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Tree Care

Tree Care

On-Line Resources:
[ A Guide To Preventing Tree Abuse | Recognizing Tree Hazards ]
A Guide To Preventing Tree Abuse - (Prepared by The City of Ft Lauderdale)

What Is Tree Abuse?

Tree abuse can include a number of things such as damage to the root system, sever neglect of tree nutrition, altering the natural shape of the tree, or hatracking.

The Results of Hatracking or Improper Pruning

Starvation - Good pruning practices rarely remove more than 1/4 to 1/3 of the crown, which in turn does not seriously interfere with the ability of a tree's leafy crown to manufacture food.

Insects and Diseases - The large stubs of an improperly pruned tree are more suceptible to inspect damage and fungi.

Weak Branches - The wood of a new branch that grows after a larger one is removed is more weakly attached than the branch that develops normally.

Tree Death - An improperly pruned tree is a disfigured tree. Even with its regrowth it never regains the grace and character of it's species. The landscape and community are robbed of a valuable asset.


To a worker with a saw, hatracking a tree is much easier than applying the skill and judgement needed for good pruning. Improperly pruning a tree may cost less in teh short run. However the true costs are hidden. These include: reduced property value, the expense of equivalent replacement, increased future maintenance, and the risk of liability from weaked branches.


The weakened wood from an improperly pruned tree is much more suceptible to breakage. This breakage may result in legal liability.

Penalties For Tree Abuse

The owner of the property on which the tree abuse occured may be required to replant and equivalent replacement.

Tree Removal Permit Requirements

A tree permit is required if a tree has at least 3" in trunk diameter, or if a palm has a least 8' in trunk height on all but developed, single family property. On single family property, a tree needs at least 18" in trunk diameter to require a removal permit. Exempted are Australian Pines, Brazilian Pepper, and Melaleuca.

Helpful Numbers - City of Fort Lauderdale
Building Permits and Inspections 954-828-5191
Community Inspections 954-828-5207
Planning & Zoning Information 954-828-5203
Planning & Zoning Administration 954-828-5260
Occupational Licenses 954-828-5195
Engineering Permits Utilities Services 954-828-5048
One Stop Shop General Information 954-828-5191
Fort Lauderdale Web Site

Tree Preservation Ordinance Information

For additional information about tree preservation ordinance, contact:

Kimberly Pearson
City of Fort Lauderdale
300 NW 1st Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301
Tel: 954.828.5200 | Fax: 954-828-5275
Office Hours: Monday - Friday 1:00pm - 3:00 pm or by appointment


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