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Tree Management Redwood City, California
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Best Management Practices


Tree Preservation
Ordinances &
Permit Application

Tree Management Plan Summary


The residents and the City Council of Redwood City have made trees a priority for the environmental and quality of life benefits they provide. Two ordinances have been enacted to protect the presence and value of trees in the community.

  1. A Street Tree Ordinance protects all street trees growing on public property adjacent to roadways throughout the city.
  2. A Tree Preservation Ordinance protects all trees growing on private property with trunk sizes that exceed 38 inches in circumference (twelve inches in diameter) measured between six inches and 36 inches above ground.

This management plan describes the tree objectives, management guidelines and practices that are being implemented to sustain the urban forest within Redwood City. City Council priorities created the vision (how the urban forest should look), and Urban Forestry Practices provided the guidelines for achieving the vision. This plan is a living document, it will evolve over time as new tree species are developed and industry standards and practices advance.


  • To maintain a safe urban forest.
  • To have a fully stocked urban forest consisting of an acceptable blend of species diversity, mixed-age, and large shade tree varieties.
  • To budget effectively to maintain these resources and to follow a planned pruning cycle.
  • To maintain the Tree City USA designation which requires:
    • A minimum budget.
    • An Arbor Day celebration.
    • A tree ordinance.
    • A citizen tree-oversight body.
  • To perform maintenance activities to accepted arboricultural industry standards using:
    • American National Standards Institute A-300 Pruning Standards
    • International Society of Arboriculture Best Management Practices.
    • UC Davis planting and staking standards published by Dr. Richard Harris.
  • To communicate with the residents and businesses in Redwood City about tree maintenance activities in a timely and professional manner.
  • To practice an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach to insect and disease control. IPM uses predatory insects and non-chemical controls first and low toxicity chemicals only when necessary.

Tree Management Guidelines

The following guidelines are based on Urban Forestry scientific principles.

  • Provide adequate space for a tree to develop – both above and below ground.
  • Provide the proper environment – protect from damage, provide appropriate soil conditions, select the proper tree for the climate.
  • Maintain a planned level of shade coverage for a street. Balance mixed-age trees, ranging from about one-third mature shade trees, with one-third middle-aged trees, and one-third young trees.
  • Apply professional standards for tree care and management.

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