ATLANTIC BEACH HERITAGE TREES
There are certain areas of Atlantic Beach that contain trees or vegetation of special value and concern, and areas areas of such great social, cultural, historical, ecological, environmental or economic significance that they may warrant added measures of protection.
As such, section 23-41 of the Atlantic Beach Code of Ordinances addresses “historic corridors and heritage trees.”
The City of Atlantic Beach has designated sixteen heritage trees (and counting) since 2015 on public and private property. The first designated tree was removed due to lightning strike. All trees are live oaks with one tree hugging a cypress tree. More than 800 diameter inches have been designated. Sentinels to our community’s history, these trees pre-date the incorporation of the City of Atlantic Beach.
According to the City of Atlantic Beach Tree Protection Code definitions, heritage trees on city-owned property (parks and rights-of-way) are “any tree determined by the City Commission to be of unique or intrinsic value due to its age, size, species, and/or cultural, ecological or historical significance or some other contribution to the city’s character, specifically including all Cypress, Live Oak and Magnolia trees with diameter 30 inches or greater.”
Do you have a very special tree on your property? Nominating your tree to become a heritage tree will provide greater protections so that it can be enjoyed for future generations. Even a heritage tree designation will not prevent a tree from ever being removed, but it will make it more costly and difficult to remove. Heritage trees are mitigated at a much higher rate than other types of regulated trees.
Heritage trees are designated as such by the City of Atlantic Beach Commission. The trees are catalogued, mapped and commemorated with a special ceremony and plaque unveiling. The metal, engraved plaque marks the tree and includes essential facts, including: size; species; estimated age; and the name of the tree, which the property owner can provide.
Interested in applying to have your tree designated as a “Heritage Tree”? Here’s an application.
For additional information, contact the Planning and Community Development Department at 247-5817 or firstname.lastname@example.org.