Tree Maintenance & Removal
The City plants Approved Street Trees in suitable vacant planting sites in the public rights-of-way, and in tree planting easements. Trees with attributes most appropriate to their location and surroundings are selected by the Public Works Director or his or her designee from the Approved Street Tree List. Trees planted in the public right-of-way and tree planting easements conform to the City street tree planting standard detail. The current resident, or if there is no current resident, then the owner is be responsible for the adequate watering and protection of City street trees in tree planting easements.
Get to Know the Trees in Your City
A heritage tree is:
- An outstanding specimen or grove of a desirable species
- One of the largest or oldest trees or grove of trees in Milpitas
- A tree or grove of trees possessing distinctive form, size, age, location and/or historical significance
It is illegal to prune or remove a heritage tree without first consulting the Public Works Department and obtaining a permit. Contact the Public Works Department via e-mail or by calling (408) 586-2600 to determine if your tree is a heritage tree.
As stated in Ordinance 201.5, Section 7, a permit is required to remove or prune a tree on specified property types once it reaches a certain size in circumference. A permit is required to remove a tree of any size on residential, commercial/industrial, zoning/subdivision and vacant lots. A protected tree is:
- Residential: All trees which have a 56 inch or greater circumference of any trunk measured 4½ feet from the ground.
- Commercial/Industrial: All trees which have a 37 inch or greater circumference of any trunk measured 4½ feet from the ground.
- Zoning/Subdivision: All trees which have a 37 inch or greater circumference of any trunk measured 4½ feet from the ground.
- Vacant Lots (Undeveloped): All trees which have a 37 inch or greater circumference of any trunk measured 4½ feet from the ground.
Street trees are located in the public right-of-way between the curb and sidewalk. The City's Public Works Department personnel are responsible for removing and pruning street trees. It is unlawful for a resident to prune or remove a street tree. Submit a service request to prune or remove a City street tree.
Means any trees, shrubs, grass or ground cover other than public landscaping, planted within street right-of-way or easements or in proximity thereto, or on adjoining property.
Unapproved Street Tree
Means any tree planted within street right-of-way or easements or in proximity thereto, or on adjoining property, which does not qualify as an Approved Street Tree.
The city is not responsible for maintaining unapproved street trees or other plantings in or adjacent to or overhanging any street. Maintenance of other plantings are the responsibility of the property owner, provided, however, the City may prune, trim, or remove the other plantings if the property owner refuses to maintain the plantings him or herself