The “Arborist Law” consists of the Connecticut General Statutes, Section 23-61a through Section 23-61m inclusive. The following are those statutes, as amended through the 2014 legislative session.
Sec. 23-61a. Definitions. Tree Protection Examining Board. Regulations. (a) As used in sections 23-61a to 23-61f, inclusive, “arboriculture” means any work done for hire to improve the condition of fruit, shade or ornamental trees by feeding or fertilizing, or by pruning, trimming, bracing, treating cavities or other methods of improving tree conditions, or protecting trees from damage from insects or diseases or curing these conditions by spraying or any other method; “arborist” means one who is qualified to perform arboriculture and is licensed by the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection as provided in section 23-61b; “board” means the State Tree Protection Examining Board established under subsection (b) of this section; “fungicide” means any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any fungus; “fungus” means any non-chlorophyll-bearing thallophyte; that is, any non-chlorophyll-bearing plant of a lower order than mosses and liverworts; for example, rusts, smuts, mildews, molds and yeast, except those on or in any living human or other vertebrate animal; “herbicide” means any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any weed; “insect” means any of the numerous small invertebrate animals generally having the body more or less obviously segmented, for the most part belonging to the class insecta, comprising six-legged, usually winged forms, as for example, beetles, bugs, bees, flies and to other allied classes of arthropods whose members are wingless and usually have more than six legs, as for example, spiders, mites, ticks, centipedes and wood lice; “insecticide” means any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating insects; “plant regulator” means any substance or mixture of substances determined to be a plant regulator under chapter 441; “pesticide” means any substance or mixture of substances determined to be a pesticide under said chapter; “weed” means any plant which grows where not wanted.
(b) There shall be in the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection a State Tree Protection Examining Board which shall consist of the plant pathologist and forester of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, who shall serve as ex-officio members, and five electors of the state, three of whom shall be public members, and two of whom shall be licensed, practicing arborists to be appointed by the Governor. Any vacancy in the appointed membership of the board shall be filled by the Governor for the unexpired portion of the term.
(c) The board shall have a seal and, in any proceeding in court, a certificate under such seal shall be bona fide evidence of any proceeding or action by or before the board stated in such certificate. A majority of members acting as a board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
(d) Repealed by P.A. 82-419, S. 46, 47.
(e) The Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection, with the advice and assistance of the board, may adopt such regulations as are necessary for the purpose of giving examinations, issuing and renewing licenses, inspection of work or revocation of licenses.
Sec. 23-61b. Licensing for arboriculture; examination; fees; renewal; suspension; revocation. Nonresidents. Records. Pesticides. (a) No person shall advertise, solicit or contract to do arboriculture within this state at any time without a license issued in accordance with the provisions of this section, except that any person may improve or protect any tree on such person’s own premises or on the property of such person’s employer without securing such a license provided such activity does not violate the provisions of chapter 441, subsection (a) of section 23-61a or this section. Application for an examination for such license shall be made to the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection and shall contain such information regarding the applicant’s qualifications and proposed operations and other relevant matters as the commissioner may require and shall be accompanied by a fee of two hundred dollars which shall not be returnable.
(b) The commissioner shall require the applicant to show upon examination that the applicant possesses adequate knowledge concerning the proper methods of arboriculture and the dangers involved and the precautions to be taken in connection with these operations, together with knowledge concerning the proper use and application of pesticides and the danger involved and precautions to be taken in connection with their application. If the applicant is other than an individual, the applicant shall designate an officer, member or technician of the organization to take the examination, which designee shall be subject to approval of the commissioner except that any person who uses pesticides in arboriculture shall be licensed to do arboriculture or shall be a licensed commercial applicator under chapter 441. If the extent of the applicant’s operations warrant, the commissioner may require more than one such member or technician to be examined. If the commissioner finds the applicant qualified, the commissioner shall issue a license to perform arboriculture within this state. A license shall be valid for a period of five years, provided the commissioner may issue such licenses such that one-fifth of such licenses expire each year and the commissioner may issue a license for a period of less than five years and prorate the license fee accordingly. If the commissioner finds that the applicant is not qualified, or if the commissioner refuses to issue a license for any other reason, the commissioner shall so inform the applicant in writing, giving reasons for such refusal.
(c) The commissioner may issue a license without examination to any nonresident who is licensed in another state under a law that provides substantially similar qualifications for licensure and which grants similar privileges of licensure without examination to residents of this state licensed under the provisions of this section.
(d) Each licensee shall pay a license fee of two hundred eighty-five dollars for each license or renewal. All examination and license fees shall be deposited as provided in section 4-32, and any expenses incurred by the commissioner in making examinations, issuing certificates, inspecting tree work or performing any duties of the commissioner shall be charged against appropriations of the General Fund.
(e) Each licensee shall maintain and, upon request, furnish such records concerning licensed activities as the commissioner may require.
