Tree Regulations

Tree Removal & Pruning Permits

A permit (PDF) is needed before a protected tree can be removed. More than one tree can be included on a permit application.

A permit is also required to prune more than 25% of a protected tree's canopy or when the pruning does not follow the International Society of Arboriculture pruning guidelines.

To apply for a permit, submit an application along with a processing fee (see fee schedule), to the City of Saratoga in person or by mail to the Community Development Department at 13777 Fruitvale Avenue. 

While a permit is still required, the fee is waived for applications to remove dead or fallen trees. Complete the tree removal permit application for dead/fallen tree removals and provide photos documenting the condition of the tree(s).

After submitting the application, the City Arborist will visit the site of the requested tree removal for a field inspection. If the request is permitted, the City will send a written notice to homeowners within 150 feet of the property. Neighbors are given 15 calendar days to appeal the staff determination. For emergency situations, the notification requirement may be waived to allow immediate removal of the tree.

Verifying a Permit

To see if a tree removal permit has been obtained for a particular property, visit the City's E-trakit site. When making a selection, search under "Projects." To report a tree being illegally removed, please call the Sheriff's Office at 408.299.3233.

Tree Appeals

Both the applicant and members of the public may appeal a decision on a Tree Permit. Appeal applications (PDF) and the appeal fee must be received within 15 days of the City's decision on the application. After the appeal application has been submitted, it will go before the Planning Commission for consideration.

Arborist Reports & Tree Protection Plans

Construction projects that occur near protected trees require a tree preservation plan and an arborist report.

Additional Information