To maximize the retention of trees, a valuable natural resource of the community, the lot owner should use existing trees to meet this requirement, however the minimum can also be met with planting trees. A tally of 40 tree inches per acre must be preserved or planted on a lot. For example, if a lot is .25 acres, 10 inches of trees must be preserved or planted on the lot. To get the inch value of any existing tree, measure its diameter at 4.5 feet from ground level. To get the diameter, measure the circumference of the trunk or add together multi-trunked trees and divide by 3.14. For planted tree size, measure the diameter of the trunk or add together multi-trunked trees at 6 inches above the ground. For tree plantings, at least 70% must be a “canopy type” and no more than half of the total can be the same species. Also, at least half must be native species. Trees located within wetland areas or invasive trees cannot be used for credit value. Typical canopy trees include Live Oak, Red Maple, Hickory, Red Cedar, Cypress, Slash or Longleaf Pine and Magnolia.
Tree removal on lots less than one acre with an existing home do not require a tree removal permit, as long as the tree does not lie within a conservation area or buffer or is a specimen tree.
Residential lots that fall under the Ponte Vedra Zoning area (Ordinance 20-38) require a tree removal permit to remove any protected trees.