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|Report City Street Tree issues:||Message Line: (510) 577-3400
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The Street Services Section is responsible for planting and maintaining approximately 20,000 trees within the public right-of-way and in City parks.
The City of San Leandro has been named a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation since 1996. Tree Cities must demonstrate a commitment to plant and care for community forests. Each year in April, the City celebrates Arbor Day by issuing a proclamation and planting a tree in a City park.
City trees often serve several architectural and engineering functions. They provide privacy, emphasize views, or screen out objectionable views. They reduce glare and reflection. They direct pedestrian traffic. They provide social, environmental and economic benefits to the community.
Trees alter the environment by moderating climate, improving air quality, conserving water, and harboring wildlife. Climate control is obtained by moderating the effects of sun, wind, and rain. Radiant energy from the sun is absorbed or deflected by leaves on deciduous trees in the summer and is only filtered by branches of deciduous trees in winter. Trees intercept rain water, store some of it, and reduce storm runoff and the possibility of flooding.
Dew and frost are less common under trees because less radiant energy is released from the soil in those areas at night. Temperature in the vicinity of trees is cooler than that away from trees. By using trees in the cities, we are able to moderate the heat-island effect caused by pavement and buildings in commercial areas.
Air quality can be improved through the use of trees. Leaves filter the air we breathe by removing dust and other particulates. Leaves absorb carbon dioxide from the air to form carbohydrates that are used in the plant’s structure and function. In this process, leaves also absorb other air pollutants—such as ozone, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide—and give off oxygen.
By planting trees, we return to a more natural, less artificial environment. Birds and other wildlife are attracted to the area. The natural cycles of plant growth, reproduction, and decomposition are again present, both above and below ground. Natural harmony is restored to the urban environment.
The economic benefits of trees can be both direct and indirect. Direct economic benefits are usually associated with energy costs. Air-conditioning costs are lower in a tree-shaded home. Heating costs are reduced when a home has a windbreak. Trees are a wise investment of funds because landscaped homes are more valuable than nonlandscaped homes. The savings in energy costs and the increase in property value directly benefit each home owner.
The indirect economic benefits to the community or region are even greater. Lowered electricity bills are paid by customers when power companies are able to use less water in their cooling towers, build fewer new facilities to meet peak demands, use reduced amounts of fossil fuel in their furnaces, and use fewer measures to control air pollution. Communities also can save money if fewer facilities must be built to control storm water in the region.
Information provided by the International Society of Arboriculture.
On October 21, 2019, the City Council approved Ordinance 2019-015, amending portions of Title 5, Chapter 5-2 of the San Leandro Municipal Code relating to street trees. The effective date for this action was November 20, 2019.
SLMC Section 5-2-200 establishes a fine of up to $1,000 for unauthorized planting, removal, pruning, injury or destruction of any street tree. SLMC Section 5-2-215 allows for a property owner to, upon approval by the Public Works Director, remove a street tree at the property owner’s expense. The City will only remove trees that are deemed dead/dying or have a structural flaw that cannot be remedied. A property owner now has the option to remove or prune a street tree that is otherwise in good/fair health. The following steps are required:
Step 1. Contact Public Works at (510)-577-3440 with your street address. Staff will assess the tree to determine health/viability.
Step 2. If Public Works staff determines that tree is in healthy and not in need of pruning, the property owner may proceed with pruning/removal of the tree after Step 3.
Step 3. Prior to pruning or removal of a City tree, the property owner is required to first obtain an Encroachment Permit from Engineering & Transportation Department., located at 835 E. 14th Street.
Please note the following:
• It is recommended that an experienced tree professional with a D-49 contractor’s license do any pruning/removal.
• The cost for the Encroachment Permit will be determined at the time of the application.
• The level of insurance coverage required will be determined at the time of application.
• Tree removals require the stump to be ground out and the area returned to softscape or hardscape unless a replacement tree is requested (City will plant a new tree at a cost of $100 if requested by property owner).
• If stump is not ground out the same day as a tree’s removal, approximately 5 feet of trunk must be left in place until stump is removed. Flush-cutting the tree is not permitted as this creates a tripping hazard. 811 must be called at least 3 days prior to stump removal.
• The property owner and/or tree contractor must perform a thorough visual inspection of the tree prior to pruning/removal to determine the presence of nesting birds/animals. If active nests are found, pruning/removal work must be re-scheduled until nest are no longer in use.
• If a replacement tree is not requested ($100 fee), the property owner is required to pay the fee for a tree to be planted in a location of the City’s choosing.