The Town of Los Gatos is forested by many native and non-native trees, and contains individual trees of great beauty. Trees contribute significantly to the value of land in the Town. It is the intent of the Town Code to regulate the removal of trees within the Town in order to retain as many trees as possible consistent with the purpose of the code and the reasonable use of private property. It is also the intent to preserve as many protected trees as possible throughout the Town through staff review and the development review process.
Tree Removal and Pruning Permit
Permits are required for many tree removals as well as for some tree pruning. FAQs of the Tree Removal and Pruning Application and Permit process are listed here.
Applications are available here. Please create your online account to submit applications: https://permits.losgatosca.gov/Engineering/Apply-for-a-Tree-Permit
Tree Related Fees
$250 - Tree Removal (One tree)
$125 - Tree Removal (Each additional tree on same application)
If application is denied, 50% refund
$330 - Illegal Tree Removal Administrative Fee
$250 for each 15 gallon and each 24" Box Replacement Tree In-Lieu Fee*
$500 for each 36" Box Replacement Tree In-Lieu Fee*
Tree Replacement Requirements
A condition of a tree removal permit requires two (2) or more replacement trees, of a species and size designated by the Town, be planted on the subject private property. Table 3-1, Tree Canopy-Replacement Standard of the Town Code shall be used as a basis for this requirement. The person requesting the permit shall pay the cost of purchasing and planting the replacement trees.
Replacement trees shall be approved by the Town Arborist and shall be of a species suited to the available planting location, proximity to structures, overhead clearances, soil type, compatibility with surrounding canopy and other relevant factors. Replacement with native species shall be strongly encouraged. Most fruit and nut trees, palm trees, or “nuisance” species are generally not considered suitable replacement trees. Section 29.10.0970(2) of the Town Code lists nuisance species.
Replacement requirements in the Hillsides shall comply with the Hillside Development Standards and Guidelines Appendix A and Section 29.10.0987 Special Provisions--Hillsides.
Single Family Residential Replacement Option is available for developed single family residential lots under ten thousand (10,000) square feet that are not subject to the Town's Hillside Development Standards and Guidelines. All 15-gallon trees must be planted on-site. Any in-lieu fees for single family residential shall be based on 24" box tree rates.
*If a tree or trees cannot be reasonably planted on the subject property and approved by the Town Arborist, a Replacement Tree In-Lieu Fee shall be paid to the Town Tree Replacement Fund to:
a. Add or replace trees on public property in the vicinity of the subject property; or
b. Add or replace trees or landscaping on other Town property; or
c. Support the Town's urban forestry management program.
Permits are valid for 90 days and replacement trees must be planted on the property prior to the permit expiration, unless the removal and replacements are part of an approved development application. Permits which include Replacement Tree In-Lieu fees will not be approved until all fees are paid in full.
Resources for selecting a replacement tree and other planting resources can be found on the Santa Clara County Master Gardeners website by clicking here.