HB 651

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to arboriculture; creating ch. 598, F.S.;
3providing a short title; providing a purpose statement;
4providing definitions; providing powers and duties of the
5Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; providing
6rulemaking authority; establishing a fee schedule for
7licensure; providing for deposit and use of fee proceeds;
8establishing licensure procedures and requirements to
9practice arboriculture and provide arboriculture services;
10providing for issuance of a license; providing for license
11renewal; providing for reactivation of a license under
12certain conditions; providing for issuance of a duplicate
13license under certain circumstances; requiring a roster of
14licensed arborists; providing an appropriation; providing
15an effective date.
17Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
19     Section 1.  Chapter 598, Florida Statutes, consisting of
20sections 598.001, 598.002, 598.003, 598.004, 598.005, 598.006,
21598.007, 598.008, 598.009, and 598.011, is created to read:
24     598.001  Short title.--This chapter may be cited as the
25"Florida Arborist Licensing Law."
26     598.002  Purpose.--It is declared to be the public policy
27of the state that, in order to safeguard life, health, and
28property; the mitigation of property insurance; the cleanup of
29damage from hurricanes, tropical storms, and other severe storm
30events; and the public well-being of its citizens, any person
31practicing or offering to practice arboriculture in this state
32as a licensed arborist shall meet the requirements of this
34     598.003  Definitions.--As used in this chapter:
35     (1)  "Arboriculture" or "arboriculture services" means:
36     (a)  Any service, including, but not limited to, a written
37or oral report, a recommendation, an opinion, or a consultation
38done for compensation relating to the improvement of the
39condition of shade, ornamental, palm, or fruit trees by
40fertilizing, pruning, trimming, bracing, or other methods of
41improving, diagnosing, or protecting such trees from tree pests,
42excluding activities regulated under chapter 482, or diagnosing
43or protecting such trees from tree diseases and abiotic agents,
44or curing or repairing any damage to such trees, including, but
45not limited to, pruning, removal, preservation, repair, cabling
46and bracing, lightning protection, root pruning, root
47excavation, tree assessments, tree maintenance and care,
48trimming, cutting, sawing, or removal of trees that have been
49damaged to such an extent as to cause or threaten injury to life
50or property.
51     (b)  A service performed in connection with post-storm
52cleanup of damage from hurricanes, tropical storms, and other
53storm events that involves substantial work hours. A post-storm
54cleanup service includes, but is not limited to, storm damage
55resulting in downed, damaged, or uprooted trees, or parts of
56trees, of substantial size and weight in excess of 50 pounds
57that threaten the structural integrity of residential or
58commercial structures; involve any type of power lines; impede
59traffic on streets, driveways, and other vehicular access roads;
60require extensive use of compression or chain saws; and involve
61any related skilled service.
62     (2)  "Department" means the Department of Agriculture and
63Consumer Services.
64     (3)  "Landscape maintenance" means maintenance performed
65when standing on the ground or when performed on trees less than
664 inches in diameter at breast height as defined by the most
67current edition of the Guide to Plant Appraisal.
68     (4)  "Licensed arborist" means a person who has fulfilled
69the International Society of Arboriculture requirements for
70arborist certification or for certification as a Board Certified
71Master Arborist, whose certification is current, and who meets
72the requirements of s. 598.006.
73     (5)  "Person" means a person as defined in s. 1.01(3).
74     (6)  "Practice of arboriculture" means the performance of,
75or offer to perform, an arboriculture service, including, but
76not limited to, a written or oral report, consultation,
77investigation, evaluation, or planning, relating to
78arboriculture, except as specifically exempted by this chapter.
79A person shall be construed to be engaged in the practice of
80arboriculture if she or he:
81     (a)  By verbal claim, sign, advertisement, letterhead,
82card, or any other means represents herself or himself to be an
84     (b)  Through the use of some title implies that she or he
85is an arborist licensed under this chapter; or
86     (c)  Holds herself or himself out as able to perform or
87does perform any arboriculture services or work recognized as an
89     598.004  Powers and duties of the Department of Agriculture
90and Consumer Services; rulemaking.--The department shall have
91all powers and duties necessary to implement the provisions of
92this chapter, including, but not limited to, the authority to
93adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement
94the following:
95     (1)  Organizational and operational guidance regarding the
96practice of arboriculture, arborists of record, and the
97requirements of the law regarding licensed arborists.
