A permit is required to remove or relocate any tree (other than citrus) greater than four and one-half inches in diameter at breast height and most palms. While there is no fee to remove "nuisance" species of trees such as Malalueca (punk trees), Australian pine, and certain others, you must obtain a permit prior to their removal. Only citrus trees do not require permits (Excluding the Mango tree.)
To view diagrams illustrating new changes to tree protection requirements click here.
The City of Sarasota has undergone an update to regulations regarding tree protection and removals, with formal approval of Ordinance 16-5173 being passed by the City Commission on July 5, 2016.
The City of Sarasota has adopted amendments to the tree protection requirements that allows for replacement trees to be located within a 1,000 foot radius of the removal site or in the same neighborhood as the removal site, with formal approval of Ordinance 17-5205 being passed by the City Commission on June 19, 2017.
If you are a homeowner in the City and would like to be added to a list of potential recipients of free, mature canopy or palm trees in the future click here http://srqgis.sarasotagov.com/TreeRequest
If you are a developer interested in coordinating with a citizen that is interested in receiving mitigation trees click here http://srqgis.sarasotagov.com/Developers
To view the fees and charges related to tree protection click here.
Fines for failure to post a tree removal permit and for failure to provide tree protection barriers was also adopted on July 5, 2016 via Ordinance 16-5175.
POSTING REQUIREMENTS: A weather-proof protected copy of the tree removal permit shall be posted at the site proposed for the tree removal. The permit must be displayed on the site prior to the removal of any trees, and remain on the site until the tree removal or construction work is completed. Click here to view sample posting.
LICENSE & INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS: Contractors, subcontractors, tree service contractors, their agents and employees who perform pruning, planting, trimming or removing of trees within the City of Sarasota shall be required to hold valid occupational licenses and valid proof of worker's compensation insurance, public liability insurance and property damage insurance in accordance with any applicable requirements of Florida law.
NOTE: Be aware that requests for full payment before work begins should trigger a warning bell. You may never see the contractor again. You should pay in advance only when it is a large job, you have already properly screened the contractor, and you have a proper contract. Upon signing the contract you might need to pay a small percentage of the total amount with the balance due upon completion of the job.