About MN Tree Inspector


What is a Certified Tree Inspector?
Certified tree inspectors are people trained and certified to conduct local shade tree management programs. The program was implemented in 1974 in response to Dutch elm disease and oak wilt. There are now more than 700 certified tree inspectors in Minnesota. 

Why is this Work Important?
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 monitor for new exotic insect and disease problems such as emerald ash borer, Asian longhorned beetle, and sudden oak death.

(a) The governing body of a municipality may appoint a qualified tree inspector. Two or more municipalities may jointly appoint a tree inspector for the purpose of administering their respective pest control programs.
(b) Upon a determination by the commissioner that a candidate for the position of tree inspector is qualified, the commissioner shall issue a certificate of qualification to the tree inspector. The certificate is valid for one year. A person certified as a tree inspector by the commissioner may enter and inspect any public or private property that might harbor forest pests or shade tree pests. The commissioner shall offer an annual tree inspector certification workshop, upon completion of which participants are qualified as tree inspectors.
(c) The commissioner may suspend and, upon notice and hearing, decertify a tree inspector if the tree inspector fails to act competently or in the public interest in the performance of duties.


  • For more information about the Minnesota tree inspector program, you can visit the Minnesota DNR Website 
  • For information about workshops, certification/recertification forms, and recertification options, visit our MN Tree Inspector Website  

Q. Who runs the Minnesota Tree Inspector Program?

A. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Their website is: http://dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/urban/certifiedtreeprogram/index.html.

Q. What is the role of the University of Minnesota?

A. The U of M offers certification and recertification opportunities and proctors new certification exams at the certification workshops.  

Q. What is my certification status?  When will I receive my certification card?

A. Your current status as well as the status of your certification card can only be determined by emailing [email protected]. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources manages the data base and certification cards.

Q. How can I become a Certified Tree Inspector?

A. There is currently an online certification option. Visit the 2024 Online Certification to register. In-person workshops are also available at certain times. Check the Minnesota Tree Inspector home page under the certification tab for more information.

Q. How long does my certification last?

A. Until December 31 of the following year. Take and pass the exam in 2023, you're certified through 2024. 

Q. How do I recertify?

  1. During the year your certification expires, e.g., 2024 in the previous example, attend or complete an approved* workshop, seminar, conference, study series.
  2. Submit a completed Application for Recertification form to the UMN Tree Inspector email address: [email protected].

Q.  What’s an “approved…..” recertification option? 

  1. A minimum of six (6) hours of attendance to an approved workshop, seminar, conference, or study series (you can attend two sessions that are each at least four hours long).
  2. Any local workshop or conference that meets the minimum time requirement (6 hours) and addresses tree inspector issues (tree selection, tree health, planting, pruning, inventorying) probably counts. 
  3. Workshops must be approved by the DNR or the U of M, unless it’s one of these annual events:
  • The Northern Green Expo
  • The Minnesota Master Gardener core course training
  • The North Dakota Urban and Community Forestry Association annual tree care workshop
  • The Rochester Arborist Workshop
  • The Iowa Shade Tree Short Course
  • Forest Pest First Detector Workshops
  • The Minnesota Shade Tree Short Course, March, Bethel University in Arden Hills.
  • The ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ) program hosted by the Minnesota Society of Arboriculture
  • The Tree Care Advisor core course training 
  • The Minnesota Tree Inspector Recertification Workshops
  • The Minnesota Society of Arboriculture annual conference

Q. What if I attended or want to attend a workshop for credit that is not on that list?

A. Send an email to [email protected] with the name and agenda of the workshop and we will approve/disapprove. 

Q. What happens if I let my Tree Inspector Certification lapse?

A. Go through New Certification procedures: register for the online certification course and score a 70% or higher on the exam. 

Q. When are the next in-person certification workshops?

A. There will be in-person certification workshops in spring of 2024 (locations & dates TBD).