The City of Modesto has implemented a tree ordinance, essentially a collection of guidelines and regulations aimed at managing tree-related activities.

As a result of the tree ordinance, some trees will require you to obtain a permit for you to either trim or remove them.

However, in this summary, you will find information on tree removal permits, protected trees, how to handle street trees, and getting a permit.

The city has also provided a comprehensive tree ordinance guideline for more information on trees.

Yes. The city council protects significant and large trees. As a result, you need to get a permit from the city director of public works.

Once you get a permit, it will be valid for a period of 60 days after which it will become void.

All the costs related to the removal of trees from private property are on the owner of the property.

Modesto Street Tree Plan

The street tree plan of the city of Modesto is a plan through the Community and Economic Development Department and City Manager on tree planting. The plan is made to ensure that the city is able to have proper planning on how trees will be planted.

The plant carries several details which include types or trees, varieties, their locations, and zones such as neighborhood, commercial, and industrial.

Maintenance of Street trees

The maintenance of city street trees in Modesto is the responsibility of the city council. Trees that are within the city will be taken care of by the council including those on public right of way.

However, trees that are on the street but outside the city will not be the city’s responsibility unless under a special agreement.

The city director of public works is also in charge of overseeing all activities to do with street trees. This includes planting, maintenance, removal, and replacement.

The director can also authorize the removal of street trees in case they are causing a disturbance, hazardous, or unhealthy, in case they need to improve the streets, and if they are dead.

The director has also the mandate to authorize any property owner in the city to remove their trees if deemed necessary. This may happen in case your tree is dead, infested, causing a disturbance to the public, wrongly located, or other necessary reasons.

Can I appeal a decision by the city council?

Yes. You are allowed to appeal any decision by the city council to suspend or deny a permit. However, in so doing, you have to make sure that you have all the right details to support your appeal. It is advisable to get a report from an independent arborist.

Modesto City Trees and Forestry Services

This is a division in the city of Modesto that was introduced to deal with several activities concerning trees. The division is in charge of the city’s urban forest, which includes a park and street trees. This is also a division that carries out training for people on how to take care of trees.

The division has its own arborists that ensure smooth operations and inspection of city trees.

They also oversee the removal of city or street trees where necessary.

Here are circumstances under which the city streets may be removed.

  • If the trees have any type of disease or are infested such that they become a danger to the public or other trees.
  • In case there is a major development project that is also authorized by the city administration.
  • In case the trees are obstructing traffic or right of way
  • Trees that are interfering with public utilities such as gas or power lines.
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.