Do I Need a License to Cut Trees in California?

In California, you need to obtain a license from the State Contractor Licensing Board if you want to trim trees more than 15 feet tall. Learn more about what is required for obtaining this license.

Do I Need a License to Cut Trees in California?

In California, a state license is required to trim a tree more than 15 feet tall, and the contractor must cover their crew with workers' compensation insurance. To obtain a tree service license in California, you must demonstrate a minimum of 4 years of officer-level experience and pass a two-part state exam with the State Contractor Licensing Board. Officer-level experience means that you have worked unsupervised full time for a tree service company or for a contractor holding a D-49 tree service license. A tree service contractor prunes trees, removes trees, branches or stumps (including grinding), and is engaged in the handling of trees or branches.

When it comes to cutting trees, it's important to know who to call for tree removal. If your tree has grown too large, you'll need to hire a certified tree removal service. Cutting large branches can be dangerous, and removing trees even more so. While tree removal companies generally need to have a license, the exact requirements depend on where you live.

When hiring a local tree removal service, always verify that they have a license, bond and insurance. While state law doesn't require certification, consider the merits of earning a tree pruning or care credential. A volunteer credential demonstrates dedication to work. The International Arboricultural Society (ISA), for example, is a recognized leader in the tree care industry that offers voluntary credentials, such as the ISA-certified tree climber specialist credential.

In Juneau City Government, there are no requirements related to tree removal and no permission is required beforehand. To remove trees between 50 and 150 feet from the coast, they must follow unchanged state requirements. The city also requires that private tree removal contractors not purchase permits before a tree is removed on private property. In addition, trees 12 inches or larger in diameter may require a permit from the Parks Department, but this will depend on and require private property owners to consult with the Planning Division first. The Wyoming Division of Forestry released a Tree Owner's Manual to help residents stay abreast of tree care rules in private homes.

This means that the tree could have diseases or insects that could spread to other privately or publicly owned trees that need to be removed for such prevention. The Raleigh municipal code describes the difference between public trees on the right of way and streets near sidewalks that cannot be touched by anyone other than city workers and private trees. If a neglected tree falls on your property, it can cause costly damage to your home and vehicles, and even pose a threat to your life. There are also certain types of banned trees in Bismarck (13-02-1) that produce cotton and can be removed around the city. The state department of agriculture will also inspect ash trees on private property if requested by the landlord. Providence recently passed a zoning ordinance that protects any tree 32 inches in diameter or larger, regardless of where it is located.

Philadelphia has specific policies on privately owned trees that stand out from public spaces or owned by other people. There will also be additional work for a homeowner who intends to cut down a tree in a quarantine zone by the Asian longhorned beetle. Although each state has different requirements for licensed tree contractors, as with any type of service on your property, hiring a licensed and bonded contractor will protect you and them from potential injury or property damage. There must be an application submitted which must meet certain criteria, including that the tree poses a risk to others.

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