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Tree Maintenance and Permitting

As Daly City’s urban forest (nearly 10,000 trees) continues to mature, it has become necessary to formalize the City’s policy regarding tree maintenance. As we begin to replace and install new park, street and median trees, the need for a tree maintenance policy is obvious.

The City does not routinely prune every tree on City property; however, the City does have a pro-active tree maintenance policy which exhibits careful, professional tree trimming, thinning, shaping, and removal. Trees are trimmed and pruned as needed to meet safety standards, limbs are cleared for traffic clearance (i.e. trucks, street sweeper, visual access to stoplights and street signs), and to remove known hazards, such as proximity to utility lines.

These tree guidelines apply to all public trees in all of Daly City, and are part of City Ordinance 12.40.

Guidelines
In order to best address the urban forest needs in Daly City, the Parks Maintenance Division will be following these procedures:

  1. Daly City is responsible for the maintenance of the urban forest in Daly City rights-of-ways, medians, parks, and City-owned easements.
  2. The City is unable and not authorized to maintain trees that are not in public rights-of-way or property of the City.
  3. The City will maintain City trees, in order to remove dangerous debris and tree material for public safety and welfare.
  4. The City may prune, thin, and reduce the head weight of trees during the pruning process.
  5. The City does not top or lower the crown of City trees unless they pose a safety hazard.
  6. The lowering of tree height by City crews for aesthetic or view purposes is never done due to potential damage to the trees from pest infestation, increased chance of decay, and the cost associated with this practice.
  7. Property owners are not allowed to perform any tree work on City trees, without written approval. Property owners who perform tree work or hire work to be performed on City trees are liable for damages associated with the unpermitted work done to City trees in rights-of-ways, easements, medians, Parks or other City property.
  8. With the approval of the Director of Public Works, property owners abutting City trees on City-owned easements, parks, medians, and rights-of-ways can, at the property owners expense, have trees trimmed by a certified tree arborist or a certified tree company. Approval and issuance of a permit by the Director is subject to the following conditions:
    • The lowering of tree height will only be approved if the health and vigor of the tree is not threatened.
    • Discussion and inspection of the work to be done to ensure health of tree.
    • Inspection of the work while the work is in progress to ensure health of tree.
    • A work schedule will be provided to the Department for work to be done.
    • Proper clean-up of debris and cutting will be required.
    • Requirements for bonding and insurance will be at the discretion of the Director.
  9. Unauthorized pruning of City trees, without the written approval of the City of Daly City’s Public Works Director, will be billed to the responsible property owner(s) for all expenses incurred in correcting damage to the City’s property.
  10. Please report any needed tree work or tree-related concerns to Dennis Bray, Public Works Maintenance Supervisor, (650) 746-8375 or submit a request via Daly City iHelp.

Numbers of Interest

For Concerns about Power Lines:
Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E)
Vegetation & Management Division
(800) 743-5000