Tree-lined avenues offer shade during our hot summers, raise property values, and clean our air.  That's why so many trees have been planted in the City of Stockton.


Trees planted in park strips (the planting area between the curb and sidewalk) or trees planted in tree wells are in the City right-of-way.  With a few exceptions, trees planted six feet back from the sidewalk (8-10 feet in some newer subdivisions) are also within the City easement.


Thousands of property owners help by caring for the street trees adjacent to their property.  If you are planning to plant a new tree, the City of Stockton requires trees be on the approved species list.


Tree Maintenance

Trees located on private property are the property owner's responsibility.  To determine if a tree is on private property or in a city right-of-way, please contact the Tree Division.  Residents may trim, prune, and maintain trees adjacent to their property in city rights-of-way but must submit a Street Tree Planting/Removal Permit Application for approval prior to removing or planting trees in those areas.


In some areas, the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has a maintenance program that includes trimming trees away from electric utility lines.  Please contact PG&E (under External Links below).


Tree Removal

Property owners may remove trees or stumps in City right-of-way or easements by submitting a Street Tree Planting/Removal Permit Application.  An inspector will assess the street and approve or deny the permit based on a variety of factors, including (but not limited to):

  • visible structural damage or non-preventable likelihood of damage to site improvements,
  • visible damage or non-preventable likelihood of damage to water or sewer service,
  • disease or infestation,
  • house move, and
  • new construction.

Property owners will be contacted regarding the tree assessment and the approval or denial of a permit.  If a tree is removed, property owners must, at their own cost, plant a replacement tree within the guidelines of Stockton Municipal Code 16.162.


Heritage Oaks

Heritage Oak  trees are protected in the City of Stockton.  Stockton Municipal Code Chapter 16.130 governs the removal of Heritage trees regardless of where they are located on a property or  the condition of the tree(s).  If a property owner wishes to remove a Heritage Oak tree, an approved Heritage Oak Removal Permit Application must be submitted to the Public Works Department.


Upon receipt of the application, staff will evaluate the condition of the tree and grounds for the application to determine whether or not the tree can be removed.  If removal is warranted, the property owner will be notified of the next step.  Mitigation is required.


Tree Inventory

The City of Stockton received grant funding from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention to conduct an inventory of its street and park trees.  See the inventory here.



External Links

Stockton Recycles


Stockton Municipal Code Heritage Oak Permit 16.130

Stockton Municipal Code Street Tree Permit 16.162

PG&E (800) 743-5000

Arbor Day

Urban Forest


This City of Stockton web page last reviewed on --- 11/18/2016