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Author Topic: Approved Tree Species to Replant in Pinellas Co.  (Read 273 times)

irun5k

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Approved Tree Species to Replant in Pinellas Co.
« on: August 04, 2020, 09:11:45 AM »
Hi all, we are building a new home in unincorporated Pinellas County.  It is a custom homebuilder on a lot we own vs. a subdivision.  For a lot of our size the county requires 3 shade trees and 3 accent trees.  I am sure some pointed haired bureaucrat that has probably never been in a garden in his life has come up with the list of "approved" trees soon after moving here from a cold weather climate.

The only two fruit trees on the shade tree list are avocado and lychee, but conveniently both of which were already of interest to me.  Of course they don't mention cultivar, but they do say the trunk has to be 2 inches in diameter.   Getting either of these trees at that size would cost a small fortune? Probably 60 gallon size or something?

Wondering if anyone has gone through his process in Pinellas.  Do they sent out an inspector or do anything beyond reviewing the landscaping plan?  I was hoping to include a Jackfruit and Sapodilla trees as well, but of course they're not on the list.

I wonder if it would be easier to just let the builder's landscaper put in whatever generic, standards compliant junk they need to make us legal and dig it up after we move in and replace with whatever we want.  I was hoping to avoid that because it seems like a waste of money but OTOH it may not be worth fighting it.

As an aside, no fruit trees are on the accent tree list but they do include plumeria of which I have several I've been container growing that I was hoping to utilize, although those have a 1 1/2" trunk requirement and I probably don't meet that either.

Thanks


bsbullie

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Re: Approved Tree Species to Replant in Pinellas Co.
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2020, 09:20:56 AM »
I have not done this in Pinellas but have been involved in other Counties in Florida.  There are usually a required native tree list (the Counties I have dealt with) and a list of unapproved trees.  Yes, you will need to submit a plan for approval and they will inspect (or at least they are supposed to).  Someone somewhat recently posted a landscape architect contact who had knowledge of fruit trees.

You should also check as most Counties also have a minimum height for the trees.  They dont want a yard full of scrawny trees for new construction plantings.

Yes, the initial planting will not be cheap.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2020, 03:59:10 PM by bsbullie »
- Rob

fliptop

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Re: Approved Tree Species to Replant in Pinellas Co.
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2020, 09:52:49 AM »
I thought about going with the "required" plantings when I built in Charlotte County, with the mind I would dig them up and try and sell the trees after getting the Certificate of Occupancy.

I then found out I could simply pay a fee to not comply, which is the route I took. I had too many other things to contend with than going through the rigmarole of paying for landscaping I didn't want and trying to recoup some money by becoming a driveway nursery.

Funny thing is, I got waaaay more trees on my lot than what was required, albeit mine are pretty much all fruit trees.

See if you can pay a fee instead of playing along?

irun5k

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Re: Approved Tree Species to Replant in Pinellas Co.
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2020, 10:46:30 AM »
I then found out I could simply pay a fee to not comply, which is the route I took. I had too many other things to contend with than going through the rigmarole of paying for landscaping I didn't want and trying to recoup some money by becoming a driveway nursery.

That might prove to be workable:
The applicant may provide a monetary contribution up to 40 percent of the tree requirement to a formally-adopted tree mitigation fund at a rate established by the board of county commissioners

So, it looks like that would solve part of the problem, apparently I'd need 3.6 trees, 1.8 would need to be shade and 1.8 would be accent.   That would be easier to stomach since I could probably come up with a couple trees from their list that I'd be willing to keep.

There are also a couple of existing palms (Queens?) that may or may not be in the way of the house- should know that in the next couple of weeks.  If they end up being safely in the side yard I suppose I could retain those for now and they might count toward the total requirement although but eh... might be warmer to that idea if they were something I would have planted anyway.   



« Last Edit: August 04, 2020, 10:55:13 AM by irun5k »

Jackson

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Re: Approved Tree Species to Replant in Pinellas Co.
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2020, 01:04:20 PM »
I would follow Bsbullie's advice and double check with the county on whether you need to pick from an approved list of native trees.
I am in Pinellas county and went through this process a couple of years ago. When we signed our contract with the builder, we were given the impression that the lot was part of unincorporated Pinellas county. We had no reason to question it because our neighbors on either side were part of unincorporated Pinellas. What the builder did not tell us was that he had allowed the city to annex our lot.  The tree issue became an absolute nightmare.

There were 35 or more native trees on the 3/4 acre lot. Some needed to be cut for the home construction. The City moved the location of the house on the lot when the plan was submitted because they wanted to save some of the trees at the front of the lot. I tried to argue with them because those trees looked to be in pretty bad shape to my admittedly untrained eyes. According to city code, we are only required to have 6 native trees on our size lot. But, long story short, we ended up with about 27 native trees, still had to plant 3 additional native trees plus pay $4000 in fines for the trees that were cut.

The "best" part, earlier this year I had a couple of arborists stop by because I wanted quotes for some tree trimming. Both of them told me that the trees in front (which I had argued to be removed) were in such bad shape that they needed to be removed. I was livid when I heard that. Not only was I right all along that the trees were sick but my house is further back on the lot than I wanted and it will it cost me a few thousand dollars to have these trees removed.

Good Luck!!

irun5k

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Re: Approved Tree Species to Replant in Pinellas Co.
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2020, 10:02:29 PM »
I would follow Bsbullie's advice and double check with the county on whether you need to pick from an approved list of native trees.
I am in Pinellas county and went through this process a couple of years ago. When we signed our contract with the builder, we were given the impression that the lot was part of unincorporated Pinellas county. We had no reason to question it because our neighbors on either side were part of unincorporated Pinellas. What the builder did not tell us was that he had allowed the city to annex our lot.  The tree issue became an absolute nightmare.

That sounds horrible!  Sorry you had to deal with all that- clearly counter productive and not accomplishing any sort of "save the trees" goal.  What city in Pinellas are you in?  Our lot is in unincorporated Seminole- I guess I should be lucky there are only a couple palms on our lot but I'm still fully expecting to get jammed up along the way by someone at least once.

johnb51

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Re: Approved Tree Species to Replant in Pinellas Co.
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2020, 09:08:55 AM »
Freakin' ignorant bureaucrats!
John

 

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