Protected Trees

If you observe the removal of trees that you believe may be protected, please immediately call Planning at 510.583.4200. A tree removal permit is required before removing any protected tree (see Basic Tree Questions below). There is a penalty assessed equal to the value of the tree for removing, damaging or relocating a protected tree without a permit. Basic Tree Questions provides answers to the most frequently asked questions about street and private trees.

Protected trees are:

  1. All required trees on any developed property
  2. Memorial trees;
  3. Trees planted as "replacement trees" as part of a development or tree removal project;
  4. Trees eight inches in diameter or greater than 54 inches above the ground; or
  5. Certain native species that are four inches in diameter or greater.

To get a removal permit:

  1. If removal is related to a construction or building project, all trees (labeled as to species, size, and health, and whether they are to be removed or preserved) are to be shown on the site and grading plans, and the permit will be issued as part of the building or grading permit;
  2. If the work is not related to a construction or building project, the removal of a protected tree requires a separate permit;
  3. Whether the work will be done by the property owner, occupant, or private tree care company, a request (reason for removal and replacement tree plan) is to be made by phone, fax or in writing to Planning Division;
  4. An arborist report will be required if more than three trees are involved;
  5. Staff will make an inspection and a decision whether to issue the permit;
  6. The staff decision may be appealed to the Planning Director within 10 days of the decision.