Before the Event
(See Also Debris and Trash Removal)
- Trim trees and shrubbery regularly by cutting weak branches and thinning foliage to decrease the chance that plants will be uprooted. Remove limbs resting on your roof.
- Prune trees for strength and form. Prune injured, diseased and dead branches. Remove co-dominant leaders and multi-trunks to encourage the growth of one main single central leader on the tree.
- Do not attempt to trim any vegetation growing on or near overhead power lines. Only specially trained line-clearing professionals should work around power lines.
- Please refrain from trimming trees once a hurricane watch has been posted as the trimmings may become projectiles during the storm.
Be sure you consult with your local municipality for any specific provisions regarding tree pruning in your area. "Hat-racking" and " tree-topping" are both illegal. Residents without experience using a chain saw should seek professional assistance, or the assistance of someone familiar with operation of the equipment.
Hiring a Tree Trimmer
Beware of unlicensed tree trimmers, who may be cheaper, but often deliver poor quality work, resulting in greater long-term costs. To protect homeowners from amateur tree trimmers and ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the community, the Broward County Board of County Commissioners passed an ordinance in 2000 requiring licensing for all commercial tree trimmers. Homeowners with hat-racked, unsightly or abused trees are subject to fines.
- Get written estimates from different tree companies.
- Verify the company's occupational license.
- Check the company's insurance for property damage and personal liability. Call the insurance company to verify that the appropriate coverage is in effect.
- Ask to see a copy of the company's tree trimmer license and training card. Because some unlicensed companies may attempt to present false licenses or training cards, homeowners should familiarize themselves with the official tree trimmer license, certified arborist card and training certificate.
- To verify a tree trimmer's license, call the Environmental Licensing & Building Permitting Division at 954-765-4400, option 2.
- For more information, visit broward.org/permittingandlicensing, and select Find a Licensed Contractor/Tree Trimmer.
Updated September 2015