Logistics of getting started with PHC in PA

NL2718

New Member
Any input is appreciated. We’re a small two person company just starting out in PA - ISA certified arborist with almost two decades of experience and my partner who runs the office. Mostly doing pruning at the moment and getting about 3-4 small jobs a month.

I worked as a pesticide applicator for 6 months at one of my big-tree-company jobs, and we’d like to spend some of the winter getting organized to work in PHC. I’ve looked online for the steps to get licensed but it wasn’t very clearly spelled out. Thought I’d see if anyone here had input before calling the extension office.

Thanks for reading.
 

TsugaPHC

Member
In PA, you’ll need to obtain two things to legally do pesticide applications:
1. A business commercial pesticide license. This is the “BU” number that you’ll have to put on your truck(s) while transporting pesticides. It is in the name of the company, not the individual. It’s not expensive ($35 I think), but in order to get it you’ll need proof of liability insurance with a pesticide/herbicide endorsement, and...
2. A commercial pesticide applicator’s license. This is the license that you have to test to get. The test is in two parts, the core (basic pesticide safety) and the category related to the type of spraying you’ll actually be doing. Most arborists get Category 6, which covers “ornamentals”, but not turf. The applicator license stays with the individual, even if you switch companies. You “attach” it to your business pesticide license because PA will not issue a BU number to a company that doesn’t employ any licensed applicators. You have to get CEUs to maintain your applicator’s license: 6 credits in core and 10 in Category 6 every three years, with a credit equaling 30 minutes of instruction.

Info for all this is easily found online, just google PA pesticide licensing.

Where in PA are you located?
 

NL2718

New Member
Hi, thanks for getting back to me. I’m out in Chester County. Thanks for the detailed info - one quick question: when I worked in NJ you had to do 40 hours of training before taking the test. Is there no such requirement in PA? It didn’t seem like there was.
 
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TsugaPHC

Member
Nope, no training requirement prior to testing.

I’m out of Wilmington, DE and cover the southern end of Chesco. Let me know if you need anything else, I’d be happy to meet up some time to chat.
 

NL2718

New Member
Thanks for your help earlier! Our arborist is certified now for application in PA and we've lined up a few jobs, now just trying to deal with the insurance rigmarole!!
 
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