Natural Resources

Lakeland’s Commitment to Preserving Nature for Future Generations

In general, the Natural Resources Department is responsible for administering the Tree Management Ordinance (PDF) and parts of the Stream Buffer Regulations (PDF).

The department also facilitates the Natural Resources Board meetings, conducts tree surveys for public projects, provides environmental education for local schools (on Earth Day, Arbor Day, etc.), manages the Memorial Tree Program (PDF), and applies for Tree City USA.


Trees & Streets

Residents and property owners in Lakeland are required to keep any trees upon their property which extend over a publicly traveled roadway safe and pruned to a minimum height of 12 feet. Any limbs extending over a sidewalk or bike trail must be at least 8 feet off the ground. Further, any trees that are deemed by a certified arborist to present a hazard to a public roadway must be removed by the property owner. The city periodically inspects roadways for such hazards.

Tree Removal Permits

If a resident wishes to have a tree removed from their owner-occupied home, they should check with the city to ensure that they are compliant with the Tree Management Ordinance (PDF). In general, a homeowner will need a permit only when the tree being removed is a specimen tree, as defined in the Tree Management Ordinance.

The criteria for a specimen tree include size and health. The city can assist you in determining if your tree meets the criteria and therefore requires a permit for removal. The requirements for tree removal are different for builders and developers. Builders and developers should meet with city staff before undertaking any clearing activities.

For more information, please call 901-867-2717.