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City of Paso Robles
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Address
Planning Division
1000 Spring Street
Paso Robles, CA 93446
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Phone
(805) 237-3970
(805) 237-3904 FAX
Hours
Mon-Fri 8am to 5pm
E-mail
planning@prcity.com
Planning Division

CITY TREES

The City of Paso Robles has an adopted Street Tree List [pdf:98k/2pp] of those trees that are acceptable for planting in the City right-of-way.

Did you know the City maintains approximately 2000 trees? Street trees are a simple and beautiful way to add aesthetic value to a neighborhood. Besides providing shade during our hot summers, street trees also filter air for dust and other particles, are important to the ecosystem providing habitat, and they can increase property values.

City trees are generally located in the parkway between the street and the sidewalk in residential and commercial areas. Some newer tracts have street median strips in which street trees are located. The City has many different layouts for City/private responsibility, so be sure contact the Street Maintenance Division if you are unsure if a tree is the City’s or not before deciding to trim one.

Please fill out an Action Request Form to notify us of a City tree that needs trimming or removal.

Oak Tree Preservation

Oak tree removal requires submittal of an Arborist Report (view list of City Council Approved Arborists) and City Council Approval. Download an Oak Tree Removal Permit Application or obtain one from the Planning Division.  The application and an Arborist Report (Oak Evaluation Guidelines) are required when a property-owner is proposing to remove an oak tree that is 6 inches or greater in diameter as measured at 4.5 feet above ground level. Call (805) 237-3970 for further information.

Oak tree trimming requires a permit from the Public Works Department whenever trimming oak tree branches 6 inches or greater in diameter on vacant, undeveloped sites in conjunction with a building permit.  A permit is not required for developed private property trimming IF there is no new construction or other development planned or occurring.  For a trimming permit or questions, contact Public Works at (805) 237-3861.

Why does the City have regulations regarding oak trees?

The regulations are intended to promote preservation of oak trees to maintain the heritage and character of the City of El Paso de Robles (“The Pass of the Oaks”) as well as preserve the City’s beauty and unique identity.

As revised by the City Council on August 6, 2002, the Oak Tree Preservation Regulations:

  • Designate the “Critical Root Zone” (CRZ) as the area in which care should be taken to avoid damage to the root system of oak trees. The CRZ is an area that is measured in relation to size of the tree trunk and is generally larger than the drip line (the drip line was the previously protected area). The CRZ cannot be manipulated by trimming the canopy of the tree.
     
  • Require City Council review of requests to remove an oak tree that has a trunk diameter of six (6) inches or greater as measured at 4.5 feet above ground level.
     
  • Call for property-owners to obtain a permit from the Public Works Department whenever trimming oak tree branches 6 inches or greater in diameter on vacant, undeveloped sites.
     
  • Authorize property-owners of already developed residential properties to trim oak trees without restriction as to the size of branches if there is no new development proposal under consideration (and as long as they do not endanger the health of the oak tree or kill it).
     
  • Establish increased protection measures for oak trees on sites that are being graded and developed.
     
  • Require the size of a replacement tree to be in proportion to the tree being removed and further requires the replacement tree to be the same species as the being removed.
     
  • Specifies limitations on who may conduct research and make recommendations regarding preservation and/or removal of oak trees. Only City Council-approved arborists are allowed to prepare reports.
     
  • Includes new penalties for violations (criminal, civil, and restitution of damage), giving the City Attorney better tools with which to enforce the regulations.

The full version of the Oak Tree Preservation Ordinance is available here.


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