Do You Need a Permit to Cut Down a Tree in Florida?

Sometimes a tree on your property can grow to become a health hazard. Maybe it’s too close to a power line, or it’s grown to an enormous size. When this happens, the most prudent thing to do is to have the tree removed. 

Removing a tree has traditionally been something that requires a permit. This is because trees play a vital part in local ecosystems, and authorities want to assess whether or not it is being removed for a legitimate reason. 

But do you still need a permit to cut down a tree in Florida?

Private Property Rights

Proposed in 2019 and passed in 2020, the HB 1159 bill (commonly known as private property rights) established that residents do not require a permit to prune, trim, or remove a tree from their own property.

This does not mean that you can do whatever you wish with the tree, though. Instead of a permit, you will need a signed document from a licensed arborist that attests that the tree in question poses a danger to either people or property. 

The bill also says that the state shall waive any fees pertaining to permits for tree removal. 

Contacting an Arborist 

To gain permission to cut down a tree on your property, you need a certified arborist to provide documentation for you. 

An arborist is a tree expert who spends their days studying and working on trees. In the state of Florida, there are over 2,000 arborists. Not all of these arborists in Florida are certified to provide the documentation you need, but around 400 of them are.

Once the arborist has signed off on your request, you are ready to have the tree removed.

How to Handle the Removal

Unless you’re an expert at tree removal, the best thing you can do is contact a tree removal service who can come and cut the tree down for you. These companies offer a variety of services and can remove the most challenging and problematic trees that you might have.

Trying to remove a tree by yourself can be a dangerous or stressful experience. When dealing with big trees, it’s always best to call a professional out to let them do their jobs.

These companies can also maintain any other trees you might have through tree trimming or general tree maintenance services.

Signs a You Need to Cut Down a Tree

If your tree is posing an evident risk to the safety of either your property or the people living there, you need to get it removed. This can take many forms, such as:

  • The tree is close to a power line 
  • The tree is dead and decaying
  • The tree is diseased 
  • The disease is spreading to other plants
  • The tree is encroaching on your house 

As a general rule, if the tree is preventing you from performing normal daily tasks safely, then you’ll be best off getting it removed. 

Find a Tree Removal Service Today

So in short, no, you do not need a permit to cut down a tree in Florida, provided that the tree is on your property and a certified arborist has given you the go-ahead to have it removed. 

If you require a tree removal service, contact us today for a free estimate.