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Urban Forestry

Maintenance

Photo of Tree Trimming Crew

The General Services Department Urban Forestry Section provides the following street tree maintenance services as funded. We trim the trees for public safety. You may request a No-Fee permit for trimming, removal, planting or root pruning following inspection by Department staff. The criteria used for determining whether a tree will be trimmed are:

To eliminate immediate hazards:

This is trimming required for public safety. Tree Maintenance Inspectors will determine whether a tree's condition is an immediate hazard.

Provide visibility for motorists, pedestrians, traffic signals and other traffic control devices:

This is trimming of street trees required for public safety and may include trimming of vegetation on private property that encroaches on the public right-of-way.

Clearing the public right-of-way:

This service consists of removing lower limbs and other growth from street trees to provide adequate clearance for vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians, and construction activities.

Palm Trimming (contractual service):

The City Street Division trims trees for vehicular and pedestrian clearances upon request only. No-Fee Street Tree Trimming Permits are available by calling (619) 236-5500.

Tree removal (City forces and contractual service):

Only dead trees, or trees deemed an immediate hazard are removed from the right-of-way as soon as possible. All other removal requests are evaluated for preservation or removal, per City Council Policy 200-5.

If the City determines the tree must be removed in order to repair other infrastructure, concurrence of the abutting property owner is required.

The tree will be included on a list of proposed street tree removals, which is sent monthly to the City Council, Community Forest Advisory Board and all Community Planning Groups. If no objection to the proposed removal is received, the tree will be removed by City contractors. This includes full stump grinding. It can take up to 48 months from the determination date for the city to remove the tree and make any permanent concrete repairs. During this period, temporary asphalt ramping will be installed to alleviate any hazards in the public right-of-way.

Property owners may expedite this process by agreeing to repair any associated damages from the tree if removal meets criteria in Council Policy 200-5.