Right Tree Right Place Program

We all have an interest in protecting Palo Alto’s trees.  The City’s goal is to have the right trees in the right place so they contribute to our beautiful urban forest without obstructing power lines.  The wrong tree, growing rapidly under electric wires is at best a nuisance requiring constant, expensive trimming and at worst, a hazard leading to power outages and electrical fires.

That’s where the City’s Right Tree-Right Place Program (RTRP) comes in.  Through a joint effort between Palo Alto’s Utilities, Public Works and Planning Departments and the CANOPY urban forestry non-profit organization, we offer solutions for residents and businesses who have private trees conflicting with major power lines.

What are your options?

Removal---if you have a qualifying tree on your property, the City of Palo Alto will remove the tree at no cost, leaving the stump.  if you choose to have the stump ground away, the City will reimburse you up to $300 for that cost.

Replacement---the City will also rebate you up to $50 for the purchase cost of a replacement tree!  You can purchase one of many beautiful shorter-growing species and replant it where your old tree grew.  Or, you can select a tree that will grow taller and plant it elsewhere in your yard, out of the reach of electric wires.  CANOPY’s arborists can help you find the perfect tree for your yard conditions.

How does the program work?

If you think you have a tree that might be eligible for the RTRP program you should first contact CANOPY.  After talking with you, they will forward your information to the Public Works Department.

A Public Works staff member will visit your property to size up the situation with your tree(s). At that time, you will receive a packet of information, including the RTRP application and rebate forms.

If the tree to be removed is one of the City’s “protected” trees, there will be an additional step involving a review (at no cost to you) by the Urban Forester to be sure that removing this extra-valuable tree is the best option.

After your application is approved, you will be scheduled for your tree removal. 
If you choose to have the stump ground and/or to buy a replacement tree, the City has an easy rebate process you can follow to get reimbursed for those expenses.


For more information

To learn more about the RTRP or any of the other extensive tree-related resources available to you, visit CANOPY or contact CANOPY at info@canopy.org or call (650) 964-6110.

To arrange for planting a street tree in front of your property, or to request maintenance for a street tree you already have, contact the City Urban Forestry staff at (650) 496-5953.