Tree Advisory Board

Name:  Appointed by: Term Limit: 
Henry Clifford (Chair)  Councilmember Marsha Matson 3/4/2021
Rick Cohen Mayor Karyn Cunnigham 3/4/2021
Don Pybas Former Vice Mayor John DuBois 3/4/2021
Craig Grossenbacher Councilmember Patrick Fiore 3/4/2021
Jack Fell Former Councilmember David Singer  3/4/2021
  • Council Liaison: Councilmember Marsha Matson
  • Staff Liaison: Dionisio Torres, Public Services Director


Pursuant to Section 2-108 of the Village’s Code of Ordinances, the purpose of the Village of Palmetto Bay Tree Board is to promote the general welfare and to encourage the preservation of green space and the environment by encouraging the village, through a group of concerned volunteer citizens charged by ordinance, with reviewing and making recommendations as to developing and administering a comprehensive tree management program. A tree board would assist the village in developing an urban or community forestry program, and ultimately, an annual, systematic management of the village's tree resources, including, tree planting, maintenance and removal program for trees on streets, parks and other public places.

Administration of the village's tree program ultimately to be recognized as consistent with the National Arbor Day Foundation.  The Village of Palmetto Bay tree program shall be administered by the department of public works. To assist in administering the program, the village council may appoint an advisory tree board.   An arborist may be utilized as part of the tree board review process. In becoming a Tree City USA designated municipality, the village would need to expend approximately $50,000, in each year, at $2.00, per capita to maintain the designation.

Board Meetings/Reports:
 If any member fails to attend two of three successive meetings without cause and without prior approval of the chairman, the committee shall declare the member's office vacant, and the village council shall promptly fill that vacancy. The advisory board shall meet at least once a year to evaluate and make recommendations to village staff and to the village council as to updates recommended to the village's existing landscape and tree master plan, which plan shall become the village's annual community forestry work plan. If any member of the advisory board shall find that his private or personal interests are involved in the matter coming before the board, he shall disqualify himself from all participation in that matter.

2021 Meeting Schedule

The Board will meet the last Monday of every other month at 5 pm.  The schedule provided below corresponds to the first half of 2021.

  • March 29, 2021, 5 pm
  • May 24, 2021, 5 pm
  • July 26, 2021, 5 pm

Please note that pursuant to the Village of Palmetto Bay’s Declaration of COVID-19 Virus State of Emergency Order No. 2020-11, all Village Advisory Boards, Committees, Task Forces, Charter Officers, and staff shall continue to meet virtually. All virtual meetings shall comply with the Florida Constitution, Florida’s Government in the Sunshine Law, and Chapter 286, Florida Statutes. All dates and times are subject to change and may be cancelled due to a lack of a quorum. If a Special Council Meeting is called by the Village Council which conflicts with a meeting date/time established herein, the meeting of the board, committee, or task force shall be cancelled and rescheduled for another date and time, which shall be voted upon by a majority of the members and shall not be in conflict with other scheduled meetings of the Village.

Members of the public will have the option to participate in these meetings by two ways: (option-1) submitting public comments by form which shall be read in the beginning of each meeting and/or (option-2) registering to attend the webinar in real-time using GoToWebinar service. A public notice will be accessible for each meeting illustrating the options available for public participation, including the registration information for the attendances.


The mayor shall appoint advisory board members, subject to council approval. Each council member shall tendering potential appointee names for the mayor's consideration prior to final approval. The advisory tree board shall consist of five members. The advisory board members shall serve for two years, under staggered terms, serving without compensation. Each advisory board member must be knowledgeable in at least one of the identified fields of: urban planning, landscape architecture, tree-related professionals such as forestry professors, nursery operators, arborists, or other environmental civic activist. To ensure a balanced and diverse advisory board it is recommended that at least two of the board members be a tree-related professional or show substantial participation in horticultural activities, and one be a civic leader in the community.

Compliance with Village Ordinances, Resolutions, Sunshine Laws, & Duties:

All meetings shall comply with the Village Ordinances and Resolutions concerning meeting notices and comply with the Florida Sunshine Law, Section 286.011, Florida Statutes. Written minutes shall be promptly prepared and kept of all committee meetings and shall be submitted to the Village Clerk who shall be responsible for the preservation of such minutes. No meetings may be held without proper notice.

The tree advisory board shall review and propose revisions to the village's master street tree plan and plans relating to trees for all village parks and public places for review and action by village staff and the village council. The board is to issue recommendations to the village council for all program acquisitions or modifications in accordance with this division. The advisory board may make recommendations as to the public education aspects of the program. The public works director, or his/her designee, shall be the liaison to the advisor board, shall prepare a budget for staff and other expenditures necessary to operate the program and shall deliver a written annual report to the village council. The advisory board will undertake all activities directed or requested by either the village manager or village council. The advisory board shall be guided by the criteria of the National Arbor Day Foundation's Street Tree USA Program criteria and guidelines. The tree advisory board is also directed to coordinate and assist in the creation of a garden club within the village. The third Friday in January is Village of Palmetto Bay Arbor Day.


Did You Know...there are certain tree varieties that may be planted under power lines.  These are slow growth trees that do not pose a threat to the power lines.  

Not sure where to plant a new tree?  Visit FPL's "Right Tree, Right Place"webpage for more information.