Although House Bill 1159, signed by the Governor July 1, 2019, prevents cities from regulating trees on residential property, property owners still can’t trim, prune, or remove trees as they please.
HillsboroughCounty.org has prepared a list of facts about the Private Property Rights Protection Act and what it means for property owners:
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
A tree devoid of green foliage is considered a dead tree and is most likely to pose a danger. Dead trees do not require a permit in unincorporated Hillsborough County but retaining a photo or two is encouraged.
Unless otherwise exempted by the Land Development Code, permits are required for the removal of healthy, non-dangerous trees on residential and non-residential properties for all tree speciesProperty 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.
Mangrove tree protections remain unchanged by this new law.
Trees with large, open cavities in the trunk or branch, dead or dying branches, or extensive decay and rot, or trees that are leaning or cracked should be inspected by a certified arborist to assess their risks and assure safety.