Tree Removal Permits

Tree removal is a service that usually requires a permit and approval process from your local government authorities.  Permits are usually issued when a protected tree is dead, dying, or damaged, so it is always a good idea to find out first if a tree that you want removed is a protected tree or not.  Additionally, protected trees sometimes are the property of the city, but their care is left to the homeowner to maintain.  However, certain types of pruning are considered injurious to these trees, so you should consult with a certified arborist like Terry’s Tree Service before any action is taken.

This is an overview of local ordinances regarding arboreal care for the East Bay, but we want you to know that Terry’s Tree Service is aware of all local laws, and is observant of every necessary guideline for each township and city.  This page is meant for your reference and information, however, Terry’s Tree Service will gladly carry out the permit and approval process for you.  Just call our main office at (925) 449-2087.

Clayton Tree Removal Requirements

Any tree with a diameter of 6in (18.84in circumference) measured at 4.5 ft above ground, whether single or multiple trunks, whether on public or private land, requires a permit to be removed.

For more information, visit City of Clayton Tree Removal Ordinance.

Concord Tree Removal Requirements

Non-protected Tree (No Permit required):
Eucalyptus, Acacia, Monterey Pine, Palm, Privet, unless such tree has been specifically designated a “Heritage Tree” by action of the Planning Commission.

Protected Trees:
(a)Any of the following listed native trees with a 12” DBH (diameter at breast height) single trunk, or 12’ DBH sum of all stems on multiple trunk tree, measured at 54” above the ground: Valley Oak, Blue Oak, Coast Live Oak, California Bay, California Buckeye, California Sycamore.
(b)Other trees with at least 24” DBH (single trunk) or a multi-stemmed tree where the sum of all stems are 24” DBH, measured at 54” above the ground.
(c)Any tree which has been officially designated by action of the Planning Commission as a Heritage Tree.
(d)A tree required to be planted, relocated, or preserved as a condition of approval of a Tree Permit or other discretionary permit, and/or as environmental mitigation for a discretionary permit.
(e)A tree 6” DBH single or multi-stemmed that is located within the structural setback of creeks or streams (Creek and Riparian Habitat Protection 122-802).

For the original article, visit City of Concord Tree Removal Permits.

Danville Tree Removal Requirements

Trees that require permit for removal in Danville are “protected trees.” Protected trees in Danville include “heritage” trees and certain species. Heritage trees are trees that exceed 36 inches in diameter (113.04in circumference) at a height of 4.5 feet above ground. The protected species are:

1. Coast Live Oak (Quercus Agrfolia)
2. Valley Oak (Quercus Lobata)
3. Canyon Live Oak (Quercus Chrysol)
4. Blue Oak (Quercus Doulgassi)
5. California Black Oak (Quercus Kelloggi)
6. Interior Live Oak (Quercus Wislizenii)
7. White Alder (Alnus Rhombifolia)
8. California Bay (Umbellularia California)
9. California Buckeye (Aesculus Californica)
10. California Sycamore (Platanus Racemosa)
11. Madrone (Arbutus Menziesii)
12. London Plane Tree (Platanus Acerifolia)

Please see Tree Removal, Danville for more information.

Dublin Tree Removal Requirements

Trees that require permit for removal in Dublin are “Heritage trees.” Heritage trees in Dublin include trees measuring more than 24 inches diameter (75.36in circumference) at 4.5ft above ground and certain species. The protected species are:

1. Oak
2. Bay
3. Cypress
4. Maple
5. Redwood
6. Buckeye
7. Sycamore

To learn more, please read Dublin’s Heritage Tree Brochure, or view their General FAQ Section.

Hayward Tree Removal Requirements

Trees that require permit for removal in Hayward are trees of defined size, protected species, “street” trees, and “dedication” or “memorial” trees. Size specifications include any tree measured at 8in diameter (25.12in circumference) 4.5ft above ground.
Protected Species Include:

1. Big Leaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum)
2. California Buckeye (Aesculus californica)
3. Madrone (Arbutus menziesii)
4. Western Dogwood (Cornus nuttallii)
5. California Sycamore (Platanus racemosa)
6. Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia)
7. Canyon Live Oak (Quercus chrysolepis)
8. Blue Oak (Quercus douglassii)
9. Oregon White Oak (Quercus garryana)
10. California Black Oak (Quercus kelloggi)
11. Valley Oak (Quercus lobata)
12. Interior Live Oak (Quercus wislizenii)
13. California Bay (Umbellularia californica)

Street trees require permits for removal because Hayward has a city ordinance that every home should have at least one tree in the area facing the street, with one on each side of corner homes. Memorial or Dedication trees are trees that serve as local monuments, and require a permit to be removed.

For more information, please refer to Hayward’s Municipal Code regarding tree removal permits, or their FAQ pamphlet entitled Basic Tree Questions.