(f) The commissioner may suspend for not more than ten days and, after notice and hearing as provided in any regulations established by the commissioner, may suspend for additional periods, or the commissioner may revoke, any license issued under this section if the commissioner finds that the licensee is no longer qualified or has violated any provision of section 23-61a or this section, or any regulation adopted thereunder.
(g) The Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection, in consultation with the board, shall establish standards for examining applicants and reexamining applicators with respect to the proper use and application of pesticides and arboricultural methods. Such standards shall provide that in order to be certified, an individual shall be competent with respect to the use and handling of pesticides or the use and handling of the pesticide or class of pesticides covered by such individual’s application or certification and in the proper and safe application of recognized arboricultural methods.
(h) Any licensed arborist shall be considered to be a certified applicator under section 22a-54 with respect to the use of pesticides.
(i) Any person who is a certified supervisory pesticide applicator, as described in section 22a-54, and who is also licensed as an arborist pursuant to this section, shall not be required to pay a license fee pursuant to this section provided such person pays any fee required pursuant to section 22a-54.
Sec. 23-61c. Privilege of licensee to take examination without fee for commercial applicators of pesticides. Section 23-61c is repealed.
Sec. 23-61d. Validity of custom tree worker licenses held by licensees on July 1, 1977. Section 23-61d is repealed, effective October 1, 2002.
Sec. 23-61e. Appeals. Any person aggrieved by an order or finding of the commissioner may appeal therefrom in accordance with the provisions of section 4-183.
Sec. 23-61f. Penalties. (a) Any person who violates any provision of subsection (b), (c) or (d) of section 23-61b or of any regulation issued under subsection (e) of section 23-61a shall be fined not more than two hundred dollars.
(b) Any person who violates any provision of chapter 441 or section 23-61a or 23-61b shall be considered under the jurisdiction of the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection.
(c) Any person who violates any provision of subsection (a) of section 23-61b shall be assessed a civil penalty of not less than one thousand dollars but not more than two thousand five hundred dollars for each day such violation continues. The Attorney General, upon complaint of the commissioner, shall institute a civil action in the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford to recover such penalty. Any such action shall have precedence in the order of trial as provided in section 52-191.
Sec. 23-61g. Arborist business. Definitions. For the purposes of sections 23-61h to 23-61m, inclusive:
(1) “Arborist business” means any business that wholly, or in part, holds itself out for hire to perform arboriculture.
(2) “Arboriculture” has the same meaning as provided in section 23-61a.
(3) “Place of business” means any physical location at or through which the functional operations of business regularly occur, including, but not limited to, financial transactions, arrangement of contracts, assignment of contracts, assignment of work and record keeping. “Place of business” does not include buildings or locations used solely for storage of equipment or supplies or any telephone answering service.
Sec. 23-61h. Arborist business. Certificate of registration. Application. Fee. Exemption re pesticide application. (a) No person shall engage in the operation of an arborist business unless such person has a certificate of registration from the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection. A certificate of registration shall expire on the thirty-first day of August next succeeding its issuance. Any arborist business with more than one place of business in the state or that operates under more than one name shall register and pay the application fee for each place of business and for each business name.
(b) Application for a certificate of registration shall be made on such form as the commissioner may prescribe and with such information as the commissioner deems necessary to fulfill the purposes of this section and sections 23-61i to 23-61m, inclusive, provided such information shall, at a minimum, include the following: (1) The applicant’s name and residential address, (2) the name, address and telephone number of the place of business, (3) the name and license number of the licensed arborist employed by the arborist business, and (4) the type of business. Each arborist business shall notify the commissioner of any change in the information contained in an application or in the status of the business as an arborist business. Such notification shall be submitted, in writing, not more than thirty days after any change.
(c) An application for a certificate of registration shall be accompanied by payment of a fee of two hundred forty dollars. The commissioner may waive payment of the fee for the initial renewal of a certificate of registration issued during the three months prior to expiration of such certificate of registration. An application for a certificate of registration or renewal shall not be deemed to be complete or sufficient until the applicable fee is paid in full.
(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 22a-66c, any person who complies with the registration requirements of this section shall not be required to register such arborist business pursuant to section 22a-66c if such arborist business also engages in pesticide application.
Sec. 23-61i. Issuance of certificate. Denial. Hearing. Revocation or suspension of certificate. Grounds. Reapplication. (a) The Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection shall, after review of a complete application submitted in accordance with the provisions of section 23-61h, issue or deny a certificate of registration. The commissioner shall inform an applicant of a denial of a certificate of registration by certified mail, return receipt requested. The commissioner shall briefly state the reasons, as listed in subsection (c) of this section, for such denial. Any applicant aggrieved by the commissioner’s decision to deny a certificate of registration may, not later than thirty days after the date of such decision, request a hearing before the commissioner. Such hearing shall be held in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54.
