Heritage Trees

How do I know if I have a Heritage tree?
Mountain View’s City Code Chaper 32, Article II, defines a “Heritage Tree” as any tree that has a trunk with a circumference of forty-eight inches (48") or more measured at fifty-four inches (54") above natural grade. Multi-trunk trees are measured just below the first major trunk fork. Three species, quercus (oak), sequoia (redwood) or cedrus (cedar) are considered “Heritage” if they have a circumference of twelve inches (12") measured at fifty-four inches (54") above natural grade.
What responsibility do I have if there is a Heritage tree on my property?
Mountain View’s ordinance states that if you own or control real property in the City, you are responsible for maintaining and preserving all Heritage trees in a state of good health.  It is against the City ordinance to willfully injure, damage, destroy, move or remove a Heritage tree unless granted a removal permit by the City.
How do I obtain a removal application for a Heritage Tree?

You can obtain an "Application for Heritage Tree Removal Permit" by doing one of the following steps:

There is a $116 fee (each additional tree, same site $58)  associated with the permit process starting July 1, 2011.

What information is required on the application?
A completed application will provide staff with contact information as well as the number, species, size and exact location of the tree(s) involved.  You’ll also need to provide a brief statement on the application of the reason(s) for the requested action.
What happens after I submit an application?
Staff will review the application, make a site visit to evaluate the tree(s) and make a decision on the application.  Typically, notice of the decision will be posted on the tree for a ten (10) day period and mailed to the property owner.  If there are no appeals to the decision, the removal permit will be issued by the City.
What is the appeal process?
Any person aggrieved or affected by a decision to remove or deny removal of a Heritage tree may appeal the decision during the ten (10) day posting period.  A letter stating the reason(s) for the appeal must be submitted to the City Clerk’s Office.  There is a Fifty Dollar ($50) fee for filing an appeal.  An appeal automatically stops any action on the tree until the Urban Forestry Board hears the appeal at a public meeting.  The Board’s decision on an appeal is final.
What happens once a removal permit has been issued?

A Heritage Tree Removal Permit is valid for up to two (2) years from date of issue.  After the tree(s) is removed, the owner is typically required to plant a new 24-inch box tree(s) or pay an in-lieu fee of seven hundred fifty dollars ($750) to the City of Mountain View for each tree removed.  These funds are used to plant new trees in City parks, medians and public areas.  The City Arborist may require the replacement species and planting location for the new tree(s) or the decision of the species may be up to the property owner.

How do I request the planting of a street tree?
Call the Forestry Division to request a tree. Staff will evaluate your property to see if there is appropriate planting space. Considerations for planting include spacing, the proximity to sewer, gas and water service lines, as well as proximity to sidewalks, driveways, streetlights, etc. Street tree planting is typically scheduled in the fall.
What if I have additional questions?
If you would like more information about Mountain View’s Heritage Tree Ordinance (Chapter 32 Article II) or have questions about street trees, you can contact the Forestry Division at (650) 903-6273 or by e-mail at parks@mountainview.gov