Here are our recommendations on the 10 most helpful things you can do to help you become licensed as an arborist in the state of Connecticut.
- Contact the State of CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), Division of Pesticide Management and request an arborist packet. DEEP is the state agency responsible for administering the Arborist Exam. Their packet contains useful information on the requirements for the CT Arborist License, and recommendations for study. CT DEEP Pesticide Division can contacted by mail at: 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106 (860) 424-3369. You may also visit their web page on the arborist license at: CT DEEP Pesticide Management – Arborist Licensing.
- Obtain a copy of Pirones Tree Maintenance, 7th edition. This is the first edition of this basic text not written by P.P. Pirone. John Hartman, Thomas Pirone and Mary Ann Sall are the authors. This book contains much of what you need to know to be qualified as an arborist and to pass Connecticut’s arborist exam. You can find it on Amazon for under $45 by clicking this link: Pirone’s Tree Maintenance: 7th (seventh) Edition – By Thomas P. Pirone, Mary Ann Sall John R. Hartman
- Consider enrolling in Arboriculture 101, presented by the Connecticut Tree Protective Association. This 13 week course meets once a week, from 6 to 9 in the evening. It is given twice a year, beginning in January and in September. Cost is $400. For further information, email CTPA, visit our Arboriculture 101 page, or register for the next session.
- Obtain a copy of the Pesticide Guide Towards Integrated Pest Management for Connecticut Arborists, by Ken Welch and Tim Abbey. The two authors are researchers at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. This document lists management recommendations for many of the insect pests of woody plants in Connecticut. It is available from CTPA, for a cost of $30, plus mailing costs.
- Likewise, obtain a copy of Disease Management Guide for Connecticut Arborists. This document has been recently extensively re-written by Dr. Sharon Douglas, also of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. It, too, is available from CTPA for $30, plus mailing costs.
- Keep in contact with CT Agricultural Experiment Station, through their publications and through their web site: www.ct.gov/caes. The Plant Handbook, which can be found on this web site, is an excellent resource.
- Begin assembling a library of important reference materials. Pirones Tree Maintenance is a good beginning. Two books that should also be in this library are Insects that Feed on Trees and Shrubs, by Warren T. Johnson and Howard H. Lyon; and Diseases of Trees and Shrubs, by Wayne A. Sinclair, H. H. Lyon and W. T. Johnson. Both are available through Cornell press. Other recommendations can be found in the arborist packet from DEEP.
- Make use of the opportunities and materials made available by the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension, as well as the Cooperative Extensions of neighboring Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. Quite a bit of good material is presented succinctly in their publications.
- Attend meetings of the CTPA, ISA, TCIA, and other educational and industry related groups. CTPA holds two major meetings a year in January and in July and numerous other educational workshops throughout the year.
- Finally, sit down and thoroughly assess your skills, strengths, experiences, and deficiencies with regards to the license and the licensing process. If you are a climber who has little IPM experience, note that. If you have trouble studying, note that as well. Then make a plan for using your strengths and shoring up your weaknesses. For example, if you have limited IPM experience, you might choose to work with the pest management crew. If you have trouble studying, you might want to find a partner to work with you, so that you can help each other.
In the end, the Arborist Exam attempts to assess three things:
- Do you know the right things to do to care for trees?
- Are you sufficiently prepared to properly supervise others doing arboriculture under your direction?
- Are you able to communicate to customers what is proper, practical and effective in the care of their trees?
If you are comfortable that you can do all three, then you are clearly ready to attempt the exam.