(b) The commissioner may revoke or suspend a certificate of registration in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c) of this section and section 4-182.
(c) The grounds for denial, revocation or suspension of a certificate of registration shall include the following:
(1) Violation of any provision of this chapter or chapter 441 or any regulation, permit, certificate, registration or order adopted, issued or administered or issued pursuant to this chapter and chapter 441;
(2) Inclusion of false or misleading information in an application or the failure to notify the commissioner of a change, as required by section 23-61h;
(3) Inclusion of false or misleading information in records required to be maintained pursuant to section 23-61k, or the failure to maintain such records or provide the commissioner with the records required by section 23-61k;
(4) Use of a pesticide in a manner inconsistent with the registered labeling or with state or federal restrictions on the use of such pesticide;
(5) Application of pesticides generally known in the trade to be ineffective or improper for the intended use;
(6) Operation of faulty or unsafe equipment which may result in improper pesticide application or harm to the environment, a worker or other persons;
(7) Application of a pesticide or performance of arboriculture in a faulty, careless or negligent manner;
(8) Aiding or abetting a licensed or unlicensed person to evade the provisions of this chapter or chapter 441 or any regulation, permit, certificate, registration or order adopted, issued or administered pursuant to this chapter and chapter 441;
(9) The making of a false or misleading statement during an inspection or investigation concerning an infestation of pests, an accident in applying a pesticide, misuse of a pesticide, or violation of a statute, regulation, certificate, registration or order;
(10) The performance of arboriculture which does not meet generally accepted industry standards;
(11) The performance of work, whether or not for compensation, in a category for which the arborist is not certified; and
(12) The conviction of the applicant of a felony, as defined in section 53a-25.
(d) Any arborist business whose certificate of registration is denied, suspended or revoked shall not be eligible to reapply for a certificate of registration until the commissioner determines that such applicant may reapply.
(e) The commissioner shall not issue a certificate of registration or a renewal of a certificate of registration to an arborist business unless such arborist business submits the summary required pursuant to subsection (d) of section 22a-58 for the previous calendar year.
Sec. 23-61j. Employment of arborists by arborist business. Each arborist business shall employ at each place of business no fewer than one arborist licensed pursuant to section 23-61b.
Sec. 23-61k. Retention of records by arborist business. Information required. Inspection by commissioner. Customer records. (a) Each arborist business shall maintain records for not less than five years from the date such record is made or amended, whichever is later. The record shall indicate: (1) For each application of a pesticide made on behalf of the business, (A) the name and certification number of the commercial supervisor and the commercial operator, (B) the kind and amount of pesticide used and the amount of acreage treated, if applicable, (C) the date and place of application, (D) the pest treated for, and (E) the crop or site treated; (2) a list of the names and corresponding United States Environmental Protection Agency registration numbers of any pesticide applied by the business; (3) the names and applicator certification numbers of all certified commercial pesticide applicators, whether operator or supervisory, who are employees or agents of the arborist business, and a list of the types of applications that each applicator performs; and (4) for each site where arboriculture not involving the use of pesticides was performed: (A) The type of work performed, including, but not limited to, pruning, trimming, cabling, bracing, fertilization or treating cavities, (B) the date and place of work, (C) the name and license number of the licensed arborist supervising the work, and (D) the names of any unlicensed or licensed persons performing the work under the supervision of the licensed arborist.
(b) Information required under subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of this section may be kept separately from the records required by subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of this section or may be integrated with such records by including on the record of each pesticide application the full name and the United States Environmental Protection Agency registration number of the pesticide used.
(c) All records and information required to be kept pursuant to this section shall be kept at the place of business for such arborist business and may be inspected by the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection pursuant to section 22a-59. If the place of business for such arborist business is outside of the state, the records and information shall be made available to the commissioner at a location in the state not more than ten days after receipt of a request for inspection from the commissioner.
(d) Each arborist business shall, upon written request, provide any customer with a copy of the record which is required to be kept pursuant to this section and which pertains to arboriculture performed for such customer.
Sec. 23-61l. Violations. Penalty. Attorney General action. Any person who violates any provision of sections 23-61h to 23-61m, inclusive, shall forfeit to the state a sum not to exceed five thousand dollars per day for each day of violation. The Attorney General, upon complaint of the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection, shall institute a civil action to recover such forfeiture in the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford. All actions brought by the Attorney General shall have precedence in the order of trial as provided in section 52-191.
Sec. 23-61m. Action by officer, agent or person acting for or employed by arborist business. In any proceeding regarding the denial, suspension or revocation of a certificate of registration, and any proceeding pursuant to section 23-61i, the action, omission or failure to act of any officer, agent or other person acting for or employed by the arborist business shall be deemed to be the action, omission or failure to act of the arborist business as well as that of the person employed.