Mangrove Pruning and Local Pruning Codes

Has a customer ever asked you to prune mangroves? Did you know the specifics regarding pruning these trees? An upcoming workshop on October 15 at 6:00pm will cover the requirements for pruning and trimming mangroves and seagrapes. We will briefly look at the three species of mangroves found in South Florida and examine the particularities of each. This workshop will also examine local requirements with regard to pruning and why hiring a certified arborist is beneficial not only to a tree owner but to the tree itself. Knowledge of these items is important to the professional because of regulations that dictate the requirements, procedures, and guidelines regarding pruning and trimming.

Mangrove pruning follows unique rules. Photo: UF Laura Sanagorski

Mangroves provide habitat to various species of wildlife and aid in the marine food web support. They also serve as a natural protection from storms, stabilize shorelines, and maintain water quality. Mangroves are also important commercially and recreationally, providing opportune fishing areas. Due to detrimental effects of improper pruning, the 1996 Mangrove Preservation and Trimming Act was established by the Florida Legislature to establish guidelines and regulations regarding the pruning of mangroves.The seagrape also provides habitat and serves as a stabilizer for beach dunes. Seagrapes play an important role in the nesting habitat of sea turtles serving as a natural barrier to artificial lighting. Improper trimming of seagrapes can have an adverse affect on nesting resulting in the establishment of regulations under the Florida Statutes to provide guidelines on trimming and pruning.

The pruning of trees and palms should be conducted in a correct manner and in PBC all pruning should abide by the Unified Land Development Code, Section 6. The code provides general pruning requirements and guidelines that promote proper maintenance of trees and palms and assist in preserving their aesthetic and ecological value.

(Too many rules? Join us as we discuss these regulations at 6:00pm on October 15, in the Mounts auditorium. This program is the sixth of eight in the 2012 Strengthening our Community Tree Canopy Series’ for professionals, a project supported by FDACS and the Florida Forest Service through a 2011 Urban and Community Forestry Grant.  To learn more about upcoming topics in this series, Download the 2012 Urban Forestry Brochure here.  CEUs available for ISA, FNGLA, and LIAF).

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