Tree Removal and Replacements Information

Tree Removal and Replacement Permits

Manatee County Government regulates the planting, removal and preservation of trees in order to protect and enhance valuable natural resources.
Tree removal authorization is required for residential street trees, and a tree removal permit is required for Homeowner Association (HOA) common areas, commercial sites and conservation areas.

To report illegal tree removal, contact Code Enforcement at (941) 748-3094 or



Residential Street Trees

Online Application for Residential Street Tree Removal or Replacement 


Street trees are defined as the required tree planted within 25 feet from the right of way along the frontage of single family lots built after 1992. The replacement street tree may be a canopy, understory tree, or palm tree (2 palms are required for each tree removed).*

A suggested tree list is provided to assist homeowners in selecting the appropriate replacement tree. However, Manatee County does not dictate the species of tree to be planted and does not override the Homeowners’ Association (HOA) landscape requirements. The HOA for your neighborhood may require approval of proposed replacement tree species.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to also contact HOA to obtain their approval.

Side yard and back yard residential trees are not regulated by Manatee County, unless they are adjacent to a conservation easement or conservation area.


A.   Conditions for Street Removal and Replacement Authorization


The following conditions are approved reasons for the removal (and replacement) of a street tree:


  1. The tree does not meet Public Works standards for utility setbacks:
    • 10 feet from any potable water main, reclaimed water main, sanitary force main or gravity sanitary sewer main that is owned and maintained by Manatee County.
    • 10 feet from sidewalks located within the right of way.
  2. The tree does not meet standards for private utility setbacks:
    • 4 feet from a backflow preventer or sewer clean-out valve.
    • 6 feet from a walkway or driveway.
  3. The tree is causing conflicts with driveways, sidewalks, water service lines, sewer service, backflow preventer, overhead utility and street lights, etc. that can’t be remedied by corrective, appropriate maintenance practices. 
  4. The tree is dead, diseased, or in declining health.  

B.   Requirements for Replacement Trees


  1. Replacement tree(s) must be planted within 30 days of the removal of existing tree.
  2. Replacement canopy trees shall be 2½ inch caliper, 25 – 50 gallons, with a minimum height of 10 feet. 
  3. Replacement understory trees shall be 1½ inch caliper, 25-30 gallons, with a minimum height of 6 feet.
  4. Palm trees shall have an overall height of 15 feet at planting.
  5. Trees shall be graded Florida #1 by Florida Grades and Standards for Nursery Plants.
  6. All trees shall be planted within 25’ from back of the ROW.
  7. Lots with over 100 feet of linear right of way (ROW) frontage require one canopy tree for every 50’ feet of frontage.
  8. Lots with 60 – 100 feet of linear ROW, the street tree shall be limited to 1 canopy per frontage.
  9. Lots with less than 60 feet of linear ROW frontage require only one, smaller maturing, canopy or an understory tree per lot regardless of the number of street trees removed.  Corner lots will be required to provide two street trees maximum, one per frontage.
  10. Lots with less than 25 feet back from ROW may plant an approved understory tree.  
  11. Trees cannot be planted within a public or private utilities easement or setback. 
  12. Existing trees located within 25 feet of the ROW may be considered in lieu of a replacement tree. Prohibited tree species will not be considered for this option.


 The tree removal authorization is good for only one tree.  An application must be completed for each tree to be removed. 


*  Canopy Tree shall mean a tree species which produces one (1) main trunk and normally reaches a height of thirty (30) feet or more upon maturity.


*  Understory Tree shall mean any tree species which produces single trunk or multiple trunks and normally reaches a height of less than thirty (30) feet upon maturity.




 Please note that TREE SPECIES may be subject to Homeowners Association (HOA) Approval.  Contact your HOA for final species selection.


Canopy Trees : (2 ½ in. caliper, 25-50 gallon with a minimum height of 10ft)
• Black Gum Tupelo
• Hickory
• Live Oak, Highrise Oak, Cathedral Live Oak
• Loblolly Bay
• Longleaf Pine
• Red Maple
• Slash Pine
• Southern Magnolia including Little Gem
• Southern Red Cedar
• Sweetbay Magnolia
• Sweetgum (Rotundiloba-seedless)
• Sycamore
• Winged Elm

Understory Trees:  (1 ½ in. caliper, 25-30 gallon with a minimum height of 6ft)
• Cherry Laurel
• Crepe Myrtle
• Eugenia – natives only
• Golden/Yellow Trumpet
• Holly – Eagleston
• Japanese Blueberry
• Japanese Privet (Ligustrum Japonica)
• Loquat
• Podocarpus – tree form only
• Queen’s Crepe Myrtle
• Red Bay
• Shady Lady Black Olive
• Walter’s Viburnum – tree form only

Palms: (2 palms are required to replace one tree. Palms must have a minimum overall height of 15 feet at the time of planting)
• Bismarck Palm
• Canary Island Date Palm
• Chinese Fan Palm
• Needle Palm
• Ribbon Palm
• Sabal-Cabbage Palm
• Foxtail Palm




Trees located in a common area, commercial property, or conservation area are regulated differently than residential street trees by Manatee County. The Tree Removal Permit (TRP) application must be submitted in person. The cost for a TRP is $300.00 for removal of up to 15 trees and $500.00 for removal of over 15 trees. 


Download the Tree Removal Application for Common Areas, Commercial, Conservation and Exemptions. The TRP application may also be obtained by calling or visiting:


Manatee Building and Development Services – Environmental Review

1112 Manatee Ave W. Bradenton, Florida 34205

4th floor of the Administration Building, Room 408

Phone:  (941) 748-4501

A.    Common Areas

Common areas are properties which are maintained by a shared association such as condos, villas and manufactured home parks. Common areas are typically maintained by a Homeowners Association (HOA), Community Development District (CDD) or Co-Op and are subject to the Manatee County Land Development Code (LDC).  Examples of common areas include: front entrances, roadway buffers, perimeter buffers, greenbelt buffer, vehicle use areas, playground/picnic areas, pools and clubhouses, boulevards, and golf courses. 


B.    Commercial/Retail Properties

These areas are considered to be common areas and are subject to the County LDC, therefore they require the Tree Removal Permit (TRP). A permit is only required for trees that are part of the original approved landscape plan.


C.    Conservation Areas

Trees located in conservation easement areas, wetland buffers, within landscape buffers, and/or in utility easements are all subject to the LDC and need a Tree Removal Permit (TRP). 


D.    Exotic Invasive Trees  

  • Exotic invasive trees are typically unprotected by the County and have adverse effects on the natural environment. The removal of these species is encouraged and their planting is prohibited.  Examples include Paper Mulberry, Australian Pine, Ear Tree, Punk Tree, Brazilian Pepper, Carrotwood, and Indian Rosewood.  
  • Exotic invasive removal of an acre or more requires a permit, but the fee will be waived. A plan must be submitted to show adequate erosion control and tree protection for the present non-invasive species.

E.    Right of Way (ROW)

Trees located in the ROW are subject to a ROW Use Permit in addition to the Tree Removal Permit. 


For more information on tree removal and replacement in Manatee County, contact:


Brittany Serafin, Environmental Technician

Building and Development Services

(941) 748-4501 x6204