Preserve and protect the urban forest, both public
and private, for the benefit of all.
significantly enhance the overall beauty of the environment and raise the quality
of life for all who live and work in the city. Two tree protection ordinances
were established (for over thirty years), to protect and preserve this natural
asset. Proper pruning standards are also encouraged to maximize the health
and beauty of the tree and minimize potential problems. A tree takes many years
to grow and only minutes to cut down. Removal is the last resort option, when
no other reasonable alternative can correct a problem. The Public Works Department
strives to plant more trees then are removed each year.
The “Street Tree Ordinance” protects all city-owned trees - those
trees growing within the public right-of-way. Trees growing in the public right-of-way
(usually the area between the sidewalk and curb, and sometimes areas between
the sidewalk and the home) cannot be planted, pruned, or removed without first
securing a permit from the city. No fee is required for this permit.
The second ordinance, Redwood City's “Tree
Preservation Ordinance” protects trees on private property. Although
they belong to the property owners, trees have an impact on the quality of
life of our entire community. These trees grow in the City's urban forest
and contribute as much, if not more, to the quality of life of a neighborhood
street trees and park trees. This ordinance governs trees of
any species that have grown to a size greater than 12 inches in diameter
(38 inches in circumference) - measured at the largest point between six
inches and 36 inches above ground. For trees of this size, a permit
is required prior to pruning or removal. No fee is required for this permit.
The City utilizes professional standards and criteria for making decisions
on permit applications for both tree removal and pruning. See Redwood
City’s Tree Removal Criteria or Redwood
City’s Pruning Standards for more
Tree pruning permits are approved when the proposed work meets the accepted
standards of workmanship. City programs follow two industry standards for pruning:
- American National Standards Institute A-300 Pruning Standards
- International Society of Arboriculture - Best Management Practices for
Both of these industry standards are supported by scientific research as the
best methods to maintain a tree for safety and health. Permit conditions are
written for pruning to comply with the accepted industry standards.
There are several considerations for tree removal approvals. The
tree must be:
- Structurally Unsound
- Obstructing a permitted improvement such that it will be killed or become
structurally unsound when the improvement is implemented.
The removal criteria are confirmed by a site inspection. Tree removal requests
associated with site improvements are reviewed and approved with the appropriate
planning, building, or construction permit. The replanting of a minimum of one
new tree for each tree removed is a normal condition of a tree removal permit.