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.
Liquidambar Street Tree Removal Program
In January 2013, the Sunnyvale City Council approved a multi-year contract with West Coast Arborists to restore the City’s block pruning program on an average 7-year cycle, as well as, provide other tree services. Annually, $50,000 of the multi-year contract services will be dedicated to the removal of Liquidambar street trees.The property owner must apply for a Liquidambar Street Tree Removal Permit and pay a non-refundable permit fee. Applications are received on a first come, first serve basis. All removal requests are subject to the City Council approved guidelines below.
- One Liquidambar street tree may be removed per each ten (10) existing Liquidambar street trees per street block section (from cross street to cross street) per year excluding Liquidambar trees that have to be removed by the City due to disease, damage, decay or other hazard factors as determined by the Parks/Trees representative.
- Council has authorized the removal and replacement of Liquidambar street trees due to their production of hard, spherical fruit balls that could present a trip and fall hazard to pedestrians and bicyclists.
- No two adjacent Liquidambar trees on the same property or adjoining properties may be removed in the same fiscal year.
- No more than 200 Liquidambar trees will be removed each fiscal year, this includes all reasons of removals.
- When there are more requests for Liquidambar street tree removals than can be allowed for the current fiscal year, a priority listing will be established ranking the removal requests by date and time of the request. Subsequent removals shall be granted for a given block section according to the established removal request listing for that block.
- The removed Liquidambar street tree shall be replaced with a minimum fifteen (15) gallon size standard nursery container tree or equivalent size as directed by the Superintendent of Parks and Trees from the existing Liquidambar tree replacement listing. Where an alternative replacement species has been previously established for a particular block segment, subsequent replacement trees shall be the same species unless, in the determination of the Urban Landscape Manager that the planting site cannot support said tree species.
- Property owner must agree to water and care for the new tree for three years after planting.
- If program funds are depleted in any given year then the property owner may submit a Street Tree Work Permit to remove the tree at their own cost or wait until the next year. The property owner is to provide evidence of homeowners insurance that covers public liability and property damage coverage and sign a release holding the City harmless of any liability due to actions in the course of the street tree removal and its replacement. The property owner shall hire a California State licensed contractor with a minimum license classification of C-61 limited specialty D-49 – ‘Tree Service’ to perform the tree removal and replacement.
If you have questions or need more information, contact the Street Tree Program in the Parks Division at (408) 730-7506, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. - 4 p.m. or email firstname.lastname@example.org