Trees in St. Augustine
According to the U.S. Forest Service urban forests include the trees in our yards, parks, public spaces and along our streets in cities which we reside.
Although city landscapes aren't thought of as forests, trees provide similar benefits as forests, such as providing cleaner air and water. Trees improve the quality of life of cities by contributing not only to the aesthetic beauty but also environmental benefits. In addition to environmental benefits, trees can:
- Beautify our neighborhoods (Which is most important for the City of St. Augustine)
- Block UV radiation
- Buffer wind and noise
- Increase property values
- Provide shade
- Reduce home energy costs
We Encourage You
The City of St. Augustine encourages the planting of trees as well as proper tree trimming and pruning and the removal of trees (with proper approval and a Tree Removal Permit (PDF) when warranted. However, some tree species are protected.
The Memorial Tree Program enables citizens to enhance our community’s aesthetic appearance through the landscape of street rights-of-way and other public outdoor spaces. Due to St. Augustine’s Memorial Tree Program, contributors can remember the past while at the same time renew life. Download the Tree Memorial Application (PDF) to participate in the program.
When permission is granted to remove a tree by the Planning and Zoning Board or the Code Enforcement, Adjustment and Appeals Board, each removed tree must be replaced with two similar trees on the site. However, when it is not feasible for the applicant to replant replacement trees on the site where the removal took place, the applicant may be provided the opportunity to donate $300, per required replacement tree, to the Tree Mitigation Fund (PDF).
For new construction, a tree survey is required and shall indicate all trees on the lot or lots, and the type and size of each tree. In addition, the footprint and roof eaves of any proposed new structure(s) shall be indicated on the survey.
For existing structures, bright orange tape will be provided to the applicant to indicate the tree or trees proposed to be removed. There is a space provided on the application to indicate a reason for the removal of a tree(s).
Section 25-56 of the City Code states that it is unlawful for any person directly or indirectly to cut down, destroy, remove or effectively destroy by damaging any tree in the city without first obtaining a permit. This requirement shall apply to all trees 3 inches or larger in diameter at breast height. The cost of this permit is $30 and can be obtained from the City’s Planning and Building Department.
The Southern Red Cedar
Of particular importance to the City of St. Augustine is the Southern Red Cedar. Southern Red Cedar trees larger than 2 feet in height or a trunk diameter of 1 inch at the point 3 inches above the ground may not be removed without a permit. Download the Tree Removal Permit (PDF) if you need to remove a tree.
Questions concerning tree removal in the City should be called in to 904-825-1066.