A Basic Guide to Residential Lawn Maintenance for Miami Homeowners

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While lawn maintenance in Miami and elsewhere might seem subject solely to your personal preferences, residents must adhere to a specific set of landscape standards. The city government enforces these ordinances to guarantee the quality of residential landscapes and promote Florida’s landscaping principles.

Miami’s Landscaping Standards’ Purpose

Since Florida is not a stranger to the horrible consequences of drought, municipalities invoke landscaping guidelines to establish drought-resistant plants, trees and other foliage. Cities also issue restrictions on water usage by residents who must limit their lawn watering accordingly.

In addition, these requirements are established to promote energy conservation, oxygen regeneration, offset global warming effects, and improve the city’s aesthetic appearance.

Is Your Lawn and its Maintenance Up to Miami Government Standards?

Miami Lawn Care Do’s

According to Miami’s landscape requirements, the homeowner is the sole party responsible for complying with these rules to keep their yards looking healthy and neat to the public eye. This means your lawn, plants and trees should be sufficiently watered and fertilized to maintain a healthy condition. Furthermore, if a landscape tree or plant dies, homeowners can only replace it with the same foliage or content, unless they use a local government-approved substitute.

Lawn trees are to be pruned with the cuts made as close as possible to the trunk, effectively removing protruding stubs. Dead stems also to be removed, but without visible shaving of the tree’s crown.

Lateral removal of branches that equates to cropping one-third of the branches on one side is only allowed if it poses a clear hazard or qualifies as a clearance pruning. Furthermore, removal of approximately one-third of a living tree’s branch is only allowed once a year.

Miami Lawn Care Don’ts

Lawn maintenance generally includes watering, mowing, fertilizing, weeding, mulching, trimming, removal or replacement of dead and diseased plants, and removal of refuse and debris. To this end, a residential yard with grass or weeds of more than 12 inches in height is considered to be in violation of the city’s landscape code. Abandoned yards or property are not exempted from this regulation. Any residential yard containing unkempt portions exceeding 10% of the total landscape are penalized. Plants or trees should not be blocking the visibility of oncoming traffic, although shade trees can maintain a minimum canopy diameter in accordance to ANSI A-300 standards.

Failure to adhere to Miami landscaping maintenance guidelines shall constitute a violation of the code. Those found guilty will be issued a courtesy warning notice. However, if the property owner fails to comply, he or she will be issued a ticket and a sizeable fine in accordance to Chapter 8CC of the Miami-Dade County Code of Ordinances. The rules and compliance to them help keep Miami looking well-manicured and appealing while conserving our precious resources.


Residential Property Maintenance, MiamiDade.gov