Fresno has a tree removal ordinance that outlines when a permit is required to remove a tree.

You will need a tree removal permit in Fresno CA for certain trees before they are removed or trimmed.

Below is a summary of the tree ordinance and other helpful information about when trees need to be replaced, where to apply for a permit and how long the permit is valid.

Permits and Ordinance

Note: You can view the Fresno tree ordinance in its entirety here.

Yes. But under certain conditions.

When removing a protected tree that includes trees on public land you have to get a tree removal permit.

(See below for definition of a protected tree)

However, there are exemptions which include the following.

  • Trees that interfere with the smooth running of public utilities such as power lines.
  • Fruit trees of any kind.
  • In case of an emergency. These are trees that are a threat to the public and property and as a result, are determined as an immediate emergency.
  • Trees determined to be a public nuisance. In this case, the case must be determined by the Fire Chief, Building Official, Director of Public Works, or Director of Public Utilities.
  • This includes all trees of the genus Myrtaceae.

Note: You will also be obliged to use a certified tree cutting service in your area to carry out the removal or trimming of your tree.

the country frenso

What are Protected Trees in Fresno County

The first rule is that no protected tree should be either cut, pruned, or removed in the county without the right removal permit from the county administration.

The following are classified as protected trees.

Heritage Trees

These are trees designated as heritage or important to the community based on their historic, cultural, or aesthetic values.

multi-trunk trees

This includes all multi-trunked trees with a trunk of more than 12 inches or 38 inches in circumference or more when measured at 4 feet from adjacent grade.

Except for trees in single-family residential areas that are already developed.

  • Any trees with a diameter of 12 inches or more when measured at 4 feet or above 38 inches in circumference.
  • Trees located on public property

What are heritage trees in Fresno?

heritage trees in Fresno

Heritage trees are those trees that are identified to have significant meaning in the county of Fresno. As a result, such trees are protected and given special attention to preserving them within the community for a long time.

Heritage trees can be on either public or private land.

In addition, you can get your trees designated as heritage trees. This is by making a formal, written application. Some of the details include the site details, description of the tree’s attribute such as historic, aesthetic or cultural values that make it important to be heritage and photos.

Do I need to replace removed trees?

Yes. Under many circumstances, the authority will require you to replace trees once you have been granted the tree removal permit.

In such cases, you will bear all the costs for the buying of trees and the work involved in replacing them.

However, in some cases, you may not be required to replace the trees based on decisions from the authority.

replace removed trees

Does a tree removal permit in Fresno expire?

Yes. A tree removal permit from Fresno County has an expiration period. This is within a period of one year. If you get a permit and do not act on it, after one year it becomes void.

Penalties for violation of tree ordinance

If you are found guilty of removing protected trees without getting the right permit you will suffer the following penalties.

  1. The first one is that you are required to apply for a tree removal permit and pay double the application fee.
  2. Replace the removed trees reasonably as per the city directions.
  3. Bear all costs for the replacement of trees as including arborist fees.
  4. Pay a penalty fee as determined by the city council.
Ben McInerney
Author: Ben McInerney - Ben is a qualified arborist with 15 plus years of industry experience in Arboriculture. He ran a successful tree service before turning to writing and publishing. Ben is dedicated to providing users with the most accurate up-to-date information on everything trees.