Over the past 200 years the island of Key West has been built upon and paved to an extreme. The last remaining original hammock is in a small part of Little Hamaca Park. We are encouraging incentives for homeowners and businesses to replace trees that have been removed with the right canopy tree species as well as indigenous trees, especially those listed at threatened or endangered. These natives are vital to preserving the original ecology, providing wild life and insects with food, shelter and a place to breed. Our message to the Mayor and Commissioners on 8/20/18 follows:

Last Stand agrees that replacement of canopy trees is very important. We have concerns about the list of replacement trees in the ordinance.

Please remove Sapodilla, (Melicoccus bijugatus) from the list. This tree is a Category 1 invasive exotic. Monroe County requires removal of these trees when any site is improved.

Spanish Lime, (Piscidia piscipula) and Royal Poinciana (Ficus aurea) are not native to the Florida Keys and should not be given an increased credit of 4:1. We recommend these be removed from the list.

Gumbo Limbo (Delonix regia) is a soft wood tree and subject to damage during wind storm events. We urge you to cautiously consider whether this tree should have an increased credit of 4:1

There are several trees that are native to the Florida Keys that are classified by Florida and Federal authorities as threatened or endangered. To support these trees, even if they do not rise to canopy height, we recommend that you include them in the 4:1 incentive. We recommend that you consult with city staff for recommendations on specific trees with this status that would be appropriate for Key West.

We do support the concept of incentives for canopy trees and appreciate the work that staff and the Tree Commission have done in advancing this ordinance for your consideration.