City of Sunnyvale Street Trees and Urban Forest
The City of Sunnyvale provides maintenance services for approximately 37,000 street trees, with the assistance of adjacent property owners. A healthy "urban forest" has multiple benefits to the individual properties, neighborhoods and the City in general. Trees help to keep houses and the public right-of-way (ROW) cooler in the summer. They also provide overall beauty to the street, and increase property values. All trees naturally produce debris, including leaf and needle litter. Residents are expected to maintain any debris in the ROW, water their street tree as needed and report any problems regarding their street trees.
The City provides pruning services for street trees to maintain structural integrity and to avoid branch/trunk failure, as much as possible. Street trees are not pruned for size control. City staff also helps to sustain the street tree population with new and replacement tree planting. For more information on how to properly maintain street trees or to look for a local arborist for tree help, visit TreesAreGood.com. The Street Tree program only provides services for trees planted in the right-of-way. We do not provide services for trees planted on private property.
To report a fallen tree or tree limb, or other street tree concern, call the Street Trees Program in the Parks Division at (408) 730-7506, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. - 4 p.m. For emergencies after business hours, call Public Safety Dispatch at (408) 730-7180.
Street Tree Planting Agreement
To request a free street tree to be planted in the right-of-way adjacent to your home download a Street Tree Planting Agreement. Street trees are planted at no cost for Sunnyvale residents. The street tree planting season begins November 1 and ends in March. For resident with newly planted street trees, download a guide on how to water and care for your new street tree.
Liquidambar Street Tree Removal Program Information
Liquidambar removal applications for current fiscal year 2014/15 are no longer being accepted. The $50,000 limit has been reached. Applications can be submitted for fiscal year 2015/16 on a first come, first serve basis. The City’s fiscal year cycle begins on July 1 and ends on June 30 of the following year. Tree removals, stumping and replanting are done throughout the entire fiscal year cycle and are scheduled accordingly. All three steps may not happen at the same time and can happen several months apart.
City Awards Contract for Pruning of Street Trees
The City of Sunnyvale has recently awarded a contract to West Coast Arborist for the pruning of all public street trees on an average interval of every 7 years. All street trees on a street block will be pruned at the same time to improve the structural integrity of the trees for the purpose of public safety. A list of streets/blocks will be posted the first week of March, June, September and December that represents 1,200-1,500 trees that will be pruned in the proceeding 90 day period. The streets/blocks are not necessarily listed in the order they will be serviced. Lists are created based upon a number of criteria and if your block/street is not on the current list then it has not been determined when it will be pruned. If you have a concern about work that West Coast Arborist has performed, please contact them directly at (408) 321-8733. If your concern is not resolved, please contact the Street Tree Program in the Parks Division at (408) 730-7506 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scheduled Streets for October through December
Lakewood and Fairwood Areas
Fair Oaks Ave - 101 to Tasman
Oak Creek Way
Tasman Dr - Fair Oaks to City Limit
Street Tree Work Permit Application
Street Tree Planting List
Download the City's street tree planting list
For residents who want to hire an arborist to prune the adjacent street tree more frequently to control leaf or acorn drop, or to provide building clearance, or to keep a more open canopy and allow more sun through, a no-cost permit application is available for download.
.This list includes all of species of trees that are used in planting of street trees in the public right of way. Please note, this list is provided as an information source only. Prior to the planting of all street trees, the Street Tree Program takes into consideration many factors in street tree selection. Right-of-way grow space, vertical clearance [power lines], underground utilities, street lights, traffic signs and lights and species suitability to the site are all factors. Generally, the same type of tree species are selected for entire blocks. This is done primarily for uniformity of maintenance and cost effectiveness. The City Arborist makes the final determination of type of tree species planted.
Street Tree Program Frequently Asked Questions
Street Tree Program staff have posted several of the most common questions they get from residents regarding street trees.
View all the questions and answers.
Trees on Private Property
The Street Tree Program does not provide services for trees located on private property. To obtain a permit to remove a private tree, contact the Planning Division at (408) 730-7444 or visit the One Stop Permit Center at City Hall, 456 W. Olive Ave, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, or visit https://ecityhall.sunnyvale.ca.gov/cdpl/tree.aspx?ssl=Y .
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Private Trees
My neighbor's tree is dead. What can the City do about it?
Most issues pertaining to trees on private property do not constitute a violation of the Sunnyvale Municipal Code but are rather a private civil matter. In you have not done so already, you may consider sharing your concerns about the tree with your neighbor. If the tree is believed to be causing a dangerous situation in the public right of way or damaging a City street tree, call Neighborhood Preservation at (408) 730-7610 or visit http://ecityhall.sunnyvale.ca.gov/contact/np.aspx .
My neighbor's tree branches are hanging over my property and drops leaves and/or needs to be trimmed. What can the City do about it?
If you have not done so already, you may consider sharing your concerns about the tree with your neighbor. If talking to your neighbor does not result in the action you desire, you may trim the tree branches that are encroaching your property as long as you do not damage or kill the tree. Prior to pruning a tree that does not belong to you, it is recommended that residents familiarize themselves on the "Neighbor Law" and visit http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/california-laws-neighbor-property-disputes-65220.html .
Street Tree Planting Volunteers Needed
Sunnyvale has more than 4,500 spots where street trees could be planted – and a severe shortage of people to do the work. If you or your organization would like to become an Urban Forestry Advocate, you can visit Volunteer.inSunnyvale.com and fill out the online application or call (408) 730-7533 to talk to someone in the Volunteer Resource Program.