Palo Alto's Heritage Trees
What Is A Heritage Tree
Heritage trees are individual trees of any size or species that are specifically designated as a heritage tree by the city council.
Upon nomination by any person and with the written consent of the property owner(s), the city council may designate a tree or trees as a heritage tree. A tree may be designated as a heritage tree upon a finding that it is unique and of importance to the community due to any of the following factors:
- It is an outstanding specimen of a desirable species
- It is one of the largest or oldest trees in Palo Alto
- It possesses distinctive form, size, age, location, and/or historical significance.
After council approval of a heritage tree designation, the city clerk shall notify the property owner(s) in writing.
For more information, please refer to the Tree Ordinance, 8.10.090 Designation of heritage trees, and the Heritage Tree Application Checklist, Appendix N of the Tree Technical Manual.
Heritage Tree Listing
#1 - The El Palo Alto Redwood is located in El Palo Alto Park, corner of Alma and Palo Alto Way, on the banks of San Francisquito Creek. The tree is California Historical Landmark #2, is recognized by the National Arborist Association and International Society of Arboriculture for its historical significance as 'a campsite for the Portola Expedition Party of 1769'; frequented by the Coastanoan/Ohlone Indians; and used as a sighting tree by surveyors plotting out El Camino Real. The Sequoia sempervirens, Coast Redwood is 90-inches in diameter, 110-feet in height (compared to 134.6-feet in 1951) and has a crown spread of 40-feet. The tree is, as of 2002, 1061 years old and is healthier today than 100 years ago.
#2 - The Rinconada Oak, is located in Rinconada Park, along Embarcadero Road. The Quercus agrifolia, Coast Live Oak is 52-inches in diameter, 75-feet in height and has a crown spread of nearly 120-feet. The trees is over two centuries old and was dedicated by Mayor Liz Kniss in 1994.
#3 - Coast Redwood, is located on private property in the rear of 3759 La Donna Street, Palo Alto. The Sequoia sempervirens, Coast Redwood is 64.6-inches in diameter, 125-feet in height and has a crown spread of nearly 25-feet. In 1999, the tree was valued at $32,600 and was estimated to be over a century old.
#4 - Dawn Redwood, is located on private property in the front of 1032 Forest Avenue, Palo Alto. The Metasequoia glyptostrobodies, Dawn Redwood is 27-inches in diameter, 48-feet in height and has a crown spread of nearly 40-feet. In 1999, the tree was valued at $13,000 and was estimated to be nearly a half century old.
#5 - Silver Maple, is located on private property in the rear of 1872 Edgewood Drive, Palo Alto. The Acer saccarinum, Silver Maple is 55.2-inches in diameter, 72-feet in height and has a crown spread of nearly 95-feet. In 2000, the tree was valued at $16,900 and was estimated to be over half a century old.
#6 - American Elm, is located on private property in the center of the San Alma Homeowners Association property, 4256 Ponce Drive, Palo Alto on the site where Don Secundo Robles (owner of all the land that is now Palo Alto) built his adobe home sometime before 1840. The Ulmus americana, American Elm is 39.5-inches in diameter, 60-feet in height and has a crown spread of nearly 60-feet. In 2000, the tree was valued at $10,200 and was estimated to be over half a century old.
#7 - Aleppo Pine, is located on private property in front of 12291 Ramona Street, Palo Alto. The Pinus halepensis, Aleppo Pine is a twin-trunk combined 73-inches in diameter, 55-feet in height and has a crown spread of nearly 60--feet. In 2004, the tree was valued at nearly $40,000 and was estimated to be nearly 70 years of age, with a good prognosis for the future. Designated by City Council Resolution, the tree has been described as 'the best example of an Aleppo Pine in all of Palo Alto', by Jim McClenahan, a member of the American Society of Consulting Arborists. The tree benefits from all the provisions contained in the City of Palo Alto Tree Preservation and Management Regulations.
Last Updated: March 14, 2007