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Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 5/9/19, at 7:00pm? Please visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1UAnZ8kU8EWllREyOY7rwQ/. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 2/28/19, from 6:00 to 11:00 PM? Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same date and time.

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Parks Division
Parks Division

Tree Planting

Forestry tree planting 1

The city’s Urban Forestry Unit plants trees on the public right-of-way, in city parks, and on city owned property. The public right-of-way includes the planting strip between the curb and the sidewalk, and street medians. Trees are not planted on streets where there is no sidewalk. Residents can submit a tree planting application to have the city plant a tree, or to purchase and plant a tree at their own expense. Based on our Tree Planting Location Standards, the city will designate the species and location of any tree that is planted on the public right-of-way, regardless of who purchases and/or plants it. A tree planting application must be submitted and approved for each address that is requesting a tree be planted. Applications are processed as they are received. Due to the large volume of applications received, planting can take up to, and sometimes more than, one year to complete. Tree planting occurs year-round, but can be affected by staffing levels and the availability of tree stock.

By submitting a tree planting application, the applicant agrees to the following conditions and requirements: 

  • All trees growing between the sidewalks and streets are city trees.
  • All pruning is done by city staff, unless the resident obtains an approved pruning permit from the city’s Urban Forestry Unit.
  • Resident will water the tree for at least three years following the planting of the tree, according to instructions provided by the City (approximately 20 gallons once per week from March 15 to October 15).
  • Resident will keep grass and weeds away from the trees, and will not allow use of a string trimmer within 12 inches of the tree trunk.
  • Resident will keep tree well or planting strip filled to the grade of the sidewalk.

  • Tree Planting Application
  • Tree Planting Application Instructions
  • Tree Planting Location Standards
  • Tree Planting Information and Instructions

Forestry tree planting 2
Tree Planting FAQ

Do I need permission to plant a tree on the strip outside my house?  

Yes, planting a tree on the public right-of-way without written approval from the Urban Forestry Unit of the City of Berkeley Parks Division is a violation of B.M.C. 12.44.010. All tree planting requires prior submittal of a tree planting application.

How many trees will be planted? 

Urban Forestry staff will inspect the property to determine if the site is suitable for having a street tree based on our Tree Planting Location Standards. For most residential properties, only one tree will be planted. When determining a planting location, many factors are taken into consideration including: underground utilities (gas, water, sewer and communication lines), utility poles, street lights, overhead service lines, driveway approaches, fire hydrants, stop signs and other street signs, proximity to intersections and the mature size of the selected tree species. Spacing between trees will be determined by the mature size of the species selected and location of existing trees.

What species will be planted? 

Urban Forestry staff selects a tree species according to the width of the planting strip, the presence of overhead high voltage, lines and the species of existing trees. Tree species are evaluated for their performance in relation to pest and disease susceptibility, and potential infrastructure damage. Because of this, existing species may no longer be planted. No tree shall be planted under high voltage lines that may grow to a height within the required clearance space, regardless of the existing tree species or size of planting space. The City strives to designate one species for a multi-block section of a street, while varying the species planted on adjacent streets.  

What if there is concrete that needs to be removed to plant a tree? 

Concrete removal is included when city staff plants the tree. The scheduling of concrete removal may affect the scheduling of the tree planting. If self-planting, the resident needs to submit an engineering permit with the Permit Service Center (1947 Center Street, 3rd Floor) and include a sketch of the area of work. 

Do I need permission to plant a tree on private property? 

Before planting trees on private property, remember to call #811 two business days before any project that involves digging, no matter how large or small, and including tree planting. 811 is a free service and will allow your local utility providers (gas, electric, telecom, water)to mark the location of underground lines so that you #knowwhatsbelowand keep your family and neighbors safe and avoid potentially costly repairs. You can also visit https://www.usanorth811.org/ and submit an online request.


If you have additional questions about tree planting, call (510) 981-6660 or send an email to trees@cityofberkeley.info 

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Parks Division, 1326 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94702
Questions or comments? Email: trees@cityofberkeley.info Phone: (510) 981-6660
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903