Is It Illegal to Burn Tree Stumps in Florida?

Many property owners may cut down trees in an effort to better control the development and growth of their landscape. As trees come down, they leave stumps behind, often causing Florida property owners to wonder, “Is it illegal to burn tree stumps?” Learn the benefits of uprooting tree stumps in your yard, what Florida law says about burning tree stumps, and how to safely dispose of yard waste from the stump grinding experts in Dunedin, FL.

Why Should I Pull Up Tree Stumps?

Tree stumps affect your yard’s appearance, but can also provide a home for insect infestation. Termites especially love a tree stump, from which they can both make a home and eat away at the material. As they procreate, termites may spread to other trees in your yard or even your home, creating a worse problem than the tree you had removed.

With tree grinding, homeowners can get rid of a potential insect kingdom and take back the space underneath the stump so they can plant grass or install flowerbeds.

Is Tree Stump Burning Illegal in Florida?

While tree stump burning is legal in Florida, property owners must follow Florida laws and city ordinances to remain legal. Depending on your location, you may need to obtain a burning permit and stick to the rules of that permit for safe and legal burning. For the most part, Florida allows yard waste and plant matter burning so long as:

  • You stay with the fire while it burns.
  • The debris is burned where it was generated.
  • You keep a fire extinguisher on hand while the fire burns.
  • Materials must have the right amount of moisture to reduce smoke.
  • All burning occurs between 8:00 AM CST and an hour before sunset.
  • The property owner notifies FFS (Florida Forest Service) of their fire’s date and time.

Why Does Florida Have Laws Controlling Tree Stump Burning?

Many Florida homeowners asking, “Is it illegal to burn tree stumps”, may wonder why Florida has such stringent laws. The two major reasons include:

Air Quality

Burning tree stumps lowers the air quality in the surrounding area by releasing a number of particles and toxic chemicals into the atmosphere. 

Uncontrolled Burning

If not handled correctly, burning a stump in your yard can quickly turn into Florida’s next wildfire. This requires careful attention and constant attendance of burning yard waste.

Tips for Safe Tree Stump Burning in Florida

While it may seem counterintuitive, proper tree care includes destroying the stumps of cut down trees, preventing disease or insect infestations from taking over your landscape. While following the regulations listed out above, you can improve the safety of your stump burning with these tips:

  • Don’t burn garbage with your yard waste.
  • Stay with your fire until smoke stops rising from the ashes.
  • Wait to burn on a day without much wind to minimize potential fire spreading.
  • Keep smoke to a minimum to prevent potential visibility obstruction on nearby streets.
  • Use stump grinding services to break a tree stump down into smaller, burnable pieces.

How Can I Find More Information About Burning a Stump In My Yard in Florida?

Call your local forestry center or district to learn more about local ordinances controlling the burning of grinded stumps. 

Learn More About Florida Tree Care With Steven’s Tree Service

When homeowners have trees cut down, they may wonder, “Is it illegal to burn tree stumps?” In the state of Florida, you can burn tree stumps so long as you follow the state and local regulations. Whether you need to have a stump pulled up or wonder, “Does stump grinding kill roots,” the team at Steven’s Tree Service in Dunedin, FL, can answer your questions. Call (727) 734-8733 to learn more.


Stevens Tree Service is the Tampa Bay Area’s #1 choice for residential and commercial tree care services. Our family owned and operated business, is all about you, our customer and what’s best for your trees.


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1334 Spalding Rd.
Dunedin, FL 34698

Phone : 727-734-TREE (8733)

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