Tree Preservation & Protection Regulations

Tree Species

Native oak trees and other mature trees 19 inches or greater in diameter are protected and are require a permit for removal.

Protected Trees

The following trees are protected and require a tree permit:

  • Native oaks 6 inches or more in diameter
  • Mature trees 19 inches or more in diameter
  • Trees planted as part of a condition of approval or mitigation requirement with a discretionary permit

Exempt Trees

The following tree types are exempt from any permit process:

  • Alder
  • Fruit
  • Catalpa
  • Cottonwood
  • Eucalyptus
  • Fruitless mulberry
  • Palm
  • Pine
  • Willow

Determining Tree size

To determine the size of a tree, measure the diameter 4 ½ feet above the ground. Oak trees 6 inches or greater, and other species 19 inches or greater are protected and require a tree permit.


In general, only light trimming of branches 2 inches or less in diameter is permitted without the approval of a tree permit. To protect the shapeliness and health of the tree, trimming of branches greater than 2 inches shall not be performed without the consultation of a certified tree arborist and the approval of a tree permit.


Property owners desiring to remove 1 or more protected trees shall file a tree permit application with the Planning Division. Your application is reviewed based on the decision criteria outlined in the city's Tree Preservation Ordinance. Some removals may require the replanting of trees or the payment of a mitigation fee and a report from a certified arborist. Contact the Planning Division for further information.


Construction or grading under the dripline of an oak tree may cause stress and root damage to a tree. To ensure protection measures are used, a tree permit must be obtained prior to doing any construction or grading under the protection zone of the tree. The tree's protection zone is figured by creating a radius equal to 1 foot past the tree's canopy.

Lot Size Exemption

Lots under 10,000 square feet in area and part of a subdivision may be exempt from the tree permit fee. Call the Planning Division at 916-727-4740 to see if your lot qualifies for an exemption.