98     (2)  Licensure process, including, but not limited to,
99requirements and procedures for licensure, insurance
100requirements and standards of the International Society of
101Arboriculture for licensed arborists, annual license renewal,
102language relating to licensure that may be used by licensed
103arborists for public information, duplicate licenses, and
104inactive and reactivated licenses.
105     (3)  Setting of fees for licensure and annual renewal and
106other license fees as provided in s. 598.005.
107     (4)  Provision of a roster of licensed arborists.
108     598.005  Fees.--
109     (1)  The department shall by rule set fees as provided in
110this section. The amount of the fees shall not exceed the cost
111of the implementing, reviewing, or administrative processing of
112the particular activity or process. The fees shall be set
113according to the following schedule:
114     (a)  A nonrefundable licensure fee not to exceed $300.
115     (b)  An annual renewal fee not to exceed $300.
116     (c)  A fee for reactivation of an inactive license not to
117exceed $100.
118     (2)  Fees collected under this chapter shall be deposited
119into the Incidental Trust Fund of the Division of Forestry of
120the department and shall be used to defray expenses in the
121administration of this chapter.
122     598.006  Licensure procedures and requirements; issuance of
124     (1)  Each applicant for licensure shall:
125     (a)  Submit a written request for licensure and remit the
126nonrefundable fee;
127     (b)  Furnish proof that she or he is at least 18 years of
129     (c)  Disclose any act or offense or investigation of such
130act or offense in any jurisdiction related to the applicant's
131ability to practice arboriculture;
132     (d)  Submit evidence of current certification by the
133International Society of Arboriculture as a Certified Arborist
134or as a Board Certified Master Arborist;
135     (e)  Provide proof of liability, workers' compensation, and
136errors and omissions insurance; and
137     (f)  Submit a signed statement that the applicant will
138comply with current industry standards, including, but not
139limited to, ANSI Z-133-1 and A-300 series and any other related
140standards of the International Society of Arboriculture and best
141management practices adopted by rule by the department.
142     (2)  The department, if it has knowledge, shall not issue a
143license to any applicant who is under investigation in any
144jurisdiction for an offense related to the practice of
146     (3)  Any person licensed under this section who fails to
147maintain compliance with subsection (1) shall have her or his
148license suspended or revoked by the department.
149     (4)  A person may not hold herself or himself out as a
150licensed Florida arborist unless the person has been issued a
151license pursuant to this chapter.
152     598.007  Renewal of licenses; notice of address of primary
153place of business.--
154     (1)  The department shall renew a license upon receipt of
155satisfactory evidence that the applicant's International Society
156of Arboriculture certification is current and that the applicant
157is otherwise in compliance with this chapter and department
159     (2)  The licensed arborist must have on file with the
160department the address of her or his primary place of practice.
161Within 30 days after changing the address of her or his primary
162place of practice, the licensed arborist must notify the
163department of the address of the new primary place of practice.
164     598.008  Inactive licenses; reactivated licenses; suspended
165or revoked licenses.--A licensed arborist whose license has
166become inactive, suspended, or revoked shall have her or his
167license reactivated only upon written request to the department
168and approval by the department to reactivate the license.
169     598.009  Lost, destroyed, stolen, or mutilated licenses.--A
170duplicate license for a licensed arborist may be issued to
171replace a license that has been lost, destroyed, stolen, or
172mutilated, subject to rules of the department. Licenses issued
173under this section shall be marked with the word "DUPLICATE."
174     598.011  Roster of licensed arborists.--The department
175shall maintain a roster showing the names and places of business
176of all licensed arborists in the state, based on requests for
178     Section 2.  The sum of $200,000 is appropriated from the
179Incidental Trust Fund of the Division of Forestry of the
180Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to the
181Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for the purpose
182of carrying out the provisions of this act.
183     Section 3.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2008.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.