City of Sarasota’s mature tree incentivization program relaunched as Neighborhood Canopy Program

Reservations being taken for spring plantings

This is a pink tabebuia tree. Photo by Chan Chun Leong, on Singapore’s National Parks website

The City of Sarasota’s “mature tree incentivization program is back and even better with a new name and new tree species!” city leaders announced in the city’s Feb. 2 newsletter.

“Now called the Neighborhood Canopy Program, the initiative encourages residents to plant and maintain large canopy trees,” the newsletter points out. The city’s Tree Mitigation Fund pays up to $500 toward an approved canopy tree after city staff has received the required $100 deposit, the newsletter notes.

Reservations are being taken for plantings this spring, the release says, with the following species available: magnolia, bald cypress, Southern red cedar, holly and pink tabebuia.

The release does emphasize, “Palm trees are not included in the program.”

Residents select their preferred species, and then each tree is planted by the city’s vendor, Mast Landscape Management, in coordination with the city’s arborists following the “right tree, right location” philosophy, the release explains.

“We anticipate as many as 150 mature trees will be planted during the spring cycle, each with a minimum 2-inch caliper, adding to the City’s urban canopy, helping to lower the island heat effect, providing habitat for wildlife and boosting property values,” the release adds.

The next planting cycle will be this fall, with different species available, the release notes: live oak, green buttonwood, royal poinciana, ligustrum and orange geiger. “The required deposit will remain the same: $100.”

The release does point out that the program has a limit of one tree per residential property in a calendar year.

Anyone interested in participating in the program may reach out to Mast Landscape Management at 941-480-6387 or email the city at