Arborist Testing Information

Printable Version (PDF 217KB)

Steps in the Exam Process

  1. The candidate completes the arborist exam application (PDF 67KB) and submits it to the Department with the appropriate fees. Exams often fill up weeks before the exam dates listed. When test sessions are full names will be placed on a waiting list.
  2. The Department mails the candidate an examination admission letter approximately 2 weeks before the exam.
  3. The candidate takes the exam.
  4. The Department notifies the candidate of scores and licensing or re-take information.

Application and Fees

Arborist Exam Application (PDF 67KB)

A study guide is available for purchase (PDF 39KB). The study guide contains all information covered on the arborist exam and is highly recommended for test preparation. Study Guide Color Pest Factsheets

Candidates are strongly encouraged to apply to take both landscape and utility exams at the same time.

Examination and Study Material Fees::

Study Guide - $85
First Class Landscape OR Utility Exam - $60
First Class Landscape AND Utility Exam - $85
Master Landscape OR Utility Exam - $85
Master Landscape AND Utility Exam - $110

Checks should be made payable to "Treasurer, State of Maine"

Exam fees are non-refundable.

Exam Dates

Exams often fill up weeks before the exam date. Do not delay submitting your application. When the test sessions are full names will be placed on a waiting list.

2024 Examination Dates:

January 23, 2024
March12, 2024
April 30, 2024
June 18, 2024
September 17, 2024
December 10, 2024

Admission to the Exam

Only pre-registered candidates will be admitted to the exam. Walk-in applicants are not allowed. Examinations will not be scheduled until the Department has received both the exam application and exam fee.

Prior to the examination date, the department will send an admission letter to each candidate scheduled for testing. The admission letter will include the specific date and time of the exam and which category of exam is scheduled.

Unless indicated otherwise in the admission letter all exams will be held at:

Deering Building, Room 101
90 Blossom Lane
Augusta, Maine

Exam No-Show Policy

If you cannot make your scheduled exam time you must notify this office at least 48 hours prior to the examination date so that we may accommodate people on the waiting list.

If you do not attend the examination and do not contact us, you will forfeit the exam fee and will only be scheduled for the next exam once all other candidates from the waiting list have been accommodated.

Description of Examinations

Exam sessions are 3 hours long and there are two parts to the exam; written and oral.

The written portion of the First Class exams are open book. Master exams are closed book for all parts. The written exams include true or false, multiple choice and tree identification questions. Please note: While the written portion of the exam is open book, the use of e-books or other electronic devices during the exam is NOT allowed.

Books are not permitted during the oral portion of the First Class exams. The oral portion of the exam covers the applicant's knowledge of the safe use of arborist tools and equipment and approved arboricultural techniques.

Material covered on utility and landscape exams overlap. Candidates are strongly encouraged to take both exams at the same time.

Exam Preparation Tips

  • Be familiar with information in the Study Guide. Use the review questions at the end of each chapter of The Tree Climbers' Guide (included with the Study Guide).
  • Purchase and practice using a tree identification book.
  • Practice knot tying.
  • Study Guide Color Pest Factsheets

Grading Information

The minimum score required to pass the First Class exam is 70%. The minimum score to pass the Master exam is 75%.

Your score is based on the number of questions you answer correctly. Be sure to mark an answer for each question. There is no penalty for guessing. Partial credit is given in the tree identification section.

Scores will be mailed within two weeks of the test date. All scores are mailed at the same time. Applicants receiving passing scores will be sent licensing information.

License Issuance and Fees

Licenses will not be issued immediately after passing the exam. It could take several weeks before you are licensed to work.

In order to receive your license you must sign an insurance affidavit and pay a licensing fee. Your license will be issued only after receipt of the affidavit and payment.

License fees:

First Class or Master Landscape OR Utility - $30

First Class or Master Landscape AND Utility - $45

Licenses must be renewed annually. License renewal information will be sent by December 1 of each year. Renewal applications received after January 1 are subject to a late fee. Candidates that fail to renew a license for more than a year may need to re-take the Arborist License Exam in order to have the license re-instated.

Background Checks

The State of Maine has the authority to consider an applicant's criminal history record prior to issing an occupational license. The Department will conduct random criminal history records checks prior to issuing licenses.


If you have questions regarding the arborist licensing process please call (207) 287-3891 or email the Arborist Program.