Up to $500 available per owner of single-family home per year for certain species, with homeowner putting down $100 deposit
Owners of single-family homes within the city of Sarasota have the opportunity to purchase mature trees for their properties “at a significantly reduced price through Phase 3 of the City’s Mature Tree Program,” city staff has announced.
The city will pay “up to $500 of the cost of purchasing and planting an approved mature tree when a homeowner meets a $100 minimum deposit requirement for the program,” a news release explains.
Approximately 25 trees will be funded and planted on a first-come, first-served basis during Phase 3, the June 30 release adds.
This fall, the release notes, “Phase 4 will be announced and an additional 75 mature trees will be funded.” However, the release cautions, “The program is limited to one tree per resident per calendar year.”
Homeowners may select from five approved tree species:
- Live oak.
- Silver buttonwood.
- Red maple.
- Gumbo limbo .
“Palm trees are not included in the program,” the release points out.
“Depending upon the species, prices range from $545 to $725,” it notes. Homeowners are responsible not only for the $100 deposit but also for any balance beyond the city’s $500 contribution, the release adds.
“Program participants will purchase the tree through the City’s vendor, Tree Biotics, whose team will work with City staff to determine the best placement of the tree between the front plane of the house and right-of-way,” the release explains. “In most cases, planting under utility lines will not be allowed. The homeowner will own the tree and be responsible for care and maintenance,” the release says.
“Since its launch in February 2021,” the release points out, “the Mature Tree Program has funded the planting of 100 mature trees throughout the city.”
The money for the program comes out of the city’s Tree Mitigation Fund, “which collects a portion of tree removal permit dollars to be used specifically for urban canopy programs,” the release explains; $50,000 is allocated for Phase 3.
“In addition to beautifying the community,” the release notes, “trees provide significant benefits including saving energy, cleaning stormwater runoff, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, cleaning the air, lowering the urban heat island effect, providing wildlife habitat, and improving overall health and well-being for people.”
Residents interested in participating in the Mature Tree Program should contact Tree Biotics by calling 941-480-6387 or by sending an email to MatureTreeProgram@gmail.com