Heritage Trees

  1. New "Protected Trees" Ordinance is in effect July 1, 2021
    The "Protected Trees" Ordinance (13.40) replaces the prior “Street Trees” Ordinance (13.35) and “Heritage Trees” Ordinance (13.52). Learn More
Heritage Trees are living landmarks and an important competent to the quality of life in San Mateo. It is our intent to explore methods of solving tree-related problems, without resorting to tree removal when possible.

Heritage Tree Definitions:

  1. Any Oak having a trunk diameter of 10 inches or more, measured at 4.5 feet (54 inches) above ground level.
  2. Any tree with a trunk diameter of 15 inches or more, measured at 4.5 feet (54 inches)
    above ground level.
Need help figuring out the diameter of your tree? See our Tree Diameter Measuring Instructions


Heritage Tree Regulations


A permit is required to remove or prune a Heritage Tree. You can apply for a permit by submitting a completed Tree Work Application.

Unless you have a permit issued by the City of San Mateo, It is unlawful to:
  • Remove a Heritage Tree.
  • Prune more than one-quarter of the crown or existing foliage.
  • Remove any roots within a distance equal to 6 times the diameter of the trunk.