St. Pete Urban Forestry

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St. Pete Urban Forestry

Trees and green space are essential to St. Pete's built and natural environment. They promote social, economic, and environmental health by capturing and slowing rain, filtering air pollution, providing shade and healthier environments, providing food and habitat to local plants and animals, and contributing to the character and beauty of the city’s neighborhoods and business districts. 

Since 1986, The City of St. Petersburg has been awarded the Tree City USA award - celebrating 36 consecutive years of work and commitment to environmental protection.

In addition to advising on proper tree and shrub selection, planting, and maintenance practices, the City of St. Petersburg also focuses on strategic planning (e.g., city-wide canopy analyses, urban heat island studies, etc.) and policies for conservation and green infrastructure. 

In 2022, the City adopted a 30% tree canopy goal (by area) as a means to improve public health, increase energy efficiency, and foster community resilience.  Based on 2017 data, St. Pete currently has a 27.2% forested land cover.

St. Pete Urban Forestry Tree Operations Contacts

Frequently Asked Questions

Tree Maintenance & Removal

The City is committed to protecting, preserving, and maintaining a healthy, diverse, and mature urban forest, which includes trees that reside on residential property. Before doing any work on or around trees, property owners should ask an arborist or contact the City to make sure they comply with local regulations.

In some cases, a tree must be removed due to its health or safety implications. If this is the case, a tree removal permit must be obtained for Code-protected trees from the City of St. Pete unless exempted by Florida Statute 163.045 (see requirements below). If residents are doing tree maintenance that does not require a permit, they can take advantage of the City’s brush drop-off sites to properly dispose of trimmings and yard debris.

In St. Pete, property owners are required to provide maintenance for vegetation and trees on their property and in abutting rights-of-way (streets and alleys). View code: - Maintenance of trees and vegetation for all properties within the City

Tree Canopy & Planning Programs

Maintaining a healthy urban forest provides various long-term benefits to St. Pete, including environmental enhancements, economic savings, climate resilience, neighborhood character, and wildlife habitat. The City has completed an urban tree canopy assessment to help the City prioritize planting areas, project long-term goals and needs, and strengthen stewardship and conservation efforts.