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Can a private property owner prune or remove their own private Valley Oak Tree?

This is the most misunderstood part of the ordinance by Visalia citizens. A private property owner may hire a licensed tree trimming contractor to prune their tree. Prior to the trimming, the property owner (or a tree service) must file an “Intent to Prune” form notifying the City of their intention to trim their valley oak tree. To remove a valley oak tree, a property owner must submit an “Application for Removal” form along with a $25.00 non-refundable fee to the Urban Forestry Division. Once received a City Arborist will inspect the tree within 7-10 business days and either grant or deny a permit. In the oak tree ordinance, there is a provision that allows for the removal of an oak tree of any size if the tree substantially interferes with the economic enjoyment of the property and there is no viable alternative to removal. If granted, the property owner must hire a licensed tree trimming contractor to remove the tree. These procedures are in place to prevent an unlicensed and inexperienced individual from removing a tree and possibly damaging private property or injuring themselves or other workers.

If you have more questions or want to talk to someone about our Valley Oak trees, please feel free to contact Urban Forestry at 559-713-4428.

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