Do Tree Removal Companies Need to be Licensed in PA?

Different states have different licensing requirements for tree removal service companies. Learn about Pennsylvania's laws and regulations regarding tree removal.

Do Tree Removal Companies Need to be Licensed in PA?

Different states have different licensing requirements for tree removal service companies. The most common requirement is occupational leave. It is important to make sure that the company has liability insurance and workers' compensation insurance. This will protect you, the homeowner, from any accidents or damage that occurs during the tree removal process.

In order to be certified, the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) certify people in arboriculture. A good tree removal company should have an ISA-certified arborist on staff and at least one TCIA CTSP certified tree care safety professional. Utility companies have strict policies regarding trees and utility lines. The safest distance to plant any hedge or tree is usually within 20 feet of power lines.

If you try to plant a tall tree closer to power lines, the utility company or the city may cut the tree or remove it altogether. In some states, a contractor's license is required for tree removal services, but this depends on the state's laws. The Seed Tree Act promotes the replacement of removed trees by allowing eligible five-acre harvested land to plant pine seedlings. In Nebraska, neither the state nor its capital city, Lincoln, has special regulations or rules regarding the removal of trees on private property.

In San Jose, permits are required for trees with a trunk circumference of 56 inches or more or two feet above ground. In Jacksonville, trees over four feet tall or with a circumference greater than three and a half feet must have an acquired permit before they can be removed from private property. In some cases, trees 12 inches or larger in diameter will require a permit from the Parks Department, but this requires consulting with the Planning Division first. In addition to general liability and workers' compensation coverages, tree removal companies must also have errors and omissions insurance. If the company deals with more than just tree removal, they must have at least one certified pesticide applicator according to EPA regulations.

In Pennsylvania, there is an illegal logging law that states that anyone who illegally fells or damages another person's tree is responsible for three times the amount of the tree. The City of Albany outlines specific rules according to which trees six and a half feet in circumference or more cannot be removed from private property without a permit. It is the responsibility of the owner to deal with the removal of the tree before it becomes a hazard and lands on a neighboring property or public area. In Utah, there is a Heritage Trees Act of 1975 that protects “rare, threatened, or disappearing species” under this act.

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