Been meaning to add more shade to your property? Wanting to contribute to reversing the effects of deforestation? Single-family homeowners in the City of Sarasota now have the chance to purchase a mature tree for their property at a significantly reduced price through the city's Mature Tree Program.
According to a press release, The City will now fund up to $500 of the cost of purchasing and planting approved mature trees when homeowners meet a minimum $100 deposit through the program.
Homeowners will have the opportunity to select from five approve tree species, including:
Depending upon the species, prices range from $545 to $725. The release states that homeowners are responsible for the $100 deposit, plus any balance beyond the City’s $500 contribution. The homeowner will also be responsible for the care and maintenance of the tree, once planted.
Those participating in the program will purchase their 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 the right-of-way. In most cases, planting beneath utility lines will not be permitted.
According to the release, approximately 25 trees will be funded and planted on a first-come first-served basis during Phase 3 of the Mature Tree Program. In Fall 2023, Phase 4 will be announced where an additional 75 mature trees will be funded. The program is limited to one tree per resident per calendar year.
Since its launch in February 2021, the Mature Tree Program has funded the planting of 100 mature trees throughout the city.
The program is funded through the City’s Tree Mitigation Fund, which collects a portion of tree removal permit dollars to be used specifically for urban canopy programs. $50,000 has been allocated for Phase 3.
In addition to beautifying the community, 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.
More details about the program can be found within the Mature Tree Program Guidelines at www.SarasotaFL.gov.
Residents interested in participating in the Mature Tree Program should contact Tree Biotics at 941-480-6387 or by email at MatureTreeProgram@gmail.com.
Article by Rachael Volpe