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Heritage Trees

Qualifications

A heritage tree may be found on public or private property and has special significance to the community due to its history, girth, height, species, or unique quality.

Tree List

  • The City of San José heritage tree list was adopted by the City Council in order to provide official recognition and protection of these trees.
  • The list of heritage trees is updated periodically to add new trees to the list or remove those that have died or were removed because of important safety concerns.

Heritage Tree Map

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Heritage Tree Process

  • The list of Heritage Trees are updated from time to time as needed to add new trees to the list or remove those trees that have died or had to be removed due to serious safety concerns.
  • The process for determining which trees are added to the Heritage Tree is under the jurisdiction of the City Arborist’s Office.

If you have a tree that you would like to consider being designated as a Heritage Tree contact the City Arborist at 794-1901 or arborist@sanjoseca.gov.

You must be the owner of the property where the tree is growing, or if you are nominating someone else’s tree, you must have their written permission to nominate the tree. Per the language of the San Jose Municipal Code, a Heritage Tree is defined as “any tree which, because of factors including but not limited to its history, girth, height, species, or unique quality.”

Pruning / Removal Fines

  • Once heritage trees have been designated by the City Council, these trees have a higher level of protection from harmful illegal pruning or removal.
  • Violation can result in a citation and fine of up to $10,000, which can increase for repeated violations up to $30,000.
  • Therefore any pruning of heritage trees needs to be done in consultation with the city arborist to ensure that the work performed on or around the tree will not endanger its health, structure, or life.

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