CS/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 an exception; providing
5powers and duties of the Department of Agriculture and
6Consumer Services; providing rulemaking authority;
7establishing a fee schedule for licensure; providing for
8deposit and use of fee proceeds; establishing licensure
9procedures and requirements to practice arboriculture and
10provide arboriculture services; providing for issuance of
11a license; providing for license suspension or revocation;
12providing for license renewal; providing for reactivation
13of a license under certain conditions; providing for
14issuance of a duplicate license under certain
15circumstances; requiring a roster of licensed arborists;
16providing an appropriation; providing an effective date.
18Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
20     Section 1.  Chapter 598, Florida Statutes, consisting of
21sections 598.001, 598.002, 598.003, 598.004, 598.005, 598.006,
22598.007, 598.008, 598.009, and 598.011, is created to read:
25     598.001  Short title.--This chapter may be cited as the
26"Florida Arborist Licensing Law."
27     598.002  Purpose.--It is declared to be the public policy
28of the state that, in order to safeguard life, health, and
29property; the mitigation of property insurance; the cleanup of
30damage from hurricanes, tropical storms, and other severe storm
31events; and the public well-being of its citizens, any person
32practicing or offering to practice arboriculture in this state
33as a licensed arborist shall meet the requirements of this
35     598.003  Definitions.--As used in this chapter:
36     (1)  "Arboriculture" or "arboriculture services" means:
37     (a)  Any tree service, including, but not limited to, a
38written or oral report, a recommendation, an opinion, or a
39consultation done for compensation relating to the improvement
40of the condition of shade, ornamental, palm, or fruit trees by
41fertilizing, pruning, trimming, bracing, or other methods of
42improving, diagnosing, or protecting such trees from tree pests,
43excluding activities regulated under chapter 482 and the
44activities of a nursery as defined in s. 581.011(20) and (22),
45or diagnosing or protecting such trees from tree diseases and
46abiotic agents, or curing or repairing any damage to such trees,
47including, but not limited to, pruning, removal, preservation,
48repair, cabling and bracing, lightning protection, root pruning,
49root excavation, tree assessments, tree maintenance and care,
50trimming, cutting, sawing, or removal of trees that have been
51damaged to such an extent as to cause or threaten injury to life
52or property.
53     (b)  A service performed in connection with post-storm
54cleanup of damage from hurricanes, tropical storms, and other
55storm events that involves substantial work hours. A post-storm
56cleanup service includes, but is not limited to, storm damage
57resulting in downed, damaged, or uprooted trees, or parts of
58trees, of substantial size and weight in excess of 50 pounds
59that threaten the structural integrity of residential or
60commercial structures; involve any type of power lines; impede
61traffic on streets, driveways, and other vehicular access roads;
62require extensive use of compression or chain saws; and involve
63any related skilled service.
64     (c)  A landscape architect licensed under part II of
65chapter 481 is authorized to practice arboriculture; however, as
66provided in s. 598.006(4), only a person licensed under this
67chapter may hold herself or himself out as a state-licensed
69     (2)  "Arborist of record" means a Florida-licensed arborist
70in good standing who is employed by or contracting with a firm,
71corporation, partnership, employer, or person; who supervises
72employees providing arboriculture services; and who issues
73authorization cards to persons performing services under her or
74his supervision.
75     (3)  "Department" means the Department of Agriculture and
76Consumer Services.
77     (4)  "Landscape tree maintenance" means maintenance
78performed when standing on the ground or when performed on trees
79less than 4 inches in diameter at breast height as defined by
80the most current edition of the Guide to Plant Appraisal.
81     (5)  "Licensed arborist" means a person who has fulfilled
82the International Society of Arboriculture requirements for
83arborist certification or for certification as a Board Certified
84Master Arborist, whose certification is current, and who meets
85the requirements of s. 598.006.
86     (6)  "Person" means a person as defined in s. 1.01(3).
87     (7)  "Practice of arboriculture" means the performance of,
88or offer to perform, an arboriculture service, including, but
89not limited to, a written or oral report, consultation,
90investigation, evaluation, or planning, relating to
91arboriculture, excluding landscape tree maintenance as defined
92in this section and as otherwise excluded by this chapter. A
93person shall be construed to be engaged in the practice of
94arboriculture if she or he:
95     (a)  By verbal claim, sign, advertisement, letterhead,
96card, or any other means represents herself or himself to be an
98     (b)  Through the use of some title implies that she or he
99is an arborist licensed under this chapter; or
100     (c)  Holds herself or himself out as able to perform or
101does perform any arboriculture services or work recognized as an
103     598.004  Powers and duties of the Department of Agriculture
104and Consumer Services; rulemaking.--The department shall have
105all powers and duties necessary to implement the provisions of
106this chapter, including, but not limited to, the authority to
107adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement
108the following:
109     (1)  Organizational and operational guidance regarding the
110practice of arboriculture, arborists of record, and the
111requirements of the law regarding licensed arborists.
