Tree Pruning FAQs

Frequently asked questions about tree pruning in the City Beautiful.

The City Code states residents do not need a permit to prune their own trees inside their own private property unless they are going to remove more than 25% of the tree canopy or branches larger than 10” diameter. If more than 25% of the tree canopy or branches larger than 10" diameter is going to be pruned then the resident should hire a ISA certified arborist to supervise the pruning (a qualified tree trimmer) so the trees are pruned properly and to standards. 

While it does not require a permit on private property, pruning of branches larger than 4” in diameter should be supervised by a qualified tree trimmer knowledgeable of ANSI (American National Standards Institute)  tree pruning standards, such as a certified arborist. Removing larger branches improperly could cause harm to a tree if not performed by following ANSI pruning standards. 

Please read the City Code to ensure the proper management and pruning of trees to avoid penalty.

The city does not perform any work on trees inside private property. 

For full explanation of the City Code please see Chapter 82: Vegetation

No, residents do not need to personally request pruning of city trees, as they are automatically scheduled by the arborists managing the pruning needs city-wide.

However, on private property, the removal or relocation of any tree 4.5 inches in diameter or larger measured 4 feet from grade requires a permit.

Learn more about landscape permits here.

The city prunes trees to increase tree canopy growth and coverage to alleviate heat over paved areas. Tree pruning also provides environmental benefits such as wildlife habitat, temperature cooling, carbon sequestration and water runoff uptake to mitigate flooding.

Trees are generally pruned every 18 months to four years depending on the species, speed of growth and condition of the trees as determined by the arborists on staff.

However, unforeseen circumstances such as extreme weather activity or car accidents can affect the schedule.

Pruning needs are prioritized by certified arborists to maintain the health and resiliency of each tree, and to address safety concerns such as foliage blocking visibility or signs, dead branches, or branches growing too low over sidewalks or roads.

If you identify a safety concern that should be addressed immediately, please call Public Works at 305-460-5002 to notify the tree contractor immediately. Alternatively, please email to reach a city arborist.

Yes, residents can execute a tree pruning permit using an ISA-certified arborist and upload it to the online permit portal for review by a city arborist.

Learn more about landscape permits here.

More information about city trees, and permit applications for tree pruning, removal or relocation is available on our Greenspace Management page.

No, there is no GIS or online mapping program to find the location of tree pruning crew trucks in real time. Internally, the city uses a program called Cartegraph to map assets and keep tree pruning data for internal scheduling.