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Trees

Tree Removal and Landscaping. Except by Declarant, trees measuring six (6) inches or more in diameter at three (3) feet or more above ground level shall not be cut or removed without the prior written consent of the ARB; provided, however, trees located within six (6) feet of the location of the Dwelling as approved by the ARB may be removed without prior approval. More restrictive arbor ordinances or environmental laws shall control in the event of the conflict herewith. There shall be no removal of trees or Lot clearing, other than the clearing of underbrush until the ARB has approved in writing a general, conceptual landscape plan that designates those existing trees to be retained and preserved on the Lot. All Lots shall have fully sodded front and side lawns except in approved landscape or retained natural areas. Unless prohibited by law, natural vegetation shall be finished by the removal of underbrush and addition of mulch. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Declarant intends to leave natural areas natural and undisturbed to the extent reasonable.


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(Refer to Design Guidelines Section 3.2)

Trees (Street and Yard) Removal or replacement of any tree, which is not like for like, will require an ARB. Street Tree removal may require a permit from Hillsborough County. The approved street trees for the Waterleaf neighborhood shall be:  Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)  Florida Maple (Acer floridanum)  Red Maple (Acer rubrum)  Winged Elm (Ulus alata) Live Oak (Quercus virginiana) was withdrawn as an approved tree in June 2021 when Hillsborough County changed its Street tree list. Pre-existing Live Oaks are therefore grandfathered in. Street trees shall at a minimum size of 4-inch caliper, measured at a height of 4 feet six inches above grade, 14-foot height (minimum) and 6-foot spread (minimum) with a full canopy and straight trunk.. For approved yard trees see the Hillsborough County approved tree webpage. See section 4.3 Landscape and Irrigation for more information on removal, etc. 


(Refer to Design Guidelines Section 4.3)

Landscape and Irrigation For approved street trees see section 3.2 For approved yard trees see the Hillsborough County approved tree web page. Tree Removal: No existing trees greater than four (4) inches in diameter at 4 feet 6 inches above grade shall be removed or cut without the approval of the ARB. Tree removal permits must be obtained in accordance with Hillsborough County regulations. Homeowners shall comply with the "Hillsborough County Tree Protection and Restoration Ordinance." In addition to ARB approval, review the HSCO Residential Tree Removal Guide. https://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/en/businesses/permits-and-records/naturalresources/action-folder/apply-for-a-tree-removal-permit 

Spacing: Spacing of trees and shrubs shall be based on good horticultural practice and industry standards allowing for future growth of the plant materials with the maximum spacing for most shrubs being 30 inches to 36 inches on center. Spacing for hedges and screens may be 24 inches to 30 inches on center. Typical spacing for ground-covering is 18 inches on center with 24 inches maximum. 

Prohibited Plant Material: the following trees and shrubs are prohibited in Waterleaf: 

The use of citrus trees is discouraged and will be considered by the ARB on a case-by-case basis and only for installation in rear yards. A detailed plan must be submitted showing location, species and size of citrus tree. 

Other prohibited species: Any exotic flowering tree or exotic palm that is not cold tolerant. Such species may be allowed if it is placed in a portable container to be transported indoors by the homeowner during inclement weather. Also, see this complete list of INVASIVE plants in Hillsborough County. 

Page 20 of 35 https://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/en/businesses/permits-and-records/naturalresources/invasive-plants-in-hillsborough-county 

Maintenance: It shall be the responsibility of the homeowner to properly maintain all trees including street trees, shrubs, ground covering, turf, and irrigation. 

The landscape and irrigation system shall be maintained and managed to ensure efficient water use and to prevent wasteful practices. No over spray of walks, streets or adjacent property is allowed on residential home sites. 

Homeowners shall comply with watering times as mandated by Waterleaf, the Southwest Florida Water Management District and Hillsborough County. 

Regular Landscape Maintenance includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Cutting of turf grasses on a weekly basis (biweekly depending on seasonal growth) at a height recommended by landscape professionals. 
  • Turf areas should be regularly edged and weeded to maintain a consistent appearance of quality, including seeding and watering (includes the maintenance of the verge areas outside the property lines). 
  • Fertilization and soil amendments for landscaping and turf according to industry standard practices for optimum growth and longevity. 
  • Yard trees (i.e., palms, oaks) require regular maintenance, ensure you prune, trim and remove dead branches / rid them of brown palm fronds. 
  • Replenishing mulch in order to maintain a 3" depth after compaction. 
  • Homeowners may NOT mow in wetland, conservation, or preservation areas. 
  • Removing guy-wires and supports from trees and palms after establishment of the root zone. 

In the event that any tree, shrub, groundcover or turf area exhibits signs of decline or pest infestation, the homeowner shall take immediate action to remedy the problem. If the trees, plant materials or turf dies, then the homeowner shall immediately remove the dead material and replace with new material to meet the specifications of the original landscape plan. The homeowner may propose a substitute to the ARB for the material being replaced. 

Homeowners are responsible for regular maintenance of the irrigation system on their lots. Irrigation maintenance includes but is not limited to: 

  • Resetting the automatic controller according to the season and County Ordinances. 
  • Cleaning irrigation filters; 
  • Testing and calibrating the rain sensor device; 
  • Monitoring, adjusting and repairing irrigation equipment to ensure that the efficiency of the system is maintained. Grass should be cut away from spray and rotor heads (re-setting as necessary) for optimum spray pattern and trajectory.

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