What is a “protected tree?”
Any tree with a diameter of 12 inches or greater, measured 4½ feet above grade.
Do I need a permit to remove a protected tree?
Yes†. No person, organization, society, association, corporation, or other government agency or any agent or representative thereof, directly or indirectly, shall cut down, destroy, remove or effectively destroy, through damaging, any tree as heretofore described, whether it be on private property or right-of-way within the defined limits of the city, without having first obtained a permit to do so in accordance with this article.
Do I need a permit to prune or trim a protected tree?
No. The pruning of trees as normal maintenance is exempt from permitting provided such pruning does not result in mutilation, death, or removal of the tree.
How much does a tree removal permit cost?
The City does not assess a permit fee for tree removals.
What trees are exempt from permitting?
Any tree listed on the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council’s List of Invasive Species, which may be amended from time to time, shall be exempted from the terms and provisions of this article. Additionally, the following trees are exempted: Prunus laurocerasus (cherry laurel), sand pine (Pinus clausa). Pinus clausa shall only be exempted from the terms and provisions of this article in those instances when it is located on a developed lot in one of the following zoning districts: R-ES, R-1, R-1-A, R-1-AA, and TH.
What criteria is used to determine if a permit will be approved?
1) Removal of trees not having protected tree status, which are located on individual lots or parcels less than one acre in size and which are zoned for single-family dwellings, shall not be subject to the requirements of this article.
(2) During the period of an emergency, such as a hurricane, tropical storm, flood or any other act of God, the requirements of this article may be temporarily waived by the city manager so that they will in no way hamper private or public work to restore order in the city.
(3) If any tree is determined by the city to be in a hazardous or dangerous condition posing a safety hazard.
(4) All licensed plant or tree nurseries shall be exempt from the terms and provisions of this article only in relation to those trees planted and growing on the premises of said licensee, which are planted and growing for resale or intended sale to the general public in the ordinary course of said licensee’s normal business.
(5) Franchised public utility companies and tree expert companies under their employment shall be exempt from the requirements of this article.
(6) Any tree that is determined by the city to be dead, diseased, severely damaged, in danger of falling on an existing structure, or creates unsafe sight clearance for vehicles may be removed.
FLA. STAT. § 163.045 (2020) Tree pruning, trimming, or removal on residential property.(1) A local government may not require a notice, application, approval, permit, fee, or mitigation for the pruning, trimming, or removal of a tree on residential property if the property owner obtains documentation from an arborist certified by the International Society of Arboriculture or a Florida licensed landscape architect that the tree presents a danger to persons or property.(2) A local government may not require a property owner to replant a tree that was pruned, trimmed, or removed in accordance with this section.(3) This section does not apply to the exercise of specifically delegated authority for mangrove protection pursuant to ss. 403.9321-403.9333.