A tree expert is a person skilled in the science of tree care that engages in the business or work of the treatment, care, or removal of trees for compensation by making diagnoses, rescribing and supervising, treatments or trimming, pruning, cable and removes trees.
The Maryland Tree Expert Licensing Law requires that anyone (an individual or business) who advertises or represents him or herself as an arborist, tree specialist, tree surgeon, tree expert, or similar title, and charges a fee for that service, must be licensed. This includes someone who simply cuts down and removes trees.
Who must have a license?
All tree care professionals practicing in Maryland must obtain a license. Without a license, they may not practice or advertise tree care services in the state. To obtain a license, the applicant must possess adequate and related college education plus one year of experience under a LTE or have three years experience under a Licensed Tree Expert (LTE), then have passed an exam and carry adequate amounts of liability and property damage insurance. The license must be renewed annually every January.
Selecting A Licensed Tree Expert
Keep these tips in mind…
- When selecting a company make sure to ask for his or her MD LTE number.
- Ask for a copy of their certificate of insurance.
- Ask questions. Ask them to explain how they are going to do the job. Ask for references and then check them out.
- Find out if the tree service advocates tree topping, a harmful practice. If they do, avoid hiring the company.
- Obtain more than one estimate for the proposed work.
- Obtain a written work contract that states the work to be performed and the cost.
- Never pay the full amount before all work is completed as per the contract.
- Be sure to include in the written contract “clean up (removing brush and/or the stump) after job completion”.
- MD LTE are required to place their LTE number on their trucks, proposals, contracts, and in their advertisements.
- MD LTE must comply with the professional standards and ethics according to Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR 08.07.07).
- MD LTE must conduct tree care according to ANSI (the American National Standards).
When is a license not required?
A tree expert license is not required to:
- Treat, care for or removes a tree less than 20 feet tall.
- Conduct commercial logging or timber harvest operations.
- Install underground facilities or associated site construction.