The Urban Forestry Section is responsible for pruning all public trees. Privately-hired tree service companies or homeowners are not allowed to prune public trees. The most compelling reason to prune trees is to develop a strong, safe framework, but pruning is also done for clearance, visibility, and safety. Pruning is accomplished in accordance with the Tree Technical Manual
which references the ISA Tree Pruning Guidelines, ANSI A300-1995. These are industry standards, "species-specific", that promote the natural shape and health of the tree.
The City has two programs for pruning trees. The first is the contract area pruning, done by contractors. Contract area pruning is done area by area. The second program is the in-house tree crews and arborists which inspect and make appointments for pruning trees when they are outside of the area contract locations. Both services compliment each other to provide the most efficient tree maintenance for public trees.
Private regulated trees
are the responsibility of the homeowner but must also be pruned in accordance with industry standards mentioned above. Private regulated or designated trees require permits from the City arborist before they can be pruned, and work must be administered by a certified arborist.
Please contact the Urban Forestry Section at (650) 496-5953 for questions on pruning trees or to request a pruning inspection.