Who We Are


The Urban Forestry Section of the Public Works Department is headed by the Urban Forester. The goal of the Urban Forestry Section is to engage in operations and activities that promote the protection and enhancement of Palo Alto’s trees and urban forest in order to increase the safety, welfare, and quality of life for residents and the overall community. The staff strives to follow and implement the Tree Preservation and Management Regulations.


The ordinances concerning Trees and Vegetation are codified in Title 8 of the Palo Alto Municipal Code (PAMC). Under the PAMC provisions, the Urban Forestry Section staff operate, have authority, and carry out their responsibilities in conformance with the ordinances.


The Urban Forestry Section staff protects and maintains the public trees located on public lands such as planter strips, the public right-of-way, and parks. The Arborist, who also takes his direction from the Urban Forester, oversees issues with public and private trees related to development projects as they move through the permitting process. Sometimes there is significant overlap of public and private tree issues. In these situations, the Urban Forester, coordinating input from the Arborist and the Urban Forestry Section staff working together, makes a final decision on tree issues impacting both protected private trees and public trees.