San Diego

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Policies & Planning

Illustration of streetscape with trees

The City has a number of policies and plans related to trees. Below is information and web links for permits, City Council policies, sections of the Municipal Code and tree-related plans.


  • PDF icon Urban Forestry Program, Five-Year Plan – Adopted in 2017, the long-range plan brings together existing policies and guidelines, best urban forestry management practices, and community planning.
  • Climate Action Plan – To prepare San Diego to be climate-resilient, one area the City is focusing on is increasing its urban forest with more street trees and new parks.
  • Park Planning – This section of the City’s Planning Department reviews park projects to ensure adherence to General Plan standards for population-based parks, as well as impacts to the City open space park system. This section also manages updates and amendments to existing park master plans and prepares recreation elements to community plans. The Park & Recreation Board advises the Mayor and City Council on public policy matters relating to the acquisition, development, maintenance and operation of parks, beaches, playgrounds and recreational activities.

Council Policies

  • PDF icon Public Tree Protection (Council Policy 900-19) – This policy provides protection to designated trees located in public rights-of-way, on City-owned open space, in parks or other publicly owned lands, wherever practical.

Municipal Code

  • Community Forest Advisory Board (MC 26.0501 – 26.0503) – The Community Forest Advisory Board advises the Mayor on all policy issues relating to urban forestry.
  • PDF icon Street Planting (MC 62.0600) – This policy establishes rules and regulations to control and protect planting on City streets.
  • PDF icon Landscape Regulations (MC 142.0400) – The purpose of these regulations is to minimize the erosion of slopes and disturbed lands, to conserve energy and water, to reduce the risk of fire, and to improve the appearance of the built environment.