Sanibel Mangrove Trimming Restrictions Explained

A little snip here a little snip there never hurt anyone, right?
Wrong. Actually, mangrove trees are a vital part of Florida ecology. So much so that mangrove trimming restrictions have been put in place at both the city and state level.

“There goes my view!”

We know what you’re thinking… “Oh No! There goes my view!” But, not quite. The city understands the value of beautiful waterfront views in our island homes, and has a system that respects the desire for a good view while preserving the trees that protect our barrier island.

What’s So Great About Mangroves?


  • Provide an ecosystem that cycles nutrients, producing food for marine life
  • Allow marine organisms to attach to its roots, stems, and leaves, providing a safe habitat for living and reproducing
  • Provide a shelter for fish and marine life to swim under, protecting them from sport fisherman and larger predators
  • Serve as rookeries or nesting areas for the large variety of beautiful coastal birds on Sanibel Island
  • Create a protective barrier for the island’s beaches and land, protecting us from erosion and strong winds
  • Filter water and help maintain water quality by trapping and cycling certain organic material and chemical elements

We dive deeper into the types of mangroves and the many benefits they provide to our island in our previous article, “Why are Mangroves Critical to Your Sanibel Real Estate”.

The Rules on Mangrove Trimming

The City of Sanibel’s Natural Resource Department handles all things mangrove on island. Before you take any action with your mangrove trees, you must contact the city to staff member come out to inspect the trees and their role in protecting the island (and protecting your home!).

Mangroves taller than 10 feet require a Professional Mangrove Trimmer, who holds a special license. Of course, the city provides a list of licensed mangrove trimmers on their website here.

We should note that not all mangrove trimming requires a permit from the City, but it does require an inspection. Click here to read more about the types of trimming that require a permit vs. those that do not.

We hope this helps clears the air on mangrove trimming, or at least gets you in contact with the right folks who can. We also hope it sheds a little light on the importance of mangroves to our delicate island eco-system. The more we know, the more we can preserve and the longer we can enjoy this beautiful barrier island for generations ahead!

Jim McCallion About Jim McCallion

Meet the "Marketing Megaphone" and Webmaster behind McCallion & McCallion. After selling his software company, Jim, Susan and kids moved to Sanibel in 2008. With his tech experience, he and Susan bring a fresh approach to island real estate.