Chapter 9.16


9.16.010:    Title

9.16.020:    Enforcing Authority

9.16.030:    Planting Or Removal; Permission Required

9.16.040:    Approved Species

9.16.050:    Prohibited Species

9.16.060:    Trimming Or Removal; Notice

9.16.070:    Appeal City Orders

9.16.080:    Injury Or Destruction Prohibited

9.16.090:    Protected Trees

9.16.100:    Preservation Of Protected Trees

9.16.110:    Replacement Of Protected Trees

9.16.010 TITLE:

This chapter shall hereafter be referred to and cited as the street tree and tree protection ordinance of the city. (1972 Code § 12.12.010; amd. Ord. 2015-83, 7-6-2015)


The superintendent of public works or his duly authorized representative shall be charged with the enforcement of this chapter. (1972 Code § 12.12.020; amd. Ord. 2015-83, 7-6-2015)


No trees or shrubs shall hereafter be planted in or removed from any public parking strip or other public property in the city without permission from the superintendent of public works. (1972 Code § 12.12.030; amd. Ord. 2015-83, 7-6-2015)


A.    Trees Enumerated. The following species of trees have been selected and approved as suitable street trees in the city:


Common Name

Latin Name

Named Varietals

Bottle Brush, Weeping

Calistemon viminalis


Box, Victorian

Pittosporum undulatum


Callory Pear

Pyrus calleryana

"Aristocrat," "Bradford" and "Capital"


Cinnamomum camphora

"Majestic Beauty"


Ceratonia siliqua

Avoid varieties with pod production

Hawthorne, Indian


"Majestic Beauty"

Ironwood, Catalina

Lyonothamnus florabundus


Locust, Honey

Gleditsia triacanthos inermis

"Morraine" and "Shademaster"

Loquat, Bronze

Eriobotrya deflexa

"Copper Tone"


Magnolia grandiflora

"Samuel Summers" and "Majestic Beauty"

New Zealand Christmas Tree

Metrosideros tomentosa


Oak, California Live

Quercus agrifolia


Oak, Silk

Grevillea robusta


Pistache, Chinese

Pistacia chinesis



Nyssa sylvatica


B.    Planting Other Trees; Permit Required. Any person desiring to plant a street tree on a public street or way in the city that is not included on the above list shall first apply for and obtain a written permit to do so from the director of public works, whose determination on the issuance of the permit shall be final. (1972 Code § 12.12.090; amd. Ord. 2015-83, 7-6-2015)


A list of approved street trees, as set out in section 9.16.040, shall be maintained at City Hall. It is unlawful to plant willow, cottonwood, poplar or eucalyptus trees anywhere in the city unless the superintendent of public works approves the site as one where the tree roots will not interfere with a public sewer, sidewalk, pavement, or street. (1972 Code § 12.12.040; amd. Ord. 2015-83, 7-6-2015)


A.    Noncompliance Deemed Violation. The superintendent of public works or his duly authorized representative may cause to be trimmed, pruned, or removed any trees, shrubs, plants, or vegetation in any parking strip or other public place, or may require any property owner to trim, prune, or remove any trees, shrubs, plants, or vegetation in a parking strip abutting upon the owner’s property; and failure to comply therewith after thirty (30) days’ notice by the city superintendent of public works shall be deemed a violation of this chapter.

B.    Dangerous Trees; Removal By City.

1.    Any tree or shrub growing in a parking strip or any public place, or in private property, which is endangering or which in any way may endanger the security or usefulness of any public street, sewer, or sidewalk, is declared to be a public nuisance, and the city may remove or trim such tree, or may require the property owner to remove or trim any such tree on private property, or on a parking strip abutting upon the owner’s property.

2.    Failure of the property owner to remove or trim such tree after thirty (30) days’ notice by the city superintendent of public works shall be deemed a violation of this chapter, and the city superintendent of public works may then remove or trim the tree and assess the costs against the property. (1972 Code §§ 12.12.050, 12.12.060; amd. Ord. 2015-83, 7-6-2015)


A.    Filing Notice Of Appeal. Appeals from orders made hereunder may be made by filing written notice thereof with the city superintendent of public works, within ten (10) days after such order is received, stating in substance that appeal is being made from such order to the city council.

B.    Present Evidence To Council. The superintendent of public works shall thereupon call such appeal to the attention of the city council at the next regular succeeding meeting, at which meeting the appellant and the superintendent of public works may present evidence. Action taken by the city council after such hearing shall be conclusive. (1972 Code § 12.12.070; amd. Ord. 2015-83, 7-6-2015)


It shall be a violation of this chapter to abuse, destroy, or mutilate any tree, shrub, or plant in a public parking strip or any other public place, or to attach or place any rope or wire (other than one to support a young or broken tree), sign, poster, handbill, or other thing to or on any tree growing in a public place, or to cause or permit any wire charged with electricity to come in contact with any such tree, or to allow any gaseous, liquid, or solid substance which is harmful to such trees to come in contact with their roots or leaves. (1972 Code § 12.12.080; amd. Ord. 2015-83, 7-6-2015)


The following trees, when located on properties to which this chapter applies, shall be protected trees:

A.    Trees having a minimum trunk diameter of six inches (6") measured fifty four inches (54") above the ground. When measuring a multi-trunk tree, the diameters of the largest three (3) trunks shall be added together.

