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Trees are an important asset to the City of Fort Lauderdale and its citizens. For years, Fort Lauderdale has been planting trees with the help of its citizens. Through the Adopt-a-Tree Program, the City is able to form a partnership with concerned homeowners to improve our city streets.


Fort Lauderdale, through the Adopt-A-Tree Program, will provide a variety of trees to homeowners to plant in the swale area (the grassy strip between the pavement and the sidewalk) adjacent to their property. Prior to tree planting an onsite inspection is required by the City Urban Forester to determine the appropriate tree(s) species for the Right of Way (ROW) area in accordance with Right Tree Right Place principles. The homeowner must then plant the tree and care for it. Adopting a tree is a big commitment and should be taken seriously.

Homeowner's Commitment

To participate in the City of Fort Lauderdale Adopt-A-Tree Program, you agree to complete the following:

  • Plant all trees on the City swale (the area between the sidewalk or property line and the street). Note that as the City Urban Forester will be conducting an onsite inspection to determine appropriate tree species and planting locations in coorindation with the adjacent property owner, no City ROW permit will be required.
  • Plant all trees within a few days of delivery.
  • Water and maintain trees to ensure survival.
  • Ensure that the planting will not affect utilities, cables and pipes by contacting Sunshine 811 prior to planting to identify any potential underground conflicts.
  • Discontinue any parking on the swale.
  • Plant trees in a location that is:

1. At least 4 feet from the edge of curbed streets and 6 feet from the edge of non-curbed streets.

2. At least 15 feet from fire hydrants or street lights.

3. At least 25 feet from street corners and street signs.

4. At least 30 feet from a large growing tree (newly planted or existing) and 20 feet from a small growing tree.

The City's Commitment

As part of the Adopt-a-Tree Program , Fort Lauderdale agrees to provide you with:

1. Tree species that will best suit the homeowner's swale and community. The homeowner with be given a choice of trees that match the other trees in the neighborhood and will also grow within the confines of the planting area.

2. Tree(s) of good quality. Quality trees will live longer and cost less to maintain over their lifetime.

3. Tree(s) of a size easily planted by the average person. Usually, 15 or 35 gallon (10 to 12 feet tall) nursery stock is used so that the trees can be moved around with ease during the planting process.

4. Planting and care instructions will be given to homeowners. This will be a step-by-step planting and care brochure that should provide all the information need for the first few years of care.

Please complete the adopt-a-tree application and email it to or send via regular mail to the included address. Note that applications will be processed by order of date received. 

If you have any questions or would like to receive an application by mail or via email, please contact Mark Williams, Urban Forester by phone at 954-828-5785 or email Remember to provide your address and contact information in the voicemail and or email.


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