Residential Tree Removal

IMPORTANT: Effective July 1st, 2019, House Bill 1159 (F.S. 163.045) 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 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." 

If you have questions about this new statute, please call our office to avoid any potential violations of the County's Land Development Code or this new state statute. 

Please call Dana Della Costa at (941) 748-4501 ext. 6937 with any questions.

Street trees are required trees planted within 25 feet of the right of way along the frontage of single family homes built after 1992.

You do not need authorization to remove or replace a tree in your private back or side yard.

Looking for yard waste removal? Yard waste is collected on Wednesdays. Learn more about collection for yard waste and special items.

Need a dead tree removed from the right of way or a tree trimmed that's blocking access or visibility? Report the issue to Public Works.


Approved Reasons to Remove a Tree

Approved reasons for removing a street tree include: 

  • The tree is dead, diseased or in declining health.
  • The tree is causing problems with driveways, sidewalks, street lights, sewer service, or other (services), which can’t be fixed by maintenance practices.
  • The tree is located less than:
    • 10 feet of a sidewalk located within the right of way;
    • 10 feet of a water main that is owned and maintained by Manatee County;
    • 4 feet of a backflow preventer or sewer clean-out valve;
    • 6 feet from a walkway or driveway

    Replacement Tree Requirements

    House Bill 1159 bans the regulation of dangerous trees on residential property by local government, but that doesn't give property owners free range to trim, prune, or remove trees as they please.

    Here are the facts about the Private Property Rights Protection Act, which went into effect July 1, 2019, and what they mean for property owners in unincorporated Manatee County:

    1. Under the new legislation, property owners are required to obtain proper documentation from an arborist certified by the International Society of Arboriculture or a Florida licensed landscape architect that the tree presents a danger to the property.
    2. Property owners are no longer required to replant a tree that was pruned, trimmed, or removed as a result of it posing a danger to the property.
    3. Mangrove tree protections remain unchanged by this new law.

    Your Homeowners’ Association (HOA) may have specific landscape requirements. Contact your HOA for approval before replacing your tree.

    • You must replace the tree within 30 days of removing the existing tree and it must be planted within 25 feet back from the right of way.
    • The replacement tree must be graded Florida #1 by Florida Grades and Standards for Nursery Plants.
    • Trees cannot be planted within a public or private utilities easement or setback.
    • Existing trees located within 25 feet of the ROW may be considered in lieu of a replacement tree.
    • You must meet the tree type and lot size requirements below.

    Lot Size Requirements

    • 100+ feet of linear right of way (ROW) frontage: one canopy tree for every 50 feet of frontage
    • 60-100 feet of linear ROW: one canopy per frontage
    • >60 feet of linear ROW frontage: one smaller maturing, canopy or on3 understory tree per lot, regardless of the number of street trees removed.
      • Corner lots must provide two street trees maximum, one per frontage
    • >25 feet back from ROW may plant an approved understory tree

    Tree Type Requirements

    Canopy Tree (produces one main trunk and normally reaches a height of 30 feet or more upon maturity)

    • Min. 10 feet
    • 2.5 inch caliper (trunk width)
    • 25-50 gallons

    Understory Tree (produces single trunk or multiple trunks and normally reaches a height of less than 30 feet upon maturity)

    • Min. 6 feet
    • 1.5 inch caliper (trunk width)
    • 25-30 gallons

    Palm Trees

    • Two required for each tree removed
    • Min. 15 feet

    Suggested Tree Replacement Species

    Please note: Tree Species may be subject to Homeowners Association (HOA) Approval. Contact your HOA for final species selection.

    Canopy Trees

    Requirements: 2 ½ in. caliper, 25-50 gallon, minimum height 10 feet

    • Black Gum Tupelo
    • Hickory
    • Live Oak, Highrise Oak, Cathedral Live Oak
    • Loblolly Bay
    • Longleaf Pine
    • Red Maple
    • Slash Pine
    • Southern Magnolia including Little Gem
    • Southern Red Cedar
    • Sweetbay Magnolia
    • Sweetgum (Rotundiloba-seedless)
    • Sycamore
    • Winged Elm

    Understory Trees

    Requirements: 1 ½ in. caliper, 25-30 gallons, minimum height 6 feet

    • Cherry Laurel
    • Crepe Myrtle
    • Eugenia - natives only
    • Golden/Yellow Trumpet
    • Holly - Eagleston
    • Japanese Blueberry
    • Japanese Privet (Ligustrum Japonica)
    • Loquat
    • Podocarpus - tree form only
    • Queen’s Crepe Myrtle
    • Red Bay
    • Shady Lady Black Olive
    • Walter’s Viburnum - tree form only


    Requirements: Two palms are required to replace one tree. Palms must have a minimum overall height of 15 feet at the time of planting.

    • Bismarck Palm
    • Canary Island Date Palm
    • Chinese Fan Palm
    • Needle Palm
    • Ribbon Palm
    • Sabal-Cabbage Palm
    • Foxtail Palm