Do You Need a Permit in Florida to Prune or Remove Trees?

In Florida, homeowners are no stranger to tree damage. Frequent thunderstorms and the ever-present danger of powerful hurricanes means a lot of trees in Florida need to be removed or pruned. As of 2019, a new law on the books in Florida (HB 1159 or the "Private Property Rights") gives homeowners a break on how to deal with the trees that need to be pruned or removed without the need for a permit or application from local governments.

HB 1159 has five significant points:

  1. Local governments are now prohibited from requiring 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. HB 1159 does not apply to the exercise of specifically delegated authority for mangrove protection.
  3. A local government may not require a property owner to replant a tree that was pruned, trimmed, or removed.
  4. Property owners adjacent to an electric utility right of way can request utilities to perform vegetation maintenance without the approval of the local government.
  5. A local government shall not adopt an ordinance or land development regulation that requires the planting of a tree or other vegetation that will achieve a height greater than 14 feet in an established electric utility right-of-way or intrude from the side closer than the clearance distance.

If you have trees on your property and need them pruned, cut, or removed, contact All American Tractor and Tree for an estimate and get that tree taken care of!

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