Lafayette Tree Removal Requirements

In Lafayette, a permit is required for removing protected trees that are on public or private land. These protected trees are:

  1. A tree with a trunk diameter of 12″ or more, of an indigenous species (such as an oak, bay, buckeye or madrone), and on a developed property.
  2. A tree of any size or species, and designated to be preserved as part of an approved development application (check with a planner).
  3. A tree with a trunk diameter of 6″ or more, or one component trunk of a multi-trunked tree with a diameter of 4″ or more, and of a native riparian species (such as a maple, boxelder, alder, walnut, cottonwood, willow, oak, bay, buckeye, or elderberry).
  4. A tree of any species with a diameter of 6″ or more, and on an undeveloped property.
  5. A replacement tree planted as restitution for a violation of this chapter.
  6. A native tree of any size or species within a restricted ridgeline area.
  7. A tree of any size or species within a public right-of-way or a private access easement.
  8. A tree of any size or species within a commercial zoning district.

For more information, please visit The City of Lafayette Protected Tree Ordinance.

Livermore Tree Removal Requirements

Trees that require permit for removal in Livermore are native species with a trunk circumference of 24 inches, non-native species with a circumference of 60 inches, and street trees, which are property of the city. (Please note that it is the tenant’s obligation to maintain clear walkways and to prune street trees.)

Examples of native species are:

  1. Alder, White (Alnus rhombifolia)
  2. Bay, California (Umbellularia californica)
  3. Buckeye, California (Aesculus californica)
  4. Madrone (Arbutus menziesii)
  5. Maple, Big Leaf (Acer macrophyllum)
  6. Oak, Blue (Quercus douglasii)
  7. Oak, California Black (Quercus kelloggii)
  8. Oak, Canyon Live (Quercus chrysolepis)
  9. Oak, Coast Live (Quercus agrifolia)
  10. Oak, Interior Live (Quercus wislizenii)
  11. Oak, Scrub (Quercus berberidifolia)
  12. Oak, Valley (Quercus lobata)
  13. Pine, Grey (Pinus sabiniana)
  14. Sycamore, California (Platanus racemosa)
  15. Walnut, California Black (Juglans hindsii californica)

For more information, please visit Livermore’s Landscape Maintenance Page. For specific information, we have republished Livermore City Ordinance 12.20 in it’s orginal form: Livermore City Code Chapter 12 Section 20 Articles I and II.

Oakland Tree Removal Requirements

On any property, trees protected by size: any tree larger than 9in in diameter (28.26in circumference) except Eucalyptus and Monterey Pine.

Trees protected by species:
California Oak
Coast Live Oak

Special exceptions:
Monterey Pine are to be protected in the case where a lot is being cleared for development. In this case, if more than 5 Monterey Pine are to be removed a permit is needed unless the lot size is larger than 1 acre. If the lot must be cleared for reasons other than development, no permit is needed.

For more information, visit Oakland Protected Trees for a summary of the city ordinance. Or for the city code in full, visit Oakland City Code of Ordinance Chapter 12.36, Protected Trees.

Orinda Tree Removal Requirements

Trees in Orinda require a permit for removal if they are a) on undeveloped property and measure 6in diameter (18.84in circumference) at 4.5ft above ground, b) are on developed property and measure 12in diameter (37.68in circumference) at 4.5ft above ground, c) measure 4.5in diameter (14.13in circumference) and are within 30ft of a waterway or streambed, or d) are contractually obliged to be permitted for removal (between the zoning board and the contractor).

For more information, visit The City of Orinda Building Code

Pleasant Hill Tree Removal Requirements

In Pleasant Hill, protected trees include Heritage trees which have been designated by the city, trees of a certain size, trees that stabilize the soil, and certain species protected by the county of Contra Costa.

The city of Pleasant Hill does not provide the list of protected species or designate a size restriction, but encourages residents to call the County planning division at (925) 674-7205 to obtain this information.

For more information, visit the City of Pleasant Hill’s Documentation Regarding Tree Removal.

Pleasanton Tree Removal Requirements

Trees requiring a permit for removal in Pleasanton include “Heritage” trees. Heritage trees are any trees measuring 55in in circumference at 4.5ft above ground, or measuring greater than or equal to 35ft in height.

For a city-issued copy of this ordinance, visit Tree Removal Brochure.

San Ramon Tree Removal Requirements

Trees that require permits to remove in San Ramon include native Oak species with trunks greater than 6in in diameter (18.84in in circumference) measured 4.5ft above ground.

Non-oak trees that require permits to remove include those with trunks greater than 8in in diameter (25.12in in circumference) that are on commercial property. This does not include willows, fruit trees, eucalyptus trees, alders, cottonwoods, or pine trees.

To read the code in full, visit San Ramon Tree Removal Ordinance.

Walnut Creek Tree Removal Requirements

In Walnut Creek, protected trees include trees within city limits that are larger than 9in in diameter (28in in circumference) measured 4.5ft above ground. Permit process requires written statement of the owner of the property for a valid reason, such as dead, dying, diseased, or destroying property. Up to 4 trees may be removed on one permit, but they must each be assessed by a city arborist.

For more information, please visit City of Walnut Creek Tree Removal Pemit.