examination – Knowledge of the following subject matter is tested during the written section of the examination.

  • General tree knowledge and safety.
  • Tree physiology, including the functions of all parts of a tree and their interrelationships.
  • Proper tree planting procedures and theories.
  • Soil characteristics, including how factors such as fertilizer, lime, soil amendments, pH and soil organisms affect the health and appearance of trees.

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Additional information