Tree Permits butterfly

COVID-19 PROCEDURE: The Public Works Department will adhere to a remote access protocol and is closed to interpersonal public contact effective March 18, 2020. To continue the provision of services while protecting the health of customers and employees staff will work remotely to process your tree permit.

Please view our Remote Procedures document These have been updated as of May 1, 2020, to adhere with the latest shelter-in-place order.

Visit the COVID-19 page for additional updates, information and resources.

The City of Pacific Grove contributes to the welfare and aesthetic qualities of the community through rules and regulations relating to planting, care, maintenance and removal of trees in public and private areas. The Public Forestry Division has the responsibility to safeguard trees from unauthorized trimming or removal. Please read the following information carefully to determine whether or not you are required to obtain a Tree Permit. If you are uncertain as to whether or not you need a permit, please contact the City.
Apply for Tree Permit Search Tree Permits

WHEN IS A PERMIT NEEDED?Except in an emergency, a permit is required to substantially prune or remove any tree, regardless of health condition, that meets the following criteria:

  • Gowen cypress, regardless of size.
  • Coast live oak, Monterey cypress, Shore pine, Torrey pine, and Monterey pine 6 inches or greater in trunk diameter, measured at 54 inches above natural grade.
  • All other private trees, regardless of species, 12 inches or greater in trunk diameter, measured at 54 inches above natural grade.
  • All trees in or within 100 yards of designated Monarch sanctuaries. (Pruning and removal of trees within the Monarch sanctuaries is prohibited between October 1 and May 1)
  • All street trees, regardless of size.
  • All trees on public property 6 inches or greater in trunk diameter, measured at 54 inches above native grade

NOTE: Please contact the Planning Department at (831) 648-3190 to determine permit requirement if tree pruning and removal is associated with development and if the property is in the Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area (ESHA) – the Asilomar Dunes neighborhood – as a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) may be required.

WHAT IS CONSIDERED SUBSTANTIAL PRUNING?Substantial Pruning applies to both above-surface and underground cutting or removal of the following:

  • Removal of more than 25 percent of the live branches of the entire Tree within a 12-month period
  • Removal of any live limb with a diameter of 6 inches or greater or a circumference of 19 inches or greater at any point on such limb.
  • Removal of any root 4 inches or greater in diameter.
Application Submittal Requirements
Emergency Tree Review
Measuring a Tree
Tree Brochures and Handouts
Tree Regulations and Forestry Standards

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