About the course

The Ontario Tree Marking Course is a 4-day course delivered by Forests Ontario and the Canadian Institute of Forestry covering the forest management systems used in Ontario. It involves field visits and exercises with classroom lectures followed by an optional 1 day of written and field examinations for those that wish to receive a certificate.

Topics include:

  • stand analysis
  • tree classification
  • hardwood tree evaluation and marking
  • pine shelterwood marking
  • habitat values (e.g., nesting cavities) and biodiversity consideration in hardwood and pine forests
  • tree marking prescriptions, which are a series of actions taken to meet forest management objectives
  • marking crew organization

To receive a tree marking certificate, you must successfully pass a written exam and 3 field exams. After gaining some field experience, you must select and pay a Level 2 tree marker to do an operational field audit on your marking

If you pass, your certificate is valid for 5 years. You must take a refresher course every 5 years to maintain a valid certificate.

Level 1 Tree Markers can get certificates for a single tree selection system and/or a shelterwood system. Level 1 Tree Markers that wish to become tree marking auditors require the Level 2 tree marking course.

Who can take the course?

The Ontario Tree Marking Course is mandatory for all tree markers working on Crown land in Ontario.

The course is also valuable if you:

  • want to become an independent tree marker
  • want to increase your awareness of forest ecology
  • want to know more about forest management practices used in Ontario


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