Tree Trimming

Rendering of minimum tree trimming over road and sidewalk

The Manatee County Public Works Department provides right-of-way tree trimming services for unincorporated portions of the county. Our Field Maintenance Division coordinates with its crews and private contractors to deliver this service. Tree trimming service is provided to areas of the county with tree canopies or branches that grow into the travel lanes (see above diagram) of roads and sidewalks.

Florida Department of Transportation standards require trees to be trimmed to:

  • minimum of 14 feet over travel lanes
  • minimum of 8 feet over sidewalks

This height clearance is necessary to allow for safe traveling of the roadways by emergency response vehicles, school buses, commercial vehicles, and recreational vehicles.

If you have a tree near the side of a road or sidewalk, crews may come trim your tree to meet these requirements. Tree trimming is performed in areas with the greatest need and scheduling priorities can change based on community and safety demands.

In most cases, a tree will be trimmed beyond the minimum standards and Manatee County has specified a range of 16’ – 18’ over roadways and 10’ - 12’ over sidewalks to ensure reasonable maintenance intervals. The reason for this is:

  • To provide longevity of the cut and account for the growth that will occur during the long interval between trimmings (currently 5-7 years)
  • To meet ANSI Tree Trimming industry standards on pruning for overall tree health (this sometimes requires cutting a branch all the way back to a trunk)

If you have questions or concerns about tree trimming, call (941) 708-7497.


  • Public Works
  • (941) 708-7497