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Tree Removal & Severe Trimming

Removal and severe trimming of trees may be subject to a tree removal permit, depending on the tree.  The following provides guidance on when a permit is required. 

A tree removal permit is required for removal, or severe trimming (50% of the foliage crown or 30% reduction in height) for the following categories of trees:

  1. Any tree which has a trunk measuring 30 inches or greater in circumference, at a height of 24 inches above natural grade
  2. Any tree designated as protected by resolution of the City Council
  3. Any tree, regardless of size, that was required as part of the granting of a permit, license or other approval by the City
  4. Any tree, regardless of size, that was required by the City as a replacement tree for an unlawfully removed tree
  5. Any tree, regardless of size, planted or maintained by the City

Only the owner of a property may apply for removal of a tree on their own property.   To request removal or trimming of any trees within the public right-of-way, contact the Public Works Department at 415-508-2130 or fill out a GoRequest Form.

A permit application for tree removal on your private property is required.  There is currently no fee for a tree removal application.  Simply complete the form and provide any required supplemental information, as shown on the form, and return it to the Planning Department for review and approval.  The City’s provisions for tree removal are provided in Brisbane Municipal Code Section 12.12.

Note that within certain areas of Brisbane, additional regulations may also apply to any changes to landscaping.  These include the Brisbane Acres residential district due to its location within the San Bruno Mountain Habitat Conservation Plan area, Planned Development districts such as the Northeast Ridge, and Brisbane’s commercial districts.  For further information on landscaping requirements for these districts, please refer to the Landscaping webpage.  
For further information on either tree removal permits or landscaping requirements, please contact Ken Johnson, Senior Planner at 415-508-2120.