Arborist Licensing By-law

Starting June 1 arborists will need a licence to operate in Oakville

Here's how to apply:

  1. Review the classes
  • Arborists Consulting Company
  • Arboricultural Company
  • Tree Company
  • Landscaping/tree company
  1. Ensure all requirements relating to your licence class are met such as criminal record check, proof of education, etc. For a full list of requirements please refer to the application.
  2. Complete the application and bring it, along with your supporting documents and payment, to Service Oakville located by the front doors of town hall.
  3. Only fully completed applications will be accepted. It may take up to 10 business days for you to receive your licence.
  4. Once you have your licence you are required to renew your licence annually.

For more information please refer to the by-law.

Applications will be accepted starting on May 22, 2018.

For questions please contact Service Oakville by phone at 905-845-6601 or email at service@oakville.ca

There are four licence classes that capture the nature for the work done by arborists and their respective companies.

The classes are as follows:

Class A: Arborist Consulting Company

"Consulting Arborist" means a person or company trained and has the knowledge to assess health and structure of a tree but does not include work that requires climbing (working aloft).

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

and may include

  • Utility Arborist

An arboriculture Company is able to assess health and structure of tree, conduct tree maintenance work and provide tree risk assessment, valuation or recommendation.

Class C: Tree Company

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

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

  • Certified Tree Worker
  • Certified Chainsaw Operator
  • Utility Arborist

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, planting 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 and structure of a tree. A Landscaping/Tree Company must have staff holding valid certifications in the following areas:

  • Certified Tree Worker
  • Certified Chainsaw Operator
  • Utility Arborist

Arborist Consulting Company

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

Certified Tree Worker

  • International Society of Aboriculture (ISA) Certified Tree Worker Climber Specialist
  • Humber College Apprenticeship (an apprentice performing the work of a certified tree worker must be under the direct supervision of a certified tree worker on the site.)

Certified Chainsaw Operator

  • ISA, Chain Saw Operator
  • Arboricultural Canada-Chain Saw
  • Landscape Ontario-Chain Saw
  • Niagara Parks Program-Chain Saw Operator (Horticultural certificate)

Utility Arborist

  • MTCU-Utility Arborist
  • ISA-Utility Arborist, 1-Proficiency Certificate, 2-Safety and Awareness Certificate (must be under direct supervision of journeyperson)
  • Certified Provincial Arborist-Arboriculture, Utility Arborist
  • Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development 6000 practical hours and provincial exam

Don't meet the requirements listed above?

For any worker that holds a college diploma in arboriculture and gains experience as an apprentice or has a combination of 6000 hours of experience can meet the requirements set under the arborist licensing by-law by successfully completing challenge exams to become certified.

Please see below for information on challenge exams from select governing associations and/or college of trades:

In conjunction with the newly implemented Tree Protection By-Law, the annual licensing of certified arborists, arboricultural companies and landscaping/tree companies provides added protection to the town's urban forest and consumers.

Licensing is similar to the licensing of existing private industries such as landscapers, pool contractors, HVAC installers and fence installers.
 
On April 2, 2018, Council approved the licensing of Arborists in Oakville.

  • Four classes of licenses will be available for arborists, arboricultural company, tree company and landscaping/tree company
  • Fees will range from $333 to $540 depending on the licensing class
  • Licensing establishes regulations for many businesses and trades for the purposes of consumer protection, health and safety and nuisance control

In June and October 2017, town staff held open house meetings to consult with stakeholders and the public on the requirements of the arborist licensing by-law. Visual display slides from the open house with key facts identified by staff are available for view with the public comments included.