What Exactly Are the Rules in Florida for Tree Removal or Trimming?

Tree Removal Rules

Tampa Bay residents are cleaning up after a cold front brought strong winds that knocked down trees and even produced tornadoes. Some people should want to know what’s allowed when trimming or even considering removing a tree that might pose a danger the next time a storm passes by. So, just what are the rules for tree trimming or removal?

  • New state law gives private property owners more freedom to remove/trim trees
  • Homeowners must obtain certification from professional arborist
  • Local municipalities waive fees and permit requirement with certification

Presently, municipalities and the state have rules that might seem in conflict with each other. For years, cities and counties required property owners to pay a fee and get a permit to remove or trim a tree. But a new state law, in effect since last summer, says all you need is documentation by a certified arborist or licensed landscape architect. It must show the tree poses a danger to persons or property. The law even forbids local governments from requiring a permit, fee or mitigation, thus the conflict. It is still recommended to check with the county and verify what documentation is needed before doing any changes. Click here to find more information about the tree removal rules.