Tampa has long had regulations protecting its most prized trees, the Grand Oaks *. (Beginning under Mayor Dick Greco, 1973) Supporters of these regulations cite the fact that they add value to the land, provide shade, mitigate wind and remove greenhouse gases.
Developers complain that the regulations have become too complex, too restrictive and take too much time ensuring compliance.
Some builders are pushing to have certain trees, including the Laurel Oak, removed from the protected list. The Laurel Oak has a shorter lifespan, maturing at around 40 or 50 years, and may pose liability risk to landowners.
Tampa's mayor, Bob Buckhorn, has a committee looking into ways to simplify and streamline certain regulations, including those that pertain to Tampa's Grand Oaks.
Tampa residents, business owners and anyone providing tree removal, trimming and pruning in the City of Tampa will need to watch closely as these regulations are reviewed and tweaked.
I am confident that my clients at Mid Florida Tree Service are keeping themselves informed of this developing story.
* The regulation actually protects a wide range of tree species. "Grand Oak" is a designation given to larger, older trees, usually LIve Oaks, quercus virginiana