How can I remove a tree from my property?

Any person desiring to remove, destroy or alter one or more trees on his or her property in the town, except those trees exempted from permit requirements (below), shall apply for tree permit to do so. 

  • Please contact a Planning Department staff member to have specific questions answered.

15.50.050 - Exemptions to permit requirements.

  1. Trees Below Permit Size. On private property, the removal, destruction or alteration of trees with a single trunk circumference less than fifty inches (or multistemmed trees having an aggregate circumference of less than one hundred twenty inches), measured four and one-half feet above grade;       
  2. Maintenance Pruning. Maintenance pruning, as defined in Section 15.50.020, of a tree by the tree owner;
  3. Topping of Special Tree(s). Topping of trees specifically planted and maintained as a hedge, espalier, bonsai or in pollard form;
  4. Trees in the Public Right-of-way. Trees in the public right-of-way do not require a tree permit for maintenance pruning by the town or the owner of the property (i) immediately adjacent to the public right-of-way or (ii) on which the public right-of-way is located;
  5. Undesirable Species. Undesirable species of any size may be altered, removed or destroyed without a tree permit. However, inspection of the tree and its confirmation as being an undesirable species by the town arborist are required prior to the removal, destruction or alteration of any undesirable species with a trunk circumference of fifty inches or more (or multistemmed tree having an aggregate circumference of one hundred twenty inches or more), measured four and one-half feet above grade. This procedure is for species identification only and does not require a permit;
  6. Public Utilities. Public utility companies subject to the jurisdiction of the California Public Utilities Commission may perform such pruning as is necessary to comply with the safety regulations of said commission and to maintain a safe operation of their facilities without a permit. However, they should notify the planning department at least three working days (except in emergencies) prior to taking any action. The planning director shall cause such pruning work to be inspected, when appropriate, to ensure that good pruning practices previously referenced are followed. The planning director shall have the authority to stop any tree pruning performed by a utility company if such practices are not being followed;
  7. Emergencies. In case of emergency, a tree located on private property or on property in which the town has a fee, easement or any other interest, may be removed without the necessity of a permit application as required by this chapter upon a determination by the town manager, or his/her designee, that removal of the tree is necessary for the immediate protection of life or property;
  8. View and Sunlight Claim. Any removal or alteration of a tree permitted or required under any order, award or agreement issued or entered into, respectively, pursuant to Article III of this chapter by which the right to a view and/or sunlight is established.
  9. Fire-Prone Trees. A fire-prone tree, as defined in section 15.50.020, may be altered, removed, or destroyed without a tree permit upon confirmation by the town that it meets the definition of "Fire-Prone Tree"; and upon investigation and verification by the fire code official that the fire-prone tree is deemed to be a fire hazard. This procedure is for verification purposes only and does not require a permit.

Show All Answers

1. How can I found out what planning applications have been approved?
2. When is the design review process required?
3. Where can I put my fence and what is the maximum height?
4. How can I remove a tree from my property?
5. Where can I get information about Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)?
6. How do I know what zoning district my property is in?
7. What is the planning application review process?
8. I want to display a sign. Do I need permission from the Town?