Trees and Development Projects

The following information is intended for Applicants, Property Owners, and Consulting Arborists when submitting development applications. For general information about protected trees or removal requests not related to construction, visit the Parks and Recreation Tree Division Section of our site.

Per Chapter 13.40 of the Municipal Code, the following trees are considered protected:

  1. Heritage Trees
    • Oak trees with a trunk diameter of 10 inches or more 
    • Any other tree species with a trunk diameter of 15 inches or more 
  2. Street Trees
    • All trees growing within the public right of way 
  3. Existing Trees/Major Vegetation
    • Trees with a trunk diameter of 6 inches or more designated as protected as part of a planning application subject to Chapter 27.71

Important Definitions

  1. Tree Protection Zone (TPZ) is the area surrounding a tree with a radius equal to 10 times the diameter of the trunk. 
  2. Tree Protection Plan (TPP) means a written plan for the preservation of protected trees approved by the City Arborist in compliance with SMMC 13.40. A TPP is required whenever any construction activity is proposed within the TPZ of a Protected Tree. 
  3. Construction Activity means any construction work associated with or requiring a building permit, including the necessary related activities like storing/staging of materials, site access, parking, placement of temporary structures, debris disposal, additional excavation, and landscaping. 

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