B.    Street trees or other required trees such as those required as a condition of approval, use permit, or other zoning requirement, regardless of size.

C.    Trees of the following species that have reached a minimum of four inches (4") diameter trunk size:

1.    Coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia).

2.    Pacific willow (Salix lasiandra ssp. lasiandra).

D.    A tree or trees of any size planted as a replacement for a protected tree. (Ord. 2015-83, 7-6-2015)


Any person who owns, controls, or has custody of any real property within the City shall maintain all protected trees located thereon in a state of good health. This includes parcels designated as permanent open space or for recreational purposes.

In order to preserve and protect trees, where a proposed development includes grading and/or construction activities within the canopy of tree or trees, certain preservation and mitigation measures shall be required.

A.    Pre-Construction.

1.    An arborist shall review final grading/demolition/construction plans and make recommendations regarding preservation of all trees potentially impacted by the proposed project, which are designated for preservation.

2.    If the arborist concludes, with concurrence from the community development department, that the proposed improvements will result in damage and subsequent irreversible loss of additional trees on site, replacement mitigation shall be required.

3.    Final grading/construction plans shall clearly identify the size and species of all trees proposed for removal, consistent with the arborist plan review report. For each tree designated for removal, replacement shall occur at the replacement ratios stated below.

B.    Tree Protection.

1.    Fencing.

a.    All trees to be retained shall be protected during construction with chain link fencing or other rigid fence enclosure acceptable to the community development department.

b.    Fenced enclosures for trees to be protected shall be erected at the dripline of trees or as established by the arborist to establish the tree protective zone (TPZ) in which no soil disturbance is permitted and activities are restricted.

c.    All trees to be preserved shall be protected with minimum five foot (5') high fences. Fences are to be mounted on two inch (2") diameter galvanized iron posts, driven into the ground to a depth of at least two feet (2'), at no more than ten foot (10') spacing. This detail shall appear on grading, demolition, and building permit plans.

d.    Tree fencing shall be erected before any demolition, grading, or construction begins and remain in place until the final inspection.

2.    Irrigation Program. Irrigate to wet the soil within the TPZ during the dry season as specified by the project arborist.

3.    Dust Control Program. During periods of extended drought, or grading, the contractor shall spray the trunk, limbs and foliage to remove accumulated construction dust.

4.    Soil Compaction Damage/Mulching. Compaction of the soil causes a significant impact to trees during construction. If compaction to the upper twelve inch (12") soil within the TPZ has occurred or is proposed, then one or more of the following mitigation measures shall be implemented as recommended by the arborist or the city community development department.

a.    Four inches (4") of chip bark mulching shall be placed on top of the TPZ and enclosed with the tree protective fencing.

b.    If compaction of the root system may result in possible suffocation of the root system, a soil aeration system shall be installed as designed and specified by an arborist.

c.    Paving/hardscape and other soil compacting material that encroaches within the TPZ should include an aeration system designed by an arborist. (Ord. 2015-83, 7-6-2015)


A.    The following guidelines shall be imposed as conditions when a proposed development entails removal of trees or may significantly impact the health and vigor of trees within the development area of the proposed project.

B.    All healthy trees six inches (6") in diameter or more (at four and one-half feet (4.5') above the ground) proposed for removal shall be replaced according to the following ratios:

1.    For the removal of one small tree (six inches (6") to eighteen inches (18")): three (3) fifteen (15) gallon trees, or two (2) twenty four inch (24") box trees.

2.    For the removal of one medium tree (eighteen inches (18") to twenty four inches (24")): four (4) fifteen (15) gallon trees or three (3) twenty four inch (24") box trees.

3.    For the removal of a tree larger than twenty four inches (24"): five (5) fifteen (15) gallon trees or four (4) twenty four inch (24") box trees.

C.    Replacement trees should be native and like for like.

D.    Based on the following variability of factors, tree replacement ratios may vary for each project. Tree replacement can be dependent upon the size of the canopy of removed trees, number of trees, size of trees, type of trees, and steepness of slope of trees to be removed; or amount of room available on a parcel in which trees can be planted. On properties where there is limited room to plant replacement trees, fewer replacement trees or off-site planting in lieu may be authorized. (Ord. 2015-83, 7-6-2015)