The urban forest, comprised of trees on private property, rights of way and parks throughout the City, is a valuable asset and resource. The City of St. Petersburg employs an Urban Forester who implements the tree protection regulations, as well as tree maintenance crews who trim and remove trees as needed. For its commitment to preserving and enhancing the urban forest, the City of St. Petersburg has been awarded the Tree City USA award for 29 consecutive years, from 1986 to 2015.
Effective 09/17/15, City Council amended the minimum landscaping requirements and the tree protection standards, establishing Grand Tree and Signature Tree protection standards; Ordinance 195-H
What are Protected, Grand Trees and Signature Trees?
Protected: Any shade tree 4” or larger diameter at breast height (dbh, as measured 4 ½ feet above ground); any understory tree which is 8” or larger dbh
Grand: Any tree which is 30 inches in diameter dbh or larger, with the exception of Laurel Oaks. Typically, only Live Oaks will grow to this size and be affected by this new code provision.
Signature: This is a new category of non-native trees which because of the size, prevalence and history in our community warrant recognition and protection. Includes Banyan trees, Kapok trees that are 30” or larger dbh and Jacaranda trees and Royal Poinciana trees that are 8” or larger dbh.
Any tree which is 30 inches in diameter dbh (as measured 4 1/2 feet above ground) or larger on the following list, with the exception of Laurel Oaks. Typically, only Live Oaks will grow to this size and be affected by this new code provision. Grand Trees are afforded a higher level of protection, and need to be preserved.
How does this affect my proposed development?
If there are Protected, Grand or Signature trees within 15-feet of the proposed construction, on the property or on adjacent property, then the trees need to be shown on the site plan, by size and species. If trees are proposed to be removed, or a Grand tree requires trimming of a branch 8” in diameter or greater, a permit will be required.
If there are no protected trees within 15-feet of the proposed construction, you will complete “Protected Trees – Statement of No Impact” form. If there are any protected trees 28” or greater, Staff will need to perform a field inspection to verify if any trees are Grand trees.