• Can I stop a tree being taken down?

    You cannot legally object to the removal or modification of trees in accordance with the tree protection ordinance, applicable zoning codes and/or building codes. However, you can influence the development plans to help protect more trees and save a tree today.

    These are just a few suggestions to help you get started:

    • Talk directly to the property owner about possible alternatives to tree removal. A small adjustment to a building or landscaping plan may be able to save a tree. The county of Pinellas  will list the property owner and/or builder in the building permit plans.
    • Although large development projects are often presented at community meetings, they are not required to do this if the plans comply with all applicable regulations. Developers/property owners should be contacted promptly to express their concerns about tree removal.
    • Before they can be reviewed by the NPUs or city approval processes, building plans that are subject to exceptions or “variances”, to code or ordinances, must be presented to neighborhood meetings. Participate in your community meetings to be able to influence the future decisions about plans to remove trees. Builders can be influenced by community input to change plans.
    • As part of the tree permit process, you have the right to “appeal” the conditional approval for tree cutting. A “request” to deny the permit can be made within 5 days of the Arborist Division having approved it. In order to get final approval, the builder might be required to present their case at a public hearing.
    • You can report a violation to the city Arborist Division if you feel that owners or builders are not following the requirements for the tree permit.

    What does the big, colorful sign that says “Tree Removal”, mean?

    Property owners must post signs to indicate that a tree permit has already been submitted as part of the permit approval process. The signs are usually:

    • Orange Sign - Permit Applied – The sign must be visible from the street for a minimum of 10 days.
    • Yellow Sign – The applicant must place this sign for five days following receipt of notice from preliminary arborist approval. If there is reason to challenge the removal, neighbors can file an appeal during this time. It must be a violation or alleged violation of the Tree Protection Ordinance.
    • White Sign – An appeal was filed, and a hearing will take place.

    Trees that are dead, dying or hazardous (DDH), or “undesirable” species, may be removed. However, permits must be applied for before they can be removed. No sign or public posting is required if a tree has been approved as DDH.

    Can you save a tree that’s marked?

    Trees that are allowed to be removed will be marked using orange paint and an X. Public trees, which are those on city property, may also be marked with an orange square (or X).

    An orange sign is posted indicating that trees will be taken down. How can I save these trees?

    The Tree Protection Ordinance governs the legal removal of trees. However, land owners and developers have the power to influence tree removal plans and building plans. If there is any concern about tree loss, we recommend that you speak to the homeowner/developer as soon as possible. Invite developers and homeowners to have a discussion about potential tree removal. It is possible to save trees by giving input early in the development process. You can listen to your fellows and look into possible alternatives to tree cutting.

    Tree conservation commision

    The Tree Conservation Commission in the county of Pinellas  is a group of residents and experts that reviews tree appeals when you want to save a tree. They may be able to give additional guidance on issues such as the Tree Protection Ordinance, how appeals can be made for the removal of trees, or other ways to help trees. Other cities may have similar community advisory boards like the county of Pinellas Tree Board. For local resources, search your city’s website to find the term “tree preservation ordinance”.

    It is generally possible to appeal for a building permit (including permits to remove trees) if it is in compliance with the zoning and codes. The NPU boards in Pinellas  will typically review any requests for “variances” in codes. Participation is key. Attend your local NPU meetings to discuss and vote on variance requests. We advise our neighbors to examine and reject variance requests that could cause tree damage.

    Numerous neighborhood associations have a Zoning Committee which can offer additional guidance and share their experiences. An NPU is a membership organization that all Pinellas  residents can join. The NPU has board members who can offer advice and help to save the tree. If you have any questions about city services, contact Arborwise Tree Service.

    Finally, if you have grounds to appeal the tree’s removal, make sure to:

    • If you submit your appeal within the allowed time frame, a hearing will take place.
    • Indicate which section of the tree protection ordinance has been violated.
    • Get involved with your neighbors and other community groups. Decisions can be affected if more people are on board for the appeal.

    Contact Arborwise Tree Service

    Our team at Arborwise Tree Service is available to help you with tree care challenges of any kind.  Contact us today for your quote on your lawn services such as:

    Check out our 5-star rating on Google and see why our clients choose Arborwise Tree Service!