Heritage tree removal permit (for large projects)

Are you removing heritage trees because construction will occur within the next 12 months or are you removing more than three (3) heritage trees? The City of Menlo Park monitors the City’s tree canopy and requires residents to obtain a heritage tree removal permit before any activity can take place. To obtain a heritage tree removal permit, please follow the steps below.

Step 1: Determine the primary removal reason

The applicant should obtain an arborist report from a city-approved consulting arborist.

The arborist report shall state the primary removal reason for the heritage tree removal. 

  • If at least one tree is removed due to either Criterion 5: Development or Criterion 6: Utility inference, please proceed with Step 2.
  • If none of the trees are removed under Criterion 5 or 6 because the primary reason is either Criterion 1: Death, Criterion 2: Tree risk rating, Criterion 3: Tree health rating, or Criterion 4: Species, please the visit the heritage tree removal permit (for nondevelopment) webpage.

View the heritage tree permit decision making criteria for more details about how the city arborist determines whether there is good cause for removal or heavy pruning of a heritage tree.

Note: City-approved arborists include only the named arborist on the list, not the company. The named arborists submitted their qualifications to demonstrate their ability to comply with the city’s heritage tree ordinance. For general tree work, applicants may hire any tree maintenance companies not on the approved list. 

Step 2: Gather the required documents

Step 3: Apply for heritage tree removal permit online

Make sure you have all the required documents and details for a smoother permitting process. If documentation does not meet city requirements, you will need to amend the documents and resubmit. Once you have the necessary documents to proceed forward, you will need to apply for the permit online.

  • Visit the online permit portal and create an account, if you do not have one already
  • Select Public Works tab on the top banner and select Create an Application
  • Search for Heritage Tree Permit
  • Upload the required documents and complete the online application.

Step 4: Wait for the City’s decision

The applicant will be notified if the permit is approved, denied or requires revisions. You may view the status of the application on the online permit portal. You can either log in to the account to view status or select the Public Works tab and search for your permit record number (starts with HTR).

Step 5: Appeal period

There is a 15-day waiting period in which any community members may appeal the City’s decision. The applicant is responsible for posting the tree notice, which should be printed on a 11" x 17" yellow-colored paper. City staff will send a template to the applicant to post on the tree or on the property so it is visible to the public. Staff will mail out notices to the neighbors. The tree posting and mailed notifications would initiate the 15-day appeal period.

If any members of the community are interested in appealing, please complete the heritage tree appeal form(PDF, 820KB).

If there is no appeal and no outstanding items to be resolved, the heritage tree permit will be issued.

If there is an appeal, it will be scheduled for a hearing. You will be notified of an appeal and the permit will be placed on hold. 

Step 6: Permit issuance

Assuming everything is approved, staff will issue the heritage tree permit. Please provide a copy of the permit to the tree maintenance contractor and they should have it on-site when performing the tree removal work.