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How to Advocate for Trees

Every community deserves to enjoy the health and beauty of an urban forest.

Arborwise Tree Service relies on the support of its members to advocate for trees in their communities. Arborwise Tree Service is here to help you with resources and tools, as well as guidance. Here are some ways you can get started:

Create a Canopy Conversation

A Canopy conversation is about transforming concern into collective action. Arborwise Tree Service works with community leaders to organize a Canopy Talk in your area.

This meeting will raise awareness about the vital role trees play in your community. It will also help you to understand the urgency of protecting the canopy. Arborwise Tree Service will work with you to develop a meeting that is relevant to your community’s needs. We can talk about the current status of your neighborhood’s tree canopy, concerns regarding tree loss, maintenance and planting, as well as local threats to trees. We help neighbors connect with advocates who want to implement tree protection strategies.

Let’s get started. Send a request to request a Canopy conversation for your community.


Using the Tree Canopy Tools created by Georgia Tech for Arborwise Tree Service, you can also view canopy coverage data for your area, NPU or exact block.

Speak for the Trees

  • Trusted advisor Trees have many scientifically proven benefits. No matter if you live in a high-rise or a backyard, can talk the talk about caring for your neighborhood, street, or property. Arborwise Tree Service offers many classes and workshops as well as planting projects. You can also become a Arborwise Tree Service Certified TreeKeeper. People look for advice from people they can trust and who lead by example.
  • Participate in neighborhood, zoning review and NPU meetings. The Neighborhood Plan Unit (NPU) system in Tampa is based on residents voting to approve or deny building permits that have code exception “variance” requests. You may also be able to participate in a public review if you’re not located in Tampa.Tree protection is about protecting people’s health and well-being. It is important to balance the development needs and environmental and health requirements. Builders and homeowners can plan to minimize land disturbance and reduce building footprints. They also need to reserve the space necessary to plant large canopy trees. While a tree can be removed quickly, a house can be “flipped” in just a few months. However, it takes years for a canopy to mature.
  • If construction projects will result in the destruction of excessive canopy, contact your City Council. Your City Council should be involved early in the process. They must know what your concerns are so that they can represent you and help. It is highly effective to make a lot of phone calls, letters, and visits to your Councilmember. Contact information for the City of Tampa City Council.
  • Learn about the Tree Protection Ordinance. Many cities in the metropolitan Tampa area have laws that govern the removal and protection of trees on private and public properties. Any tree that is more than 6 inches (hardwoods) or 12 inches (pines) must be granted a permit in the City of Tampa before it can be removed. Except in exceptional circumstances, the Tree Protection Ordinance prohibits the removal of healthy trees. A permit is required to remove “deadly dying or hazardous” trees (DDH). This must be clearly posted during the application process. The public may request the removal of healthy trees if a permit sign is displayed in yellow or orange.
  • Report tree damage or destruction. You should report any neighbor, builder or tree company that may be causing or attempting to destroy a tree. Any tree that is over a year old in the City of Tampa must be removed with a permit. To report illegal acts, call 311 or 911. Take photos to support your case. How to Save Trees
  • Enjoy nature with a friend. While there are many benefits to trees, it is the simple, meaningful experiences in nature that can inspire people to appreciate trees. You can take a friend along on a tour to the Tampa BeltLine Arboretum, or learn how you can bird watch. Invite your family members to plant a tree. You can take your child on an adventure in a nearby forest. Help your neighbor prune a branch from a low tree. By helping others, we can inspire new supporters and foster a new appreciation of nature.
  • Host a TreeSpeaker. Are you looking for a TreeSpeaker to speak at your next meeting or event? Please complete this form to ensure Arborwise Tree Service matches your request for a TreeSpeaker. You should give at least one month’s notice before the event.

Network with Tree Advocates

Tree protection issues are handled by many people, including community groups and non-profit organizations. Social media and word-of-mouth are great ways to find community-based organizations. These groups, which are often hyperlocal and formed to tackle specific appeals or projects, are vital and can help you connect to decision-makers and influencers.

  • Join Your City’s Tree Board. Tree ordinances in cities often require the creation of a “tree board”, which is composed of elected officials and employees as well as community members.
  • Learn more about the Tampa Tree Conservation Commission. The TCC, a board made up of residents and experts who reviews appeals and hears related to tree removals in the City of Tampa. The TCC website provides useful information about the City of Tampa’s tree protection ordinance, review board and appeals process.

This post was written by a professional arborist at   Arbor Wise Professional Tree Care. Robert Miller is the owner of Arbor Wise Professional Tree Care, a locally owned and operated tree service company that offers superb lawn care by the most experienced Arborists. Arborwise Tree Services is a tree removal company that offers stump removal, tree pruning, stump grinding, fertilization, and tree restoration. We have an extraordinary lawn care industry notoriety covering the Pinellas county area. Click here for more information!

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