Tree Ordinances in Fresno: What You Need to Know

Whether you’re dealing with tree removal on residential or commercial property, chances are you may need to apply for a tree removal permit in Fresno, CA. The City of Fresno Tree Ordinance restricts the trimming, removal, and selling of trees within city limits, and ignoring these laws carries penalties and fines. 

If you’re facing an upcoming tree removal and don’t know where to begin, we’re here to help. We’re tree removal experts in Fresno, CA, offering advice, estimates, and complete tree removal to residents and business owners in the area. 

In this blog, we talk about when you need a permit for tree removal in Fresno, when to hire licensed professionals, how to apply for a tree removal permit, and more. For targeted advice, free estimates, or to schedule service, reach out to us by phone or web form today. 

When Do I Need a Tree Removal Permit in Fresno, CA? 

In general, protected trees require special removal permission from the Fresno Department of Public Works. Protected trees include, but are not limited to: 

  • Street trees
  • Trees on public property
  • Heritage trees
  • Some community forest trees
  • Multi-trunk and large-trunk trees
  • And more

Heritage trees are trees that the Fresno community has designated as important due to age, history, aesthetics, and other factors. Heritage tree regulations apply to trees on public as well as private land. Property owners may submit applications to designate select trees as heritage trees. 

Removing Trees Without a Permit

Although Fresno takes its tree permit laws seriously, there are exceptions. Always check with your local urban forestry specialists and the Fresno Department of Public Works, but you may not need tree removal permits for: 

  • Hazardous trees on public property 
  • Trees blocking public utility access or lines
  • Fruit trees
  • Trees considered to be a public nuisance
  • And more

Tree fines are often based on appraisal values determined using the most recent version of the Guide for Plant Appraisal, published by the International Society of Arboriculture. 

Do I Need to Hire a Licensed Professional? 

Yes. The City of Fresno Tree Ordinance indicates that all individuals seeking removal of trees protected by permit laws must use a licensed tree service contractor. Our team at Cut Rite Tree Service is proud to be listed among the approved contractors on the City of Fresno Tree Ordinance list. 

Tree removal prices fluctuate depending on the fair market value of the tree, the cost to plant any replacements, and other factors. Permit holders may recoup the replacement fee if they can prove they’ve replaced the removed tree. 

How to Apply For Tree Removal Permits

Simply download the tree removal permit form from the City of Fresno Landscape Maintenance Division website. Make sure to include the following information on your application form: 

  • Property owner’s name, phone number, address, and signature
  • Reasons for removal 
  • Name, license information, and signature of approved tree removal contractor

For help filling out tree removal permit forms or to request our services and license information, reach out to our staff by phone at your convenience. 

Permit Restrictions

Tree removal permits issued by the City of Fresno Landscape Maintenance Department are valid for up to one year. 

Tree Disposal After Removal 

By law, the tree is the property of the owner of the land on which the tree grew. If the property owner does not want the tree, the tree contractor must remove the wood. 

For property owners choosing to sell the wood, the City of Fresno Tree Ordinance indicates that the property owner must submit a Timber Harvesting Plan for approval. 

Request a Free Estimate Today

To learn more about tree services in Fresno, any City of Fresno Tree Ordinance, local tree programs, and more, direct your questions to our friendly staff at Cut Rite Tree Service. Reach us by phone or request an estimate using our convenient online form. 


We are a locally owned company that prides ourselves in providing the best service possible for the residents of Fresno, Clovis, Madera, Sanger, Folwer, Reedley and the surrounding areas.

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1806 N Temperance
Fresno, CA 93727


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