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Anyone performing arborist services in Maine must first obtain an arborist license. An arborist license allows an individual to work independently in arboriculture. Candidates for an arborist license must pass a test in either landscape, utility or both categories demonstrating knowledge, skill and capability to safely and professionally provide arborist services to the public.
An Arborist Apprentice Permit (PDF 65KB) is available to provide on the job training for new arborists; however, this is a training permit only and not a license to practice independently. No test is required to obtain an Arborist Apprentice Permit; those applying for a permit must work under the direct supervision of a licensed arborist.
Arboriculture work as defined for licensing purposes includes:
- leaving the ground for pruning or trimming,
- installing cabling or bracing,
- diagnosing and evaluating conditions of trees,
- felling or taking down trees in developed areas
For licensing purposes arboriculture work does NOT include:
- planting and fertilizing,
- stump grinding,
- house and wood lot clearing,
- treating for pests and diseases requires a commercial Pesticide applicator license.
In order to become a licensed arborist, an individual must apply to take an exam, pass the exam and demonstrate proof of adequate insurance.
Licensed arborists from another state, and ISA certified arborists don't need to take the exam, but must apply for a license.
To obtain your license, you must also demonstrate proof of adequate insurance.
Individuals with no experience in arboriculture can apply for an apprentice permit without taking an exam, providing they work under the direct supervision of a licensed arborist. It is not required that a person working with a licensed arborist hold an apprentice permit.
Arborist - A person who, for compensation, takes down or fells, diagnoses or evaluates the condition of shade or ornamental trees; solicits, recommends or supervises the treatment of those trees; or in any manner or for any purpose treats or cares for those trees. Treats or cares for includes but is not limited to: pruning, trimming and shaping of trees when the care requires the person to leave the ground as well as installing lightning protection, cabling or bracing of trees. In addition to an Arborist License some utilities may require additional safety training to work near their lines.
Apprentice - An unlicensed individual working under the supervision of a licensed arborist. An apprentice can not preform arboriculture work independently, they must be under the supervision of a license arborist.
First Class Landscape Arborist - An individual licensed as an arborist, who is primarily concerned with the care of shade or ornamental trees. A First Class Landscape Arborist may occasionally work around utility lines, but the majority of their work is performed away from utility lines.
First Class Utility Arborist - An individual licensed as an arborist who primarily works in the proximity of electrical transmission, distribution and/or other utility lines. A First Class Utility Arborist may occasionally work on shade or ornamental trees, but the majority of their work is performed near utility lines.
Master Landscape or Master Utility Arborist - An individual who has a minimum of five years of experience as a First Class Arborist, has successfully completed the Master Arborist examination and holds a valid Maine Pesticide Applicator License in category 3A – Outdoor Ornamentals or category 6A - Right of Way Vegetation Management. Obtaining a Master Arborist License is not a requirement to perform arboriculture work. Arborist with more than 5 years experience as a First Class Arborist can continue to work independently with a First Class License.
Please Note: The training listed here is not provided by DACF nor is it required to obtain an arborist license.
In addition to an arborist license some utilities may require additional safety training to work near their utility lines. Arborists that do line clearance work or work near or adjacent to any type of utility wires or electrical equipment must have additional training in:
- The skills and techniques necessary to distinguish exposed live parts from other parts of electric equipment,
- The skills and techniques necessary to determine the nominal voltage of exposed live parts,
- The minimum approach distances specified by OSHA rules, 29 CFR 1910.269, corresponding to the voltages to which the qualified employee will be exposed and the skills and techniques necessary to maintain those distances,
- The proper use of the special precautionary techniques, personal protective equipment, insulating and shielding materials, and insulated tools for working on or near exposed energized parts of electric equipment, and
- The recognition of electrical hazards to which the employee may be exposed and the skills and techniques necessary to control or avoid these hazards.
For more information on arborist licensing call (207) 287-3891 or email the Arborist Program.
Updated: April 21, 2020
- Apprentice Permit (PDF 65KB)
- Application for Maine License (PDF 70KB)
(for those licensed by another jurisdiction)
- Exam Application (PDF 67KB)
- Insurance Affidavit (PDF 11KB)
- License Renewal (PDF 13KB)
- Study Guide Order Form (PDF 39KB)
- Arborist Program
28 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
phone: (207) 287-3891
fax: (207) 287-5576