112     (2)  Licensure process, including, but not limited to,
113requirements and procedures for licensure; insurance
114requirements and standards of the International Society of
115Arboriculture for licensed arborists; authorization cards;
116annual license renewal; language relating to licensure that may
117be used by licensed arborists for public information; duplicate
118licenses; lost, destroyed, or mutilated licenses; and inactive
119and reactivated licenses.
120     (3)  Setting of fees for licensure and annual renewal and
121other license fees as provided in s. 598.005.
122     (4)  Provision of a roster of licensed arborists.
123     598.005  Fees.--
124     (1)  The department shall by rule set fees as provided in
125this section. The amount of the fees shall not exceed the cost
126of the implementing, reviewing, or administrative processing of
127the particular activity or process. The fees shall be set
128according to the following schedule:
129     (a)  A nonrefundable licensure application fee not to
130exceed $300.
131     (b)  An annual renewal fee not to exceed $300.
132     (c)  A fee for reactivation of an inactive license not to
133exceed $100.
134     (2)  Fees collected under this chapter shall be deposited
135into the Incidental Trust Fund of the Division of Forestry of
136the department and shall be used to defray expenses in the
137administration of this chapter.
138     598.006  Licensure procedures and requirements; issuance of
140     (1)  Each applicant for licensure shall:
141     (a)  Submit to the department an application for licensure
142that has been reviewed by the Florida Chapter, Board of
143Directors, International Society of Arboriculture, Inc., for
144completeness and compliance with this section, together with the
145nonrefundable fee;
146     (b)  Furnish proof that she or he is at least 18 years of
148     (c)  Disclose any act or offense or investigation of such
149act or offense in any jurisdiction related to the applicant's
150ability to practice arboriculture;
151     (d)  Submit evidence of current certification by the
152International Society of Arboriculture as a Certified Arborist
153or as a Board Certified Master Arborist;
154     (e)  Provide proof of liability, required workers'
155compensation, and errors and omissions insurance; however, an
156applicant employed by a statutorily recognized governmental
157entity shall not be required to carry errors and omissions
158insurance or liability insurance if the entity is self-insured.
159Within 30 days after the termination of the person's employment
160with the governmental entity, the person shall fully comply with
161the requirements of this subsection; and
162     (f)  Submit a signed statement that the applicant will
163comply with current industry standards, including, but not
164limited to, ANSI Z-133-1 and A-300 series and any other related
165standards of the International Society of Arboriculture and best
166management practices adopted by rule by the department.
167     (2)  The department, if it has knowledge, shall not issue a
168license to any applicant who has committed an act or offense or
169who is under investigation pending its outcome in any
170jurisdiction for an offense related to her or his ability to
171practice arboriculture.
172     (3)  Any person licensed under this section who fails to
173maintain compliance with subsection (1) shall have her or his
174license suspended or revoked by the department.
175     (4)  A person may not hold herself or himself out as a
176licensed Florida arborist unless the person has been issued a
177license pursuant to this chapter.
178     (5)  All final arboriculture papers or documents involving
179the practice of the profession of arboriculture under the
180supervision of a Florida-licensed arborist of record that have
181been prepared or approved for use by a firm, corporation,
182partnership, or person, for delivery to any person for public
183record within the state, shall be dated and bear the signature
184and seal of the Florida-licensed arborist of record who
185prepared, supervised, or approved the documents and who was
186responsible for the supervision of persons performing
187arboricultural services.
188     598.007  Renewal of licenses; notice of address of primary
189place of business.--
190     (1)  The department shall renew a license upon receipt of
191satisfactory evidence that the applicant's International Society
192of Arboriculture certification is current and that the applicant
193is otherwise in compliance with this chapter and department
195     (2)  The licensed arborist must have on file with the
196department the address of her or his primary place of practice.
197Within 30 days after changing the address of her or his primary
198place of practice, the licensed arborist must notify the
199department of the address of the new primary place of practice.
200     598.008  Inactive licenses; reactivated licenses; suspended
201or revoked licenses.--A licensed arborist whose license has
202become inactive, suspended, or revoked shall have her or his
203license reactivated only upon written request to the department
204and approval by the department to reactivate the license.
205     598.009  Lost, destroyed, stolen, or mutilated licenses.--A
206duplicate license for a licensed arborist may be issued to
207replace a license that has been lost, destroyed, stolen, or
208mutilated, subject to rules of the department. Licenses issued
209under this section shall be marked with the word "DUPLICATE."
210     598.011  Roster of licensed arborists.--The department
211shall maintain a roster showing the names and places of business
212of all licensed arborists in the state, based on requests for
214     Section 2.  There is hereby appropriated to the Department
215of Agriculture and Consumer Services one position and associated
216rate and expenses of $72,280 from the Incidental Trust Fund in
217order to carry out the provisions of this act.
218     Section 3.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2008.

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