Maryland’s Licensed Tree Expert Continuing Education Program

Thursday, April 12, 2018
In Maryland, any person who performs tree care work on a tree twenty feet or taller for compensation is required to be a Maryland Licensed Tree Expert (LTE).  Work is defined as trimming, pruning, removal and spraying. This consumer protection law was established in the mid1960’s as a means to protected citizens from fraud.  Currently there are approximately 1,400 LTEs licensed by the Maryland Forest Service.  Interestingly, there are Maryland LTEs located throughout the lower 48 states. 
In order to obtain a license, a person must have three years experience under a LTE, or have two years of college education plus one year of experience under a LTE in order to sit for the exam.  The exam is composed of ten parts with each part passed within one year to pass the entire exam. The license is issued once the individual passes the exam and shows proof of liability and property damage insurance for tree care work. The license is a two year license with alternating renewal years -half year one year, half the next.     
During the 2013 Maryland Legislative Session, the legislators adopted a new requirement for the LTEs. As of January 2016, LTEs are required to have obtained eight continuing education credits in order to renew their license. To assist the industry, the Maryland Forest Service did outreach to educate the LTEs as well as those that conduct events and redesigned the LTE website to allow licensees access to continuing education information such as a catalog of events and a portal which enables the licensee to obtain an official record of recorded credits. The catalog contains events from numerous entities such as TCIA, ISA, utility associations, nonprofits and state agencies with the events ranging in price from $0 to $650 and locations across Maryland and in Virginia, Delaware and Pennsylvania.  There were 50 events held in 2016 and 67 events in 2017 and this year there are already 40 events on the catalog.  All this work paid off during December 2017 renewal period and 660 licensees out of 770 licensees were able to renew their license while 115 or 15% did not.  Since this was the first time a majority of Maryland’s tree care industry had to participate in a continuing education program, the Maryland Forest Service sees this as a success.  As this program continues, it is our intention to obtain a higher participation rate.        
For more information, please contact:

Marian Honeczy

Supervisor, Urban & Community Forestry

Maryland Department of Natural Resources 
Forest Service
580 Taylor Avenue
Tawes State Office Building, E-1
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
(410) 260-8511 Fax: (410) 260-8595