Many of the coastal areas in Florida are filled with mangroves, which are gorgeously complicated-looking trees. A lot of people who live in those areas may want to trim mangroves to improve their view of the coast, but this comes with some risks to the mangrove trees. If you’re interested in learning about how to properly trim mangroves, or if you even can, then keep reading!

Why Should I Be Careful if I Decide to Trim Mangroves?

Mangroves, for all of their beauty, are a delicate but important piece of the ecosystem in Florida. If they get trimmed incorrectly, they could easily get damaged and die. If that happens, then that throws the entire ecosystem in that area out of whack, causing environmental issues such as land erosion, poor water quality, loss of wildlife, and more. That is why a large number of people in the landscaping business will tell you that hiring a professional mangrove trimmer is the safest way to go about this.

Best Practices for DIY

If you are set on taking on this project yourself, then you will need to know about all regulations relating to mangrove trimming. The “Mangrove Trimming and Preservation Act” was passed in 1996, intending to balance the rights of homeowners to trim and the safety of the mangrove environment. Let’s look at some of these regulations:

  • Homeowners are allowed to trim mangroves themselves only within a set height range. If the mangrove in question is between 6ft and 10ft, a homeowner may trim it themselves. If the tree is under 6ft, it isn’t allowed to be trimmed. If it’s over 10ft, you are required to have a professional mangrove trimmer take care of it.
    • For mangroves over 16ft, the trimming is required to be done in stages over a few years. Over 24ft and you’ll need DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) authorization.
  • If a mangrove has been legally trimmed previously, homeowners can do so as long as it maintains the previous height and structure.
  • If your property shoreline is over 150ft, then you are allowed to trim about 65% of the mangrove trees along that.

Any other trimming or alteration of mangroves requires a permit. Professional tree trimming and arborists know how to trim mangroves and fully comply with these regulations, from obtaining permits to proper maintenance.

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Risks of Not Following the Rules

There are actual repercussions for not following all environmental regulations. After a first-time offense, homeowners might be required to restore that area. If there are any further violations, then you get into the realm of being fined.

  • You could owe up to $100 for each mangrove that you trim illegally.
  • You could owe up to $250 for each mangrove altered illegally.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding whether or not you should trim a mangrove on your property, you can always reach out to your local environmental officials to make sure you can do so. You can also check out the Mangrove Trimming Guidelines for Homeowners on the Florida Department of Environmental Protection website.

Mangroves are an essential part of the Florida coastal ecosystem, so making sure that they are taken care of properly is incredibly important. This includes proper trimming, as they can overgrow and cause issues. They can devalue properties by blocking the view or obstructing the docks. They could also become a breeding ground for mosquitoes if they grow too wild. Ensuring that you follow all regulations for caring for the mangrove trees on your property is the best way to keep your home beautiful and your mangroves healthy. We hope this has been a helpful article for you, and we’ll see you next time!

The team at PCFTree can help you clean up and trim mangroves on your property. Don’t risk fines or safety when working around water. Give us a call or complete the online form and we will get you an estimate to get your property in shape. We can apply for permits on your behalf if needed, and we also offer plans to trim your mangroves on a regular schedule. We look forward to working with you.