Tree Pruning Program

Responsibility and Goal
The Public Works Department has the responsibility for maintaining all public trees in the city, the majority of which are located along city streets.The goal of the pruning is to make the public trees as safe and healthy as possible and to minimize any conflicts with pedestrians and vehicle traffic, traffic control devices, and signs and buildings.

All pruning is performed according to the Tree Pruning Guidelines, developed by the International Society of Arboriculture.

During the pruning operation, the city staff attempts to achieve a minimum crown clearance of 14' over streets and 8' over sidewalks. All dead, dying, diseased, and hazardous branches are also removed along with any vines that may be growing into the tree. All branches are pruned back from buildings, away from street lights, and are cleared from utility lines that run from utility poles to a house.

During this pruning operation, trees are also checked for any structural problems. All structural problems will either be corrected, or if beyond repair, the tree will be evaluated for possible removal.

All newly-planted trees are given additional pruning during the first 2 years after planting. This pruning is to ensure the young tree develops with a strong branch structure. During the first 2 years, the tree stake will also be removed and the area around the tree re-mulched with wood chips.

Any person having questions concerning the pruning of street trees may call the Public Works Department at (510) 596-4330.