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The City of Tallahassee completed an Urban Forest Master Plan in 2018. The plan is a guide for the future of our community’s tree canopy, to improve this vital city asset as our community grows and changes in the coming years.

Street TreesA healthy urban forest has repeatedly been shown to be a critical component to a vibrant and livable community - economically, environmentally, and socially.

Trees provide effective and low-cost solutions to urban challenges. Urban trees have proven to alleviate water and air pollution, improve public health, increase property value, and enhance the success of business districts. These solutions span multiple city priorities, including public safety, economic development, infrastructure planning, and quality of life.

The following questions and topics were explored as part of this project:
  • What does our urban forest look like now?
  • What is Tallahassee’s vision for the future urban forest?
  • What steps do we need to take to reach our goals?

After completing an assessment of the current state of our urban forest and extensive community outreach, our Urban Forest Master Plan identified goals for urban forest improvement.

Urban Forest Master Plan Goals & Progress


More Urban Forestry Information

Adopt A Tree Programs

Adopt a Tree

Have space for a tree on your property? City and County residents who reside on a City or County maintained roadway can participate in the Adopt-A-Tree program. Our qualified tree professionals will assist you in choosing a tree and site on your property, and will plant the tree free of charge, provided the resident agree to after care.

City of Tallahassee Adopt-A-Tree Program

Leon County Adopt-A-Tree Program


Canopy Roads Committee

Canopy Road

The Canopy Roads Citizens Committee has recently updated the Canopy Roads Management Plan. This plan guides the Committee and staff in advocating for the Canopy Roads Experience, managing the Canopy Roads through development regulations, maintenance of right of way areas, and assistance to property owners along Canopy Roads who wish to make improvements.


Canopy Roads Management Plan


Canopy Roads Management Plan Goals



Get in on the conversation! The Canopy Roads Citizens Committee discusses implementation of the management plan at their public meetings. Meetings are held the third Wednesday of every other month at the Renaissance Center, 2nd floor conference room at 5:30 pm. Also, stay tuned for other public engagement efforts and events, which will be posted on the Community Engagement Calendar at Community Engagement Spotlight.


Related Documents

CRCC Information, Members and Meeting Schedule
Apply for Membership
Request for Committee Review
Designation Policy for New Canopy Roads
New Canopy Road Application

For more information, contact Mindy Mohrman at 850-891-6415 or via email.


Caring for your Trees

Urban Forestry at Home Caring for Your Trees


Trees are major assets to your home and to our community and with proper care, a life-long investment in your home and quality of life.

Right Tree, Right Place - Matching the right tree to the right place is the best way to ensure survival, reduced maintenance needs, and maximum benefits. Consider the mature size of the tree and space constraints such as overhead utility wires, nearby structures and hardscapes, and other plants.

Tree Sizes

Other considerations:

  • Intended function (shade, screen, ornamental)
  • Diversity - choose a species not overused in the area
  • Exposure (sun, shade)
  • Soil conditions

List of approved species for planting near power lines

Tree Care Starts at Planting - Many tree health issues can be avoided by properly planting the tree. The trunk flare, where the roots and trunk meet, should be at or slightly above grade. Water thoroughly at planting, and only stake if necessary.

Watering: Providing water when the soil is dry is the absolute best thing you can do a for a tree of any age. Provide about 1-3" of water per week, including rainfall. For new trees, water directly over the root ball. Mature trees benefit from extra water during dry periods. Focus water on the "dripline," the area where the branches end.

Other Plant Health Care: Think in terms of prevention, a healthy tree can withstand pressures from pests and diseases without additional treatments.

  • Watering during dry periods is essential!
  • Mulch helps retain moisture in the soil, and reduce competition from other plants. Apply a 2-4 inch layer evenly extending well out from under the branches, and not touching the trunk.
  • For specific problems, consult a professional arborist.
Planting New Trees

Planting New Trees:The City of Tallahassee and Leon County offer an Adopt-a-Tree program to assist residents in the planting of trees within public street rights of way. For information, visit:

City of Tallahassee Adopt-A-Tree Program
Leon County Adopt-A-Tree Program

Recognizing Risk - While only a small number of trees cause injury or property damage, every tree has the potential for risk. Recognizing common defects associated with tree risk can be helpful, but evaluating the seriousness of those defects is best done by a professional arborist. An arborist can also help to provide solutions or treatments that may help to reduce risk so that the tree does not need to be removed.

What to look for:

  1. Regrowth from topping or other pruning.
  2. Tree growing into electrical lines.
  3. Broken or partially attached branch.
  4. Open cavity in trunk or branches.
  5. Dead or dying branches.
  6. Branches connections too close to one another.
  7. Decay or rot present in old wounds.
  8. Recent changes in grade, soil level, or construction.
Recognizing Risks

How to hire an Arborist - An ISA (International Society of Arboriculture) Certified Aborist is someone who has demonstrated a basic knowledge of tree care through the completion of a comprehensive exam on tree trimming, care and removal. Hiring a tree service that employs ISA Certified Arborists ensures that a minimum standard of professional tree care is being met. Additionally, a Tree Risk Assessment Qualified (TRAQ) Arborist is trained to assess tree risk. You can find Certified Arborists and verify ISA credentials at

Also check to see if the tree care company is a member of a professional organization such as the International Society of Arboriculture, American Society of Consulting Arborists, Tree Care Industry Association or the Florida Arborist Association.

Insurance - Personal and Property Damage Liability Insurance and Worker's Compensation Insurance are both very important. Ask for a certificate of insurance issued directly to you from their insurance carrier with you listed as the certificate holder. Don't accept a copy of this document as this may be out of date.

Download printable version of this information


Additional Resources

University of Florida IFAS Extension
Trees Are Good
Florida Friendly Landscaping
Find an arborist or verify an ISA Certified Arborist credentials

Planting details and specifications

The Urban Tree Foundation has made available an open source, free, up-to-date and peer reviewed set of details in AutoCAD and PDF formats for the green industry.

For code requirements related to tree preservation and landscaping during development, please visit City of Tallahassee Growth Management or Leon County Development Services and Environmental Management.

Download a printable version of this information.

Caring for Your Trees


Benefits of Street Trees

Street Trees

Street trees offer numerous psychological, social and economic benefits for Tallahassee's residents and businesses. Typically, street trees are planted in the area between the sidewalk and the street (see Figure 1). They improve people's health, provide more safety for pedestrians and vehicles, maintain and improve the environment, save us money, and offer many other benefits to the community. It seems even the most urbanized life would not be the same without street trees.

  • Trees can reduce obesity because people using the sidewalk to walk for health are motivated when they know trees are present along their route.
  • Trees mitigate the symptoms of children with ADHD and help prevent respiratory problems.
  • The presence of street trees enhances concentration and ultimately greater productivity.
  • Hospital patients recover better when in the presence of trees.
  • Trees serve as a visual and auditory buffer between pedestrians and automobile traffic.
  • Street trees reduce automobile-related crashes and injuries, likely because they define the roadside edge which leads drivers to exercise greater caution.
  •  Elements close to the edge of the street, like street trees, can strongly affect a driver's speed.
  • Street trees calm traffic and protect the pedestrian space (the area from the buildings to the street) while they shade the street and sidewalk.
  • Pedestrians are more comfortable walking with the buffer and motorists are more comfortable driving at a slower speed.
  • A lack of trees may have a psychological effect on people that causes destructive and violent behavior.
  • Among low-income neighborhoods, studies show that greener residences have lower crime rates than neighborhoods that were barren.
  • Trees can reduce social service budgets, police calls for domestic violence, and child abuse while strengthening urban communities.

Street trees clean the air by filtering pollutants such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and other small particulates.

For more information, please contact the Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department at 850-891-6400.1010.

  • Trees reduce up to 60% of particulates at the street level.
  • Topsoil erosion, waterway contamination, flash flooding, and groundwater depletion are all mitigated by trees.
  • Noise pollution is cut up to by 50% when street trees act as a buffer
  • The presence of trees is highly important and valuable for the urban environment and streetscape.
  • Street trees raise property values.
  • Street trees remain the cheapest way to effectively remove CO2 from the atmosphere.
  • Street trees boost economic development because shoppers are going to pay up to 11% more for products in the presence of street trees than they would in a barren urban setting, likely because shoppers perceive the quality of products to be better and stay longer in commercial areas trees.
  • Office workers that are exposed to nature are reported to be more productive, have fewer illnesses, and have higher job satisfaction than officer workers that did not have a view of nature.
Quality of Life
  • Trees are the most preferred type of street vegetation for aesthetic appeal.
  • People are highly satisfied with street trees in their community and outside their home because they are pleasing to the eye, enhance look of the garden and home, and bring nature closer.
Quality of Life

Trees and Development

Trees and Development

City of Tallahassee

The City of Tallahassee Growth Management Department is responsible for review and permitting for development projects, including all tree preservation, removal, and planting requirements. 

View the City of Tallahassee Land Development Code

Leon County

The Department of Development Support and Environmental Management is responsible for review and permitting for development projects in Leon County, including all tree preservation, removal, and planting requirements. 

View the Leon County Land Development Code



Urban Forestry at Home Urban Forestry Tree Matrix
Version: 3110 (9/14/2017 9:07 AM) |