What Trees Can Be Cut Down Without Permission From the City in Vero Beach?

What trees can be cut down without permission from the city? If you live in Vero Beach, you might find the council guidelines confusing. To make things easier, King Tree Management, your reliable tree removal contractors in Vero Beach, FL, compiled this quick guide for property owners. 

Read on or consult our offices to find out if you need permission to remove trees on private property.

When You Need a Permit for Tree Removal

According to the city guidelines, you need a permit if the trees are:

  • Protected tree species
  • Part of an approved landscape or site plan
  • Greater than three inches in diameter at chest level
  • 12 inches tall or higher


What trees can be cut down without permission? If the tree does not meet these requirements or is an invasive species in terms of Section 72.33, you do not need permission to remove trees.

The regulation goes on to define the following trees as invasive:

  • Australian pine, river sheoak
  • Australian pine
  • Australian pine, beach sheoak
  • Australian pine (suckering), gray sheoak
  • Ear-pod tree
  • Chinaberry
  • Brazilian pepper
  • Melaleuca, punk, or paper bark
  • Norfolk Island pine
  • Silk oak
  • Carrotwood
  • Schefflera
  • Earleaf acacia
  • Orchid tree
  • Laurel fig
  • Mimosa, silk tree
  • Woman’s tongue
  • Bischofia, toog

The regulation also notes that mangroves are exempt but that you must apply for approval from the relevant government regulatory authorities, such as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

How Do I Apply for a Permit?

If you feel you need a permit, you can complete the form obtainable on the council website. You must then submit it to the Planning and Development Department for approval. We will happily assist our clients with determining if they need a permit and applying for one.

What About House Bill 1159?

This state law lessens the local government’s ability to regulate which trees you can remove on private land. It does not, however, serve as a blank check that allows you to do whatever you like. The law allows private citizens to remove trees that pose a danger to people or structures as long as they meet strict criteria.

The new regulations state that you must hire a certified arborist to provide a professional risk assessment. The arborist must then complete the assessment and write a letter explaining why you should remove the tree.

In the case where the tree is a hazard, state law takes precedence over council regulations. You can, therefore, remove even a protected tree. More importantly, you do not have to replant the tree and can dispose of it as necessary.

Contact Your Local Team Today!

Now that you know what trees can be cut down without permission, you are in a better place to assess what to do next. What other advice do you need? What if a neighbor damages your tree through indiscriminate tree trimming and pruning?

Contact King Tree Management at (772) 633 1939 for expert advice on the growth, health, and maintenance of the trees on your property.

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