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Real vs. Artificial Trees – Regulations & Laws

Dispensary design decor
Fabricated Golden Bamboo by International TreeScapes

The third topic in our series of articles on real vs. artificial trees is regulation. This includes local, statewide, and federal laws, as well as zoning restrictions, building limitations, and other unique circumstances.


It would be great if trees and plants could be planted anywhere, anytime, and by anyone. Unfortunately, this is not the case. You may want a beautiful towering oak for your front yard, but local ordinances may prohibit this. Luckily, faux indoor options are usually acceptable. Artificial trees can meet regulations that living trees may not pass.


Real trees and plants can obstruct views, require too much water, or (most commonly) have roots that could grow to disrupt buildings, sidewalks, and roads.


This is true on a larger scale for businesses or cities that want to integrate living trees and plants into their design. Artificial trees avoid this concern, because they don’t ever grow larger, and they have no roots to interfere with infrastructure. Plus, artificial trees tend to survive longer in the city than real living trees.


Smaller artificial trees and plants can also be placed in areas that wouldn’t be able to support the weight of a growing tree. This is why faux options tend to be preferred for balconies, rooftops, and indoor locations.


There’s a new business emerging with a unique set of restrictions: cannabis. Many dispensaries want to decorate with cannabis plants but aren’t allowed to. Each state in America has different restrictions for selling, growing, and consuming marijuana products.


A cannabis dispensary might want marijuana plants strictly for aesthetic appeal, for example. The problem here is that a healthy plant could technically produce a large quantity of cannabis that could be cultivated and sold.


Dispensaries already struggle with federal restrictions, conflicting laws, and different permit requirements depending on location. Rather than risk their business licenses by growing on site, they can simply utilize fake cannabis plants for effect.


Another common scenario where this plays out is in Homeowner’s Associations (HOAs) across America. If your neighborhood is part of an HOA, there are likely strict guidelines on what you can and can’t plant. You can often avoid challenges by using faux trees and plants instead.


It is important to note, though, that HOAs often heavily regulate exterior decor and landscape features as well. Generally speaking, if you want a big cherry blossom or ficus tree on your property, you might want to opt for a fabricated tree instead.


The same can be said for those who wish to display regulated, non-native, or invasive plants and trees. Kudzu, golden bamboo, Canada thistles, wild chervils, and many other plants are prohibited state or nationwide. If you want to decorate with any of these prohibited or restricted breeds, you likely need to go with a faux option instead.


Trees like the sycamore maple and cutleaf birch are banned from public planting in many states, because they choke out local vegitation, block too much sun, or colonize open spaces too quickly. Artificial versions of those trees, and many more, meet strict restrictions like these.


TreeScapes & PlantWorks are commited to helping the environment, one tree at a time. That’s why we will donate to have at least one tree planted for every fabricated, replica, or preserved tree we sell!


We’ve partnered with the charitable organization One Tree Planted to do our part for the planet. Visit their website to see how you can help with their reforestation efforts too.

Office Trees & Plants – Datran Business Center

Office trees & plants are some of the best ways to spruce up a business location. You can use nature to create a calm environment for employees, or add office trees & plants for color and aesthetic. 


A common problem with trees & plants for offices is maintenance. Many offices don’t get sufficient natural light, don’t have the time for daily upkeep, or don’t want to deal with different types of plants blooming each season.


There’s also a big risk of employees and customers having allergies. Natural trees and plants produce pollen that many people simply can’t tolerate. The solution? Artificial, replica, and fabricated plants & trees for the office.

That’s the approach that was taken for the Datran Business Center in Miami, Florida. Our team of TreeScapes’ artisans provided preserved palm trees, and replica grass, succulents, ivy, bushes, and ferns for the main lobby area.


Different colors of replica onion grass are arranged in the center, providing a unique base for an abstract sculpture. The grasses are Inherently Fire Retardant (IFR), making them ideal for indoor use.


The escalators are flanked by realistic replica mangrove trees. Mangroves are native to Florida and essential to their ecology, so it’s only appropriate that they were included here.


Replica mangrove bushes were also arranged behind the main columns. The mangroves are made with UltraLeaf-IFR® greenery, our proprietary, commercial-grade, inherently fire retardant replica foliage designed for use indoors.


Other features alongside and behind the escalators include more replica onion grass, replica Boston ferns, and replica aeonium succulents. Preserved palm trees add tropical touches to round out the design.


Our preserved sago palm trees have fabricated trunks, and real natural sago fronds. The fronds have been preserved via our proprietary preservation process, which also makes them inherently fire retardant. They look real because they are real!


Replica potted hanging pothos bushes and pothos garlands are arranged on the tiers of floors above. They have a soft, sprawling look that replicates natural ivy. The mirrored ceilings above reflect all of this greenery, making visitors feel like they’re inside an arboreterum or nature preserve.

If you like these replica mangroves, be sure to see our ADEX award winning “Escultura de Manglar” handcrafted tree sculpture!

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Datran Business Center - Office Plants & Trees Photo Gallery
Office trees & plants Datran Business Center
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