Homeowners

Tree Planting

If you are looking to plant a new tree on your own property, there is no permit required. See the latest Florida Exotic Plant Species list for tree species banned in the state of Florida. See the following planting guidelines:

  • 6’ distance from underground utilities
  • Vegetation that exceeds twenty-five (25) feet in height at maturity shall not be planted closer than thirty (30) feet from the vertical plane of an existing power line, excluding service wires
  • Do not plant under existing canopy
  • And always Call Before You Dig, by calling 811 or visiting www.sunshine811.com.

If you are looking to plant a new tree in the city right-of-way you can request a free tree planting through the Tree-Mendous Tampa program.

Tree Pruning

If you are looking to prune a tree on your property that is 23” or under in diameter at breast height (DBH), then no permit is required.

If the tree is 24” or greater in DBH, then you must first obtain a permit. All tree pruning permits will be inspected by a Forester from Natural Resources prior to release. Alternatively, you can hire a City of Tampa Self-Certified Private Arborist to perform the inspection and submit their report, to be reviewed by Natural Resources. See SCPA program page for more details.

All pruning performed should be in accordance with all International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards.

If you are looking to prune a tree in the city right-of-way, you must first obtain permission from City of Tampa Parks Department Forestry Division.

Tree Removal

All removals of trees 5” in DBH or above (excluding invasive species) require a permit for removal (Apply Online).

Grand Trees* (32” or greater in DBH) require special circumstances for removal – if the tree is not in hazardous condition, it may require a Variance Review Board, City Council, or other public process decision to allow the removal.

All tree removals are subject to mitigation, or replacement tree plantings, depending on the size and health of the tree being removed, and the number of other trees being retained on the property. The mitigation value is determined by Natural Resources during review. If there is no room to reasonably plant replacement trees on site, you can pay into the tree fund at $300 per tree.

All tree removal permits will be reviewed by a Forester from Natural Resources prior to release. Alternatively, you can hire a City of Tampa Self-Certified Private Arborist to perform the inspection and submit a report to be reviewed by Natural Resources. See SCPA program page for more details.

Note: Prior to removal of Grand Trees, an applicant must first go through Public Notice.

Self-Certified Arborist Program

What is a Self-Certifying Private Arborist (SCPA)?

An SCPA is an arborist who is able to fast track the permitting process for all tree related permits. They can evaluate your trees’ condition, approve pruning or removals, and review your building plans and site surveys to determine how to preserve existing trees. With successful completion of the City’s training course, an SCPA can self-certify tree surveys and arborists reports for use in zoning reviews, right-of-way permit reviews, and building permit reviews without having to wait for a City arborist to visit the site – saving you time and avoiding resubmittals to meet code requirements.

An SCPA can Self-Certify the following activities/documents, using City-approved forms:

  1. Evaluation of your trees’ condition for issuance of tree pruning and tree removal permits;
  2. Review your building plans to determine (1) how to retain existing trees on site, and (2) which trees can be removed;
  3. Certification of tree surveys and arborists reports;
  4. Prepare tree preservation plans, following industry standards for protection; and
  5. Perform public noticing for Grand Tree removals.

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List of City of Tampa Self-Certified Private Arborists

Why use a Self-Certified Private Arborist?
Fast track: if plans are submitted through the SCPA Program they can be approved by Natural Resources upon receipt, without having to go through the normal inspection queue.

Do I have to use a Self-Certified Private Arborist?
No: plans can still be submitted directly from the applicant, but a City of Tampa Forester Examiner will have to perform a site inspection to confirm accuracy and compliance with the code.

Does the Self-Certified Private Arborist program cost more?
The permit application cost is the same: the only additional costs will come from the arborists themselves.

ISA certified Arborist can now become City of Tampa certified as well. This certification provides certified arborist the ability to self-certify activities and documents on behalf of the City of Tampa without performing site inspections.

Activities include:

  1. Tree removal permits (protected and grand)
  2. Tree pruning permits (specimen and grand)
  3. Tree surveys
  4. Arborist reports

How to become a City of Tampa Self Certified Arborist.


Certification Requirements

  • Attend two (2) half-day training sessions

Day 1
Urban Forest Management Plan
Accela 101: Tree Permitting, Records Processing, Document Uploads
New Tree & Landscape Code
Mitigation Method, Tables

Day 2
Risk Assessment
Field Exercise
EXAM

  • Score a minimum of 70% on the end of course exam

Training Sessions
TBD
Tree Permit Checklist

Document Library
  1. Tree Owner Permit Affidavit
  2. Tree Evaluation Report
  3. Tree Table (Microsoft Excel Open XML Format Spreadsheet)
  4. Trees Which Do Not Require a Permit to Remove
  5. Urban Forest Management Plan
  6. Urban Forest Analysis
Report Illegal Tree Removal

Report online or call the TREE HOTLINE: 258-TREE (8733)

Tree Code, Information and Resources

  1. Tampa City Ordinance Chapter 27-284– Natural Resources: Trees, Landscaping, Wetlands, Upland Habitat
  2. Trees Which Do Not Require a Permit to Remove
  3. Tree Removal from Right of Ways
  4. Tree-Mendous tree program