Sunnyvale Street Trees and Urban Forest
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. to 4 p.m. For emergencies after business hours, call Public Safety Dispatch at 408-730-7180.
The City of Sunnyvale provides limited maintenance services for approximately 37,000 street trees, with the assistance of adjacent property owners. 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.
- All trees naturally produce debris, including leaf and needle litter.
- Residents are expected to maintain any debris in the right-of-way, water their street tree as needed and report any problems regarding their street trees.
- City staff also helps to sustain the street tree population with new and replacement tree planting.
- The Street Tree Program only provides limited maintenance for trees planted in the right-of-way. We do not provide services for trees planted on private property or root issues on private property.
- For more information on how to properly maintain street trees or to look for a local arborist for tree help, visit TreesAreGood.com.
- Trees help to keep houses and the public right-of-way cooler in the summer.
- They also provide overall beauty to the street, and increase property values.
- 100 trees remove 53 tons of carbon dioxide and 430 pounds of other air pollutants from the environment each year.
- Neighborhoods with trees experience fewer crime related incidents and are safer and more sociable.
- View an article recently published in the New York Times on how trees improve our health.
City Maintained Trees in the Public Right-of-Way
The public right-of-way is a unique piece of land. It is land granted for public use but it is not owned by the city. As long as the street exists so does the right-of-way. The street itself and the off road space, i.e. beyond the curb is where all of the public utilities exist. The sidewalks, fire hydrants, street lights, water line, gas and electric lines sanitary sewer and street trees all reside in the right of way. Sunnyvale provides maintenance services for the street, the sidewalk, curb and gutter and the street trees. Street trees are not owned by the city but reside in the right-of-way. Sunnyvale maintains the street trees as a service for the benefit of the public.
Free Street Tree Planting Available
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 and ends in March. For residents with newly planted street trees, download a guide on how to water and care for your new street tree.
Due to the overwhelmingly positive response to our outreach efforts, most plantings will not take place until late winter of 2016.
Street Tree Work Permit Application
For residents who want to hire a licensed arborist to prune an 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 to perform work on a street tree is available for download. Permits can take up to 14 business days to process once all required documentation is received. Please plan ahead.
Download the City's Street Tree Planting List
.This list includes all of species of trees that are used in planting of street trees in the public right of way. 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.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Street Trees
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.
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, contact Neighborhood Preservation
or call 408-730-7610.
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 California Good Neighbor Law
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
or visit City Hall, 456 W. Olive Ave, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.