Tree preservation, policy, and resources
As of July 1, 2023, the fee for a Tree Trimming and/or Tree Removal Application is $268 per application.
One of the City of San Gabriel's priorities is the preservation and ongoing maintenance of our mature trees. To help oversee this priority, the City Council adopted the Tree Protection and Preservation Regulations for single-family, multi-family, commercial and industrial zones. This code identifies which trees are subject to the ordinance and when a permit for removal or trimming is required. While regulations play an important role in preserving mature trees for the future, many trees are lost due to improper maintenance.
Pursuant to City Code Section 95.02, the Community Development Director's designee for Tree Preservation matters and tree actions is John Gonzales, City Arborist.
A certified Arborist is a professional that has shown to have a high level of knowledge and understanding of the care of trees. Their services include assessing tree health, providing treatment of diseases and pest problems, and advise on property pruning.
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The City of San Gabriel's tree protection ordinance was adopted to provide regulations for the protection of mature trees within the City. Mature trees in a single-family zone that are subject to the ordinance include:
- A mature tree is any class 1 tree in the front yard which exceeds 19" circumference, or if located in a side yard and rear yard, one which exceeds 30" circumference measured 4' above natural grade.
- Landmark or historically significant trees or stand of trees meet one of the following criteria:
- Have taken on an aura or historical value by virtue of age or location.
- A tree which has a trunk with a 40" circumference if located on the front yard or 60" circumference if located in the rear and side yard.
Class 1 Trees
(1) Alder (Alnus);
(2) Ash (Fraxinus;
A Tree Removal/Trimming Permit is needed when any of the mature trees (Class 1) in a single-family zone meet the above conditions are:
- To be completely removed by any means.
- When more than one-third (33%) of the live foliage of any mature Class I tree located anywhere on private property is trimmed.
- No person shall reduce the height of any protected mature tree by more than one-fourth (25%) over two years without first obtaining a permit from the city.
- For exemptions, please see City Code 95.23.
- For regulations that govern the commercial and industrial zones, please see City Code Section 95.35.
A Tree Removal/Trimming Permit application is filed with the Community Development Director. The following information shall be submitted:
- Complete the Tree Removal/Trimming Application, submit the form via the online application and then visit the Finance Department to pay the $268 processing fee. The application will not be processed until the fee is paid and a receipt is provide. Once paid, submit receipt to email@example.com. Click the link below to access the online application and to submit your application.
- The form must include photos of the tree and the reasons for removal.
- Based on the request and situation, a report by a certified arborist may be required.
The Community Development Director shall grant a permit only if the Director makes one or more of the following findings: