Private Property Trees and Water Efficient Landscaping

La Cañada Flintridge is a "Tree City USA.” The City Council has adopted Chapter 11.40 of the Municipal Code regarding the “Preservation, Protection and Removal of Trees” on private property. Its stated purpose is: “…to preserve and protect the trees that are of historic or aesthetic importance, and to provide for the protection and replacement of trees in order to maintain the community’s wooded character; protect the scenic beauty of the area; reduce erosion of top soil…and to address fire concerns by discouraging the planting of…highly flammable trees." The intent is to preserve and encourage the regeneration of a healthy urban forest. Protected private property trees may only be removed by the actual homeowner or an arborist authorized by the City after approval of a Tree Removal Permit. The City has created the Official City Tree Preservation and Protection Guidelines (21.5 MB - may require download), also available at City Hall. In addition to the Guidelines, the City Council has established a replacement tree chart and penalties for the illegal removal of trees. If you intend to plant around oak trees, please review this document from the California Oak Foundation. 

Trees and shrubs in the "public right-of-way" are regulated by different regulations found in Chapter 4.24 of the Municipal Code. Due to the rural nature of many of the streets in the City, it is sometimes difficult to know what is public right-of-way and what is private property. Before any work is done to a tree, please check with the Public Works Department at 818-790-8882 to determine whether it is on public or private property.  It may take up to seven business days to verify a tree location, if a site visit is required.  Please allow adequate time in an effort to prevent any delays for your ongoing project.

Landscaping is one of the largest users of water in the City today. In order to conserve water and conform to the legal requirements of the State, the City has adopted a Water Efficient Landscaping Ordinance. Chapter 4.23 of the Municipal Code provides direction for the development of new or redeveloped landscape areas for residential and non-residential properties. Further resources may be found on the State Department of Water Resources website.

If you have questions or would like to report a City tree related matter please contact the Public Works Department at 818-790-8882 or use our online service request system. If you have questions regarding private property trees, please contact the Community Development Department at 818-790-8881 or use the online service request system.