Arborist Licensing By-law

Arborists will soon be required to be licensed in the town of Oakville

If you are an arborist or own a tree or arboricultural company, you will be required to obtain a licence starting in 2018.

At Council's direction on May 1, 2017, staff has prepared licensing regulations for arborists in Oakville.

What has happened so far?

In June and October 2017, town staff consulted with stakeholders and the public through open house meetings to discuss various topics relating to an arborist licensing by-law such as safety, regulations and enforcement. Visual display slides from the open house with key facts identified by staff are available for view with the public comments included.

Staff presented a report and draft by-law to Community Services Committee on January 22, 2018. The committee requested staff to report back on training possibilities. A report is expected to be presented back to committee in March 2018.

Please refer to the staff report to find out more information about the proposed by-law.

Send us your comments

Please send us your comments at enforcementservices@oakville.ca.

Background

In conjunction with the newly implemented Tree Protection By-Law, the licensing of arborists will provide added protection to the town's urban forest and consumers.

Licensing will be similar to the licensing of existing private industries such as landscapers, pool contractors, HVAC installers and fence installers. Annual licensing of certified arborists, arboricultural companies and tree companies will help protect and enhance the town's urban forest and tree canopy and promote increased accountability of tree removal.

What is an arborist?

There are several types of services and service providers that may perform tree care within the Town of Oakville. In order to preserve the health of the current tree canopy and ensure that trees are not removed without cause there will be a requirement for arborists to obtain a licence to provide their services within Oakville.

Licensing classes for arborists

There are three classes proposed that will capture the nature for the work done by arborists and their respective companies.

The classes are as follows:

Class A: Arborist

"Arborist" means a person trained and knowledgeable in all aspects of arboriculture and satisfies at least one of the following requirements:

  • Certified by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development or the International Society of Arboriculture
  • Currently accepted as a consulting arborist with the American Society of Consulting Arborists
  • Registered Professional Forester (APF) as defined in the Professional Foresters Act, 2000, S.O. 2000, c. 18.

Class B: Arboriculture Company

"Arboriculture Company" means a company with knowledge of all aspects of arboriculture and has staff holding valid certifications in the following areas:

  • Arborist
  • Certified Tree Worker
  • Certified Chainsaw Operator

An Arboriculture Company is able to assess health and structure of tree and conduct tree maintenance work.

Class C: Tree Company

"Tree Company" means a company capable of removing, pruning, root pruning, cabling (bracing and propping), fertilizing, planting, stumping or transplanting a tree but not able to assess the health of a tree.

A Tree Company must have staff holding valid certifications in the following areas:

  • Certified Tree Worker
  • Certified Chainsaw Operator

Once an Arborist licence is issued there will be no further requirement to apply for additional licensing such as a landscaping licence.

Class D: Landscaping/Tree Company

"Landscaping/Tree Company" means a company that undertakes or is engaged in the business of managing lawns/yards including but not limited to; installing sprinkler systems, building retaining walls, constructing patios, digging irrigation and drainage channels, paving or sealing paved driveway surfaces, installing stone, brick or concrete landscapes, plating shrubs, laying sod/grass, erecting fences, seasonal mowing/seeding/thatching/aeration/fertilization/raking, and snow ploughing/snow removal/anti-ice application and that is capable of removing, pruning, root pruning, cabling (bracing and propping) fertilizing, planting, stumping, transplanting a tree but not able to assess the health of a tree. A Landscaping/Tree Company must have staff holding valid certifications in the following areas:

a) Certified Tree Worker
b) Certified Chainsaw Operator