Tree Pruning

Proper tree pruning can improve a tree’s health, safety, and appearance. However, if improperly pruned, a tree may become diseased, may die, and may present a greater safety hazard. Therefore, in order to protect our City’s tree canopy, the City of Miami requires that tree pruning must comply with methods specified by the American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) ANSI A300 – Standards for Tree Care Operations, as indicated by Chapter 17 of the Code of the City of Miami.

Examples of Improper Pruning

The following are common examples of improper pruning which would likely violate the City’s tree protection ordinance and result in fines.

  • Removal of more than 25% of a tree’s canopy in any one year period.
  • Topping or hat-racking – the cutting back of the trunk and/or main branches of a tree, removing an excess of the tree canopy or crown.
  • Lion tailing – the excessive removal of living foliage from the interior of the main branches of a tree.


The resources above are offered for educational purposes. In the event of discrepancies between the Code of the City of Miami and any other materials cited above, the City Code shall have precedence.


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