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Tree Removal and Maintenance on Private Property

Frequently asked questions (faqs)


Trees on Private Property
  • Can I randomly remove a tree that is located on my private property?
  • What is a heritage tree and how does that affect my private property?
  • What is a native tree and how does that affect my private property?
  • What is an urban grove and how does that affect my private property?
  • What happens if I remove a tree that was protected? Will I have to replant it, pay the permit fee again, or both?
  • What can the City do about a neighboring private tree that affects my view?
  • How do I determine my property line, and does the City provide a service to locate it?
  • Can the City recommend a company to trim my trees, and can I request the City's tree service company to trim my trees?
Most trees on private property can be removed without a permit. However, trees that qualify as a heritage tree, native tree, or are part of an urban grove require a Tree Removal Permit issued by the Community Development Department, available here. Each of these categories of protected trees are described below.
A heritage tree is any tree located between your home and the street with a trunk circumference of 48" or more when measured at a height of 4'6" above the ground. Removal of a heritage tree requires a Tree Removal Permit issued by the Community Development Department, available here
A native tree is any tree located between your home and the street with a trunk circumference of 24" or more when measured at a height of 4'6" above the ground, and is one of these species:
  • Big Leaf Maple
  • California Alder
  • Foothill Ash
  • Arizona Ash
  • Southern California Black Walnut
  • California Juniper
  • California Sycamore
  • Fremont Cottonwood
  • Black Cottonwood
  • Coast Live Oak
  • Blue Oak
  • Mesa Oak
  • Valley Oak
  • Red Willow
  • Mexican Elderberry
  • California Bay
Removal of a native tree requires a Tree Removal Permit issued by the Community Development Department, available here
An urban grove is a group of 50 or more trees, located anywhere on a property, where the ends of the branches of each tree are within 6' of the branches of one of the other trees in the grove. Removal of a tree within an urban grove requires a Tree Removal Permit issued by the Community Development Department, available here.
The City has various enforcement remedies that may be relied upon in the case of an unpermitted tree removal. These remedies can include prosecution as a misdemeanor offense, a requirement to plant a healthy replacement tree of the same or similar species and size, and/or paying a monetary penalty to the City in an amount equal to the replacement value of the tree.
With the exception of Trousdale Estates, the City generally doesn't regulate private trees that affect views. Property owners in Trousdale Estates may be eligible to apply for a View Restoration Permit if a neighbor's tree is blocking views of the Los Angeles Basin such as city lights and the coast. Information about the View Restoration Permit process is available from the Community Development Department at 310-285-1141.
The City doesn't provide property line surveying but can advise whether a specific tree is in the right of way. This information is available from the City Arborist by calling 310-285-2467.
The City isn't able to recommend specific contractors, but there are additional resources available online:
Find a Certified Arborist

Find a Contractor (from California Department of Consumer Affairs - Contractors State License Board):
What You Should Know Before Hiring a Contractor - brochure
Doing it Right: Hiring a Licensed Contractor - video
Hiring a Contractor and Other Resources for Consumers - links and information
License Search for Contractors

City Trees
  • What is public right-of-way and how does it relate to my property?
  • Who is responsible for tree maintenance and cleanup of a City tree on my right-of-way?
  • Why did I receive a notice that City trees are being removed in my area due to wildfire concerns?
  • How many trees will be removed?
  • What factors determine which trees need to be removed?
  • What happens to nests and other wildlife when the City removes a tree?
  • Who do I contact about a City tree lifting part of my driveway?
  • Does the view ordinance in Trousdale apply to City trees?
Public right-of-way is a strip of land for roadways, sidewalks, and utilities. The edge of the public right-of-way is also the property line for the abutting property.
The property owner is responsible for watering the tree and removing fallen leaves and fruit. The City trims these trees and may remove and replace them if necessary.
The Beverly Hills Fire Department recently completed a Wildfire Assessment Report that recommended removal of highly flammable trees to improve public safety. The tree removals reduce fire fuels and canopies in evacuation corridors. The report is available for review here
The City will remove the trees necessary to improve evacuation routes and access in the event of a wildfire.
The City identifies trees that are unhealthy or dying and determines if they must be removed.
Every tree that is identified for removal is carefully inspected for nests and other presence of wildlife before any work begins. If any nests or wildlife is found, work is postponed or stopped.
If the damage affects the driveway apron, which is the area where the driveway meets the street pavement, please contact Customer Service at 310-285-2467.
No, the Trousdale Estates view restoration ordinance does not apply to City trees. The report may be found here
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  • City of Beverly Hills
  • 455 North Rexford Dr
    Beverly Hills, CA 90210
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  • (310) 285-1000
  • Monday-Thursday 7:30AM-5:30PM
  • Friday 8:00AM-5:00PM

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