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Good_Growing - Tree Pruning Deadwood.webp

So now what?
Island trees: We want our island trees to develop proper structure and don’t want to see large dead-wood buildups. This is where your dues contributions are critical, and where we likely will