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Tree Removal or Relocation Permits

Trees offer many benefits to our community. They help to increase the real estate value of a property by 15% and they can help to cut the air conditioning cost of a home by up to 40%.

But trees also add an important environmental value to our community. They help to improve air quality and reduce flooding, not to mention that green areas enhance the beauty of our neighborhoods.

Unfortunately, the tree canopy in Miami-Dade County is well below the national average when compared to similar metropolitan areas, because we have lost thousands of trees to hurricanes, diseases such as the citrus canker and urban development. Therefore, it is imperative that we protect and preserve the trees in our community.

A tree removal/relocation permit is required for the removal or relocation of any tree within Miami-Dade County not specifically exempt under the Environmental Code of Miami-Dade County.

Call the Miami-Dade County Tree Program at 305-372-6574 for more information on County requirements, including within municipalities, and for work:

  • in County-designated Natural Forest Communities
  • involving mangroves
  • involving trees within wetlands
  • involving trees protected by covenants in favor of Miami-Dade County
  • for removal or relocation of trees on County-owned land or County street rights-of-way
  • for any other work relating to trees within municipal jurisdictions that do not have their own tree protection ordinance.

Prior authorization from Miami-Dade County is required for the above listed work, as well as for any tree removal or relocations within the unincorporated areas of Miami-Dade County.

Municipal Jurisdictions

The municipalities below have their own tree ordinances that address tree removal requirements for most residential or commercial properties.

Call the appropriate municipality for more information regarding their tree removal/relocation permit procedures. In addition, do not improperly prune, damage, remove or relocate any tree in a city-owned right-of-way, including street swales, without prior approval from the municipality and local tree program.

A separate county authorization is not generally required in these municipalities except as described above.

Municipalities with their own tree ordinances recognized by Miami-Dade County include:

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Read the Tree Permit exemptions from the Miami-Dade County Code.

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Tree Relocations

Tree Relocation Plan Form is required for all tree relocations.

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Definition of "tree"

A tree shall mean a woody or fibrous perennial plant with a trunk having a minimum DBH of three inches or with an overall height of 12 or more feet.

A non-specimen tree is any tree with a trunk diameter at breast height (DBH) less than 18 inches (56.5 inches in circumference) when measured at point 4 ½ feet from the ground at natural grade.

The following trees are considered non-specimen, no matter how large they become:

  • Non-native fruit trees that are cultivated or grown for the specific purpose of producing edible fruit, including, but not limited to, mangos, avocados or species of citrus.
  • Non-native species of the genus Ficus.
  • All multi-trunk palms except Paurotis palm/Everglades palm (Acoelorrhaphe wrightii) and Reclinata palm (Phoenix reclinata) which have a minimum overall height of 15 feet.

A specimen tree shall mean a tree with any individual trunk that has a DBH of 18 inches or greater (or a circumference of 56.5 inches or greater) when measured at point 4 1/2 feet from the ground at natural grade. The following trees are not considered specimen:

  • Non-native fruit trees that are cultivated or grown for the specific purpose of producing edible fruit, including, but not limited to, mangos, avocados or species of citrus.
  • Non-native species of the genus Ficus.
  • All multi-trunk palms except Paurotis palm/Everglades palm (Acoelorrhaphe wrightii) and Reclinata palm (Phoenix reclinata), which have a minimum overall height of 15 feet.
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Diameter at Breast Height (DBH)

Diameter breast height (DBH) shall mean the diameter of a tree's trunk measured at a point 4 ½ feet from where the tree emerges from the ground at natural grade.

In the case of multiple-trunked trees, the DBH shall mean the sum of each trunk's diameter measured at the point 4 ½ feet from where the tree emerges from the ground at natural grade.

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Prohibited Plants

Exotic, or non-native, plants are those species found outside of their natural ranges. Once they are taken out of their natural habitat, either for landscape or agricultural purposes, some exotic species are able to escape cultivation and invade natural areas in their adopted land.

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How to Apply

  • Submit a completed Tree Removal/Relocation Permit Application Form, along with the application and the initial inspection fee, in person, by mail or by fax. Both the application and the initial inspection fee must be received in order to process the application.
  • The mailing address and fax information is:

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Regulatory and Economic Resources Department
MIAMI FL 33136
Fax: 305-372-6479

  • The property owner or authorized representative will be informed if the permit has been approved or denied, usually by certified mail, email or otherwise requested.
  • The processing time for a tree removal/relocation permit (i.e. from application acceptance to the permit being drafted and ready for issuance) is approximately 30 days.

For properties that are not in violation of the tree ordinance:
When a tree removal/relocation permit application is submitted and additional information is required in order to continue processing the permit, an official correspondence will be sent to the owner or authorized representative identifying the deficiencies.

If the Tree Permitting Program has not been contacted regarding the requested information, or if the requested information has not been received within 120 days from the date of the official correspondence, the application will be denied.

According to Section 24-49.7(3) of the Miami-Dade County Code, all tree permit applications that remain incomplete for a period of 120 days shall be denied. A new tree removal permit application shall be required for all work previously proposed under a permit application that has been denied.

In certain cases, such as when applying to remove or relocate 10 or more trees, a site plan/tree survey is required.

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Closing the permit

The process of obtaining a final inspection in order to close the permit is as follows:

  • Once all the permit requirements have been completed, the owner or authorized representative must submit a Final Inspection Request form either by mail, email or fax to the County's Tree Permitting Program.
  • A field inspection will be performed to verify that the permit requirements, using the Planting Mitigation Guidelines, have been completed and satisfied as stated in the permit. Once the permit requirements have been completed satisfactorily, the permit will be closed and the applicant will be informed accordingly.
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Permit Expiration

A tree removal/relocation permit is valid for one year from the date of issuance. A permit may be renewed by contacting the Regulatory and Economic Resources Department, but must be done before the permit has expired. A renewal fee will be required.

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See the Tree Permit Fee Schedule

Please be advised that the application and the initial inspection fees are required upon permit application submission and are non-refundable if cancelled, withdrawn or denied.

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Pursuant to Chapter 24 of the Miami-Dade County Code, once notified of the tree violation, you must comply within the allowed timeframe by submitting the required permit application together with the non-refundable After-the-Fact (ATF) Application and initial inspection fee, to the County's Tree Permitting Program.

Failure to adhere shall result in further enforcement action. This may include the issuance of a Uniform Civil Violation Notice pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 8CC of the Code, which carries a mandatory civil penalty and a requirement to correct the violation.

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After-the-Fact (ATF) Permit

An After-the-Fact (ATF) tree removal/relocation permit is required for trees that have been removed/relocated or effectively destroyed within Miami-Dade County.

The application and per-tree fees for an ATF tree removal/relocation permit costs double than normal.

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Tree Trimming

A tree removal/relocation permit is not required for the selective pruning or trimming of trees, provided the pruning is done according to the most recent American National Standards (ANSI) A-300 Standard Practices for Tree Care Operations.

However, excessive pruning of more than 25% of the tree's canopy (i.e. hat-racking, topping, etc.) and other activities (i.e. trunk girdling, excessive root cutting, use of tree-killing chemicals, etc.), which results in the effective destruction of a tree, constitutes a violation of Section 24-49 of the Code of Miami-Dade County.

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Page Last Edited: Mon Oct 20, 2014 3:52:04 PM

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