Heritage tree removal permit (for nondevelopment)

Do you need to remove a heritage tree or prune more than 25% of the canopy on private property and do not have any plans to do any exterior construction work? The City of Menlo Park monitors the City’s tree canopy and requires residents to get 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 tree removal. 

  • If the primary reason is either Criterion 1: Death, Criterion 2: Tree risk rating, Criterion 3: Tree health rating, or Criterion 4: Species, please proceed with Step 2. 
  • If the primary reason is either Criterion 5: Development or Criterion 6: Utility inference, this permit is considered as a large project. Please visit the heritage tree removal permit (for large projects) webpage. 

Visit the heritage tree 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 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 city arborist'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: Permit issuance

If the permit is approved and no in-lieu fees need to be paid, the permit will be issued. 

If the permit is approved and an in-lieu fee is needed, applicant shall pay the in-lieu fee before the permit issuance.

If the permit is denied, only the applicant may appeal staff’s decision. The appeal period is 15 days after staff’s decision and a heritage tree appeal form(PDF, 820KB) must completed.