Caring for your trees…
Adding Value to your property

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Yes, In San Jose, you need a permit to trim an “Ordinance Tree” with a trunk diameter of 38 inches or more. Trimming street trees also typically require a permit.

Trimming of Ordinance Trees

Ordinance Trees hold a special status in San Jose. Protected by the San Jose Municipal Code, these trees have a trunk diameter of 38 inches or more at breast height, measured explicitly at 54 inches above the ground.

If you’re fortunate to have such a tree adorn your property, you should know that any activity—whether pruning, removal or any other disturbance—typically necessitates a permit.

Trimming Street Trees

Another category of trees requiring attention and sometimes permits are the street trees. These are the trees you often see lining the streets, located within the public right-of-way, usually between the sidewalk and the road.

These trees fall under the responsibility of the City of San Jose. If you plan to trim or remove a street tree adjacent to your property, you must secure a permit first.

Trimming Private Trees

The rules are slightly different for trees on private property. If the tree in question isn’t an Ordinance Tree, the general rule is that property owners won’t need a permit just for trimming.

However, if you’re considering removal, other factors come into play.

The property’s location, whether part of a particular planning area or if the tree is of a specific species or size, might dictate additional considerations and potential permit requirements.

Considerations for Tree Trimming in Urban Development

Urban development often involves modifying the natural environment, which might mean dealing with trees.

If tree trimming or removal is integral to a more extensive development project or site work, then expect to delve deeper into the permit process.

Additional requirements or considerations might be imposed to ensure the development harmonizes with San Jose’s urban greenery.

Emergency Tree Trimming Situations: Navigating Permits and Safety Concerns

Nature is unpredictable, and emergencies can arise. If a tree becomes an immediate threat to safety, say it’s heavily damaged after a storm and is at risk of falling, the usual permit process might be fast-tracked or even bypassed.

However, in such difficult circumstances, it’s paramount to notify the city immediately, ensuring public safety and meeting city guidelines.

Penalties for Non-compliance in Tree Trimming

San Jose values its trees, and this sentiment is echoed in the penalties imposed on those who neglect the necessary permissions.

Undertaking unpermitted work on protected trees might lead you down a path of hefty fines and mitigation requirements.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry; ensure you have the necessary permissions before embarking on any tree-related activities.

In Conclusion

While San Jose encourages its residents to care for and maintain their trees, it’s vital to do so within the framework of the city’s regulations.

It’s always prudent to check the most recent rules and guidelines.

This information can be found by visiting the city’s official website or contacting the San Jose Department of Transportation or the department in charge of tree management.

Local regulations can evolve, and the nuances specific to San Jose dictate whether a permit is necessary for your situation. Always be informed and act responsibly to maintain the city’s lush green canopy.