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 exceptions; providing
5powers and duties of the Department of Agriculture and
6Consumer Services; providing rulemaking authority;
7establishing a maximum annual fee for licensure; providing
8for deposit and use of fee proceeds; establishing
9licensure procedures and requirements to practice
10arboriculture and provide arboriculture services;
11providing for issuance of a license; providing grounds for
12denial of a license or refusal to renew a license;
13providing for license suspension or revocation; providing
14for license renewal; providing for reactivation of a
15license under certain conditions; providing for issuance
16of a duplicate license under certain circumstances;
17requiring a roster of licensed arborists; providing an
18appropriation; amending s. 604.15, F.S.; revising a
19definition to make tropical foliage exempt from regulation
20under provisions relating to dealers in agricultural
21products; providing an effective date.
23Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
24     Section 1.  Chapter 598, Florida Statutes, consisting of
25sections 598.001, 598.002, 598.003, 598.004, 598.005, 598.006,
26598.007, 598.008, 598.009, and 598.011, is created to read:
29     598.001  Short title.--This chapter may be cited as the
30"Florida Arborist Licensing Law."
31     598.002  Purpose.--It is declared to be the public policy
32of the state that, in order to safeguard life, health, and
33property; the mitigation of property insurance; the cleanup of
34damage from hurricanes, tropical storms, and other severe storm
35events; and the public well-being of its citizens, any person
36practicing or offering to practice arboriculture in this state
37as a licensed arborist shall meet the requirements of this
39     598.003  Definitions.--As used in this chapter:
40     (1)  "Arboriculture" or "arboriculture services" means:
41     (a)  Any tree service, including, but not limited to, a
42written or oral report, a recommendation, an opinion, or a
43consultation done for compensation relating to the improvement
44of the condition of shade, ornamental, palm, or fruit trees by
45fertilizing, pruning, trimming, bracing, or other methods of
46improving, diagnosing, or protecting such trees from tree pests,
47excluding activities regulated under chapter 482 and the
48activities of a nursery as defined in s. 581.011(20) and (22),
49or diagnosing or protecting such trees from tree diseases and
50abiotic agents, or curing or repairing any damage to such trees,
51including, but not limited to, pruning, removal, preservation,
52repair, cabling and bracing, lightning protection, root pruning,
53root excavation, tree assessments, tree maintenance and care,
54trimming, cutting, sawing, or removal of trees that have been
55damaged to such an extent as to cause or threaten injury to life
56or property.
57     (b)  A service performed in connection with post-storm
58cleanup of damage from hurricanes, tropical storms, and other
59storm events that involves substantial work hours. A post-storm
60cleanup service includes, but is not limited to, storm damage
61resulting in downed, damaged, or uprooted trees, or parts of
62trees, of substantial size and weight in excess of 50 pounds
63that threaten the structural integrity of residential or
64commercial structures; involve any type of power lines; impede
65traffic on streets, driveways, and other vehicular access roads;
66require extensive use of compression or chain saws; and involve
67any related skilled service.
68     (c)  A landscape architect licensed under part II of
69chapter 481 is authorized to practice arboriculture; however, as
70provided in s. 598.006(4), only a person licensed under this
71chapter may hold herself or himself out as a state-licensed
73     (d)  To prevent injury to life or property after a
74disaster, state emergency response team members designated under
75the state comprehensive emergency management plan pursuant to
76chapter 252 are authorized to provide and conduct charitable
77arboriculture services and to train volunteers to provide such
78services; however, as provided in s. 598.006(4), only a person
79licensed under this chapter may hold herself or himself out as a
80state-licensed arborist.
81     (2)  "Arborist of record" means a Florida-licensed arborist
82in good standing who is employed by or contracting with a firm,
83corporation, partnership, employer, or person; who supervises
84employees providing arboriculture services; and who issues
85authorization cards to persons performing services under her or
86his supervision.
87     (3)  "Department" means the Department of Agriculture and
88Consumer Services.
89     (4)  "Landscape tree maintenance" means maintenance
90performed when standing on the ground or when performed on trees
91less than 4 inches in diameter at breast height as referenced in
92the Guide to Plant Appraisal.
93     (5)  "Licensed arborist" means a person who has fulfilled
94the International Society of Arboriculture requirements for
95arborist certification or for certification as a Board Certified
96Master Arborist, whose certification is current, and who meets
97the requirements of s. 598.006.
98     (6)  "Person" means a person as defined in s. 1.01(3).
99     (7)  "Practice of arboriculture" means the performance of,
100or offer to perform, an arboriculture service, including, but
101not limited to, a written or oral report, consultation,
102investigation, evaluation, or planning, relating to
103arboriculture, excluding landscape tree maintenance as defined
104in this section and as otherwise excluded by this chapter. A
105person shall be construed to be engaged in the practice of
106arboriculture if she or he:
107     (a)  By verbal claim, sign, advertisement, letterhead,
108card, or any other means represents herself or himself to be an
110     (b)  Through the use of some title implies that she or he
111is an arborist licensed under this chapter; or
112     (c)  Holds herself or himself out as able to perform or
113does perform any arboriculture services or work recognized as an
115     598.004  Powers and duties of the Department of Agriculture
116and Consumer Services; rulemaking.--The department shall have
117all powers and duties necessary to implement the provisions of
118this chapter, including, but not limited to, the authority to
119adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement
120the following:
121     (1)  Organizational and operational guidance regarding the
122practice of arboriculture, arborists of record, and the
123requirements of the law regarding licensed arborists.
124     (2)  Licensure process, including, but not limited to,
125requirements and procedures for licensure; insurance
126requirements and standards of the International Society of
127Arboriculture for licensed arborists; authorization cards;
128annual license renewal; language relating to licensure that may
129be used by licensed arborists for public information; duplicate
130licenses; lost, destroyed, or mutilated licenses; and inactive
131and reactivated licenses.
132     (3)  Setting of fees for licensure and annual renewal and
133other license fees as provided in s. 598.005.
134     (4)  Provision of a roster of licensed arborists.
135     598.005  Fees.--
136     (1)  The department shall by rule set fees as provided in
137this section. The amount of the fees shall not exceed the cost
138of the implementing, reviewing, or administrative processing of
139the particular activity or process. Licensure fees shall not
140exceed $300 annually.
141     (2)  Fees collected under this chapter shall be deposited
142into the Incidental Trust Fund of the Division of Forestry of
143the department and shall be used to defray expenses in the
144administration of this chapter.
145     598.006  Licensure procedures and requirements; issuance of
147     (1)  Each applicant for licensure shall:
148     (a)  Submit to the department an application for licensure
149that has been reviewed by the Florida Chapter, Board of
150Directors, International Society of Arboriculture, Inc., for
151completeness and compliance with this section, together with the
152nonrefundable fee;
153     (b)  Furnish proof that she or he is at least 18 years of
155     (c)  Disclose any information related to the provisions of
156subsection (2);
157     (d)  Submit evidence of current certification by the
158International Society of Arboriculture as a Certified Arborist
159or as a Board Certified Master Arborist;
160     (e)  Provide proof of liability, required workers'
161compensation, and errors and omissions insurance; however, an
162applicant employed by a statutorily recognized governmental
163entity shall not be required to carry errors and omissions
164insurance or liability insurance if the entity is self-insured.
165Within 30 days after the termination of the person's employment
166with the governmental entity, the person shall fully comply with
167the requirements of this subsection; and
168     (f)  Submit a signed statement that the applicant will
169comply with arboriculture industry standards, including, but not
170limited to, the national standards for tree operations and
171safety approved by the American National Standards Institute,
172the standards of the International Society of Arboriculture, and
173best management practices adopted by rule by the department.
174     (2)  The department may deny or refuse to renew the license
175of any applicant or state-licensed arborist upon a determination
176that the applicant or state-licensed arborist:
177     (a)  Has failed to meet the requirements for licensure as
178provided in this chapter;
179     (b)  Has been convicted of a crime involving fraud,
180dishonest dealing, or any other act of moral turpitude;
181     (c)  Has not satisfied a civil fine or penalty arising out
182of any administrative or enforcement action brought by any
183governmental agency or private person based upon conduct
184involving fraud, dishonest dealing, or any violation of this
186     (d)  Has pending against her or him any criminal,
187administrative, or enforcement proceedings in any jurisdiction,
188based upon conduct involving fraud, dishonest dealing, or any
189other act of moral turpitude; or
190     (e)  Has had a judgment entered against her or him in any
191action brought by the department or the Department of Legal
192Affairs pursuant to ss. 501.201-501.213 or this chapter.
193     (3)  Any person licensed under this section who fails to
194maintain compliance with subsection (1) shall have her or his
195license suspended or revoked by the department.
196     (4)  A person may not hold herself or himself out as a
197licensed Florida arborist unless the person has been issued a
198license pursuant to this chapter.
199     (5)  All final arboriculture papers or documents involving
200the practice of the profession of arboriculture under the
201supervision of a Florida-licensed arborist of record that have
202been prepared or approved for use by a firm, corporation,
203partnership, or person, for delivery to any person for public
204record within the state, shall be dated and bear the signature
205and seal of the Florida-licensed arborist of record who
206prepared, supervised, or approved the documents and who was
207responsible for the supervision of persons performing
208arboricultural services.
209     598.007  Renewal of licenses; notice of address of primary
210place of business.--
211     (1)  The department shall renew a license upon receipt of
212satisfactory evidence that the applicant's International Society
213of Arboriculture certification is current and that the applicant
214is otherwise in compliance with this chapter and department
216     (2)  The licensed arborist must have on file with the
217department the address of her or his primary place of practice.
218Within 30 days after changing the address of her or his primary
219place of practice, the licensed arborist must notify the
220department of the address of the new primary place of practice.
221     598.008  Inactive licenses; reactivated licenses; suspended
222or revoked licenses.--A licensed arborist whose license has
223become inactive, suspended, or revoked shall have her or his
224license reactivated only upon written request to the department
225and approval by the department to reactivate the license.
226     598.009  Lost, destroyed, stolen, or mutilated licenses.--A
227duplicate license for a licensed arborist may be issued to
228replace a license that has been lost, destroyed, stolen, or
229mutilated, subject to rules of the department. Licenses issued
230under this section shall be marked with the word "DUPLICATE."
231     598.011  Roster of licensed arborists.--The department
232shall maintain a roster showing the names and places of business
233of all licensed arborists in the state, based on requests for
235     Section 2.  There is hereby appropriated to the Department
236of Agriculture and Consumer Services one position and associated
237rate and expenses of $72,280 from the Incidental Trust Fund in
238order to carry out the provisions of section 1 of this act.
239     Section 3.  Subsection (1) of section 604.15, Florida
240Statutes, is amended to read:
241     604.15  Dealers in agricultural products; definitions.--For
242the purpose of ss. 604.15-604.34, the following words and terms,
243when used, shall be construed to mean:
244     (1)  "Agricultural products" means the natural products of
245the farm, nursery, grove, orchard, vineyard, garden, and apiary
246(raw or manufactured); sod; tropical foliage; horticulture; hay;
247livestock; milk and milk products; poultry and poultry products;
248the fruit of the saw palmetto (meaning the fruit of the Serenoa
249repens); limes (meaning the fruit Citrus aurantifolia, variety
250Persian, Tahiti, Bearss, or Florida Key limes); and any other
251nonexempt agricultural products produced in the state, except
252tobacco, sugarcane, tropical foliage, timber and timber
253byproducts, forest products as defined in s. 591.17, and citrus
254other than limes.
255     Section 4.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2008.

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