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Title: Certified Tree Inspector
Alternate Title:
Description: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
Subject: Forest Products
Lands, Public
Creation Date: 9/11/2008 2:17:31 PM
Modification Date: 7/23/2019 12:28:17 PM
Agency Name: Natural Resources (DNR), Minnesota Department of
Agency URL:
Agency Description: The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) manages the state's natural resources. Hunting, fishing, state forests and parks, lakes, rivers and streams, boating and water safety, trails, snowmobiling, skiing, education, enforcement, wildlife management, lands and minerals are managed by the DNR.
Agency Phone: 651-296-6157
Agency Fax: Agency URL:
Agency Address: Natural Resources (DNR), Minnesota Dept. of
500 Lafayette Rd.

St. Paul
MN 55155

Division Name: Division of Forestry
Division URL:
Division Description:
Division Phone: 651-259-5280
Division Fax: Division URL:
Division Address:
500 Lafayette Rd., Box 44

St. Paul
MN 55155-4044

Unit Name: Community Forestry
Unit URL:
Unit Description:
Unit Phone: 651-259-5300
Unit Fax: Contact person(s):
Unit URL:
Audience: Hold Application URL:
Renewal URL:
Versa URL:

Tree inspectors survey community tree populations to identify and manage disease and insect problems. They also provide recommendations for tree health and care. Tree inspectors proactively monitor for new exotic insect and disease problems such as emerald ash borer, Asian longhorned beetle, and sudden oak death.

To be certified as a new tree inspector, applicant must pass an examination that measures knowledge in shade tree pest identification and management. Exams are given at the end of a new inspector training workshop. Applicant must pass the examination with a score of 70 percent or better to become certified. The workshop attended will include basic instruction so that applicant can demonstrate the following qualifications:

  • Be able to identify all native tree species, with or without leaves, and all felled or downed trees with bark intact common to your work area.

  • Know and understand the biology of Minnesota's most common shade tree pests.

  • Be familiar with symptoms of oak wilt and Dutch elm disease, and be able to identify other problems affecting oaks and elms.

  • Know the proper method of collecting samples for disease diagnosis.

  • Know the approved control methods for these common tree pests.

  • Be familiar with recommended tree species used in replanting programs, their planting requirements, and the care of these trees after planting.

Training workshops are conducted in cooperation with the University of Minnesota Forest Resources Extension and Outreach. Testing is generally conducted in the afternoon of the workshop day. The tree inspector examination covers shade tree statutes, shade tree pest management, tree identification, and firewood identification.

For general information see Minnesota Tree Inspectors

For information for about Certification Classes held throughout Minnesota. 

For information for about Recertification Classes. To learn the latest information on tree care, exotic species management, shade tree management, tree selection, insect and disease identification, tree health care and other timely topics.

Tree inspectors must take one continuing education workshop every year by December 31 in order to be recertified and receive a certificate for the following calendar year.

Tree inspectors need at least six hours of training every year, including at least four hours of classroom time in one workshop. If training other than the Shade Tree Short Course or other University of Minnesota-sponsored workshop is desired and meets the education criteria below, it could qualify for recertification.

Submit agenda to the Tree Inspector Certification Program Coordinator at the University of Minnesota for review and approval at least two weeks in advance.

Sample agendas at a workshop qualifying for recertification can focus on any of the following:

  • Biology of native or invasive plants, insects or disease pests or disorders affecting shade trees
  • Identification of symptoms characteristic of new insect, plant and disease problems affecting shade trees other than those of Dutch elm disease and oak wilt
  • Proper methods of collecting samples for possible new plant, insect or disease diagnosis, and where to submit them
  • Identification of exotic pest threats to Minnesota trees, including but not limited to gypsy moth, emerald ash borer, sudden oak death, Asian longhorned beetle and others as appropriate
  • Recognizing hazard trees (high, moderate, and low levels of risk associated with urban trees) Minimizing decay, storm damage and maintenance damage to landscape trees
  • Pruning for tree health and restoration pruning after tree damage Correcting structural defects in young trees
  • Planting practices
  • Diagnosing tree and shrub diseases, disorders or damage

Statutes: 89.63


Application for Tree Inspector Certification

Application form is available at Minnesota tree inspector program

Period of Issuance:

New (or first time) Tree Inspectors are certified for the current and following calendar year. Currently certified Tree Inspectors must attend at least 6 hours of recertification training each year by December 31st, to receive a certificate for the following year (see Requirements above).

Length of Determination:
Other Info:
Activity: Forest Products
Lands, Public
License Detail URL:

Minnesota Tree Inspector Program

Division of Forestry

DNR Mobile Apps

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

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