The 2019 Florida legislature created a new statute, section 163.045, titled “Tree pruning, trimming, or removal on residential property.”  This new statute prohibits local governments from requiring a notice, application, approval, permit, fee, or mitigation for the pruning, trimming, or removal of a tree on residential property.  To have the protection of the statute, the owner must obtain 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.

Further, the statute prohibits local governments from requiring the property owner to replant a tree that was pruned, trimmed, or removed, if the owner obtains the required documentation.

The statute does not affect local governments’ power to protect mangroves.

This statute may be of some relief to many residential owners.  Complying with local “canopy” requirements can be expensive.

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