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In Connecticut we are fortunate to live along side a great many trees of diverse species and size. This being a quite unique circumstance. Whether you are thinking of our street sides, woodlands, wetlands, hillsides or in your own yard, past generations have embraced this and have taken steps to protect both the trees and their neighbors ( us ). Hartford, Connecticut’s own Charter Oak of 1662 is used to this day as a symbol of American Independence and is commemorated on the Connecticut State Quarter. Hence the White Oak tree being our state tree.

One of the best stewards of this preservation has been our Connecticut licensed arborists. Since 1919, when the Connecticut General Assembly passed the original Arborist Law. This was the first law in the country requiring those who practice tree care be licensed. Arborists have taken responsibility for ensuring the health and safety of Connecticut’s trees. As arborists we recently celebrated 100 years since the implementation of this law along with all the good it has produced this past century. Arborists from all 169 towns planted White Oak trees grown and donated by a local wholesale nursery called Planters Choice. The science of properly maintaining trees has been vital to our residents and our trees. Arboriculture becomes a lot more important while living amongst such crowded conditions as us. As these trees grow in numbers and size, all while our population increases under them… Arboriculture and these professional arborists are in high demand.

The business of tree maintenance, advising, diagnosing and properly caring for trees is critical to us. This practice is currently regulated by the CT DEEP. There are steep fines and penalties for practicing arboriculture without a license. The laws also requirers all arborists to list their license numbers on all paperwork to include proposals, contracts, all advertising and business cards. This is so the customer can not only be assured of the professionalism of the business but to have a recourse / complaint resource and authority for improper work performed. There are also requirements for continuing education for these arborists. This, along with an association called “The Connecticut Tree Protective Association” ( CTPA ) advances the care of trees in our state. Their website is a great resource for tree lovers, property owners and arborists.

When hiring an arborist or any contractor to perform work on your property, requiring a certificate of insurance be forwarded to you directly from their insurance carrier is important in order to protect yourself from liability while they are on your property. This is easy and standard for professionals. Winter is a great time of year to have an arborist assess your property and provide a proposal in order to prioritize any hazards and mitigate as needed. This overview is helpful to get immediate info and plan for the future.

– Joseph P. Bernardi

CT Arborist # S-4657

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