Tree removal involves numerous considerations including fire safety, neighborhood character, and protection of sensitive resources such as habitat. Removal of trees greater than 12 inches in diameter may require a permit from the Current Planning Division. In general, it is easier to remove trees from a property in the inland areas than in the coastal zone. For example, in residential zones, trees may be removed within 30 feet of a building pad as long as the removal does not impact a sensitive resource. However, if the residence is in the coastal zone, permits are required from the Current Planning Division. Tree removal three acres or larger in size, or in Timber Production Zones, require timber harvest plans and are regulated by the state agency Cal Fire.
Tree removal requirements depend on many factors. Contacting the Planning and Building Department prior to tree removal is recommended.