Development-related heritage tree permits

According to Section 13.24.050, a removal or major pruning is considered as development-related permit if the heritage tree interferes with proposed development, repair, alteration, or improvement of a site of the tree is causing/contributing to structural damage (excluding amenities, such as walkways, patios, pools, fire pits and fences).

Application requirements

Applicants shall contact arborists from the city-approved consulting arborist list to hire the approved project arborists. The arborist report for large projects outlines the requirements for a permit application submission. Heritage tree permits related to planning or building permits will also be charged for city-retained arborist expenses. Applicants must submit the following documents:

  • Heritage tree removal acknowledgement and property owner authorization form
  • Arborist report includes, but not limited to, a tree inventory, tree appraisal values, landscape plan, and tree protection plan;
  • Proposed construction site plans;
  • Schematic diagrams to demonstrate alternative designs to preserve the tree; and
  • Documentation on the additional incremental construction costs attributable to tree preservation.

The heritage tree administrative guidelines outline these requirements in more details.

Replacement tree requirements

In the landscape plan, applicants shall plant replacement trees on-site in an amount equivalent to the appraised value of the removed heritage trees. The replacement trees should reach a mature height of at least 35 feet, be a California native and be spaced 25 feet apart for other replacement and heritage trees.

Applicants may use the following monetary value of the replacement trees to help design their landscape plans:

  • One (1) #5 container – $100
  • One (1) #15 container – $200
  • One (1) 24-inch tree box – $400
  • One (1) 36-inch tree box – $1,200
  • One (1) 48-inch tree box – $5,000
  • One (1) 60-inch tree box – $7,000