A St. Petersburg neighborhood banded together to save this banyan tree


Last summer, Florida lawmakers effectively overturned local tree protections when Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill that keeps localities from regulating removal, replanting, pruning or trimming of a tree on private property if a licensed arborist determines the tree poses a danger.

One gorgeous banyan on Granville Court N. in St. Petersburg appeared in danger of being cut down last week after owners of one house with rights to the tree were advised by a local tree trimmer—under the guidance of an arborist—to cut it down.

But after some neighborhood uproar and unity, those same owners (who share equal rights to the tree with their neighbor who didn’t want to cut down the Banyan) changed their tune and consulted with the city in how they can treat the tree.

On Monday, the owners who initially wanted to cut down the tree told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay that they’ve decided to just prune it under the guidance of the City of St. Petersburg’s Urban Forester, Shane Largent. —Ray Roa

| Photos by Alex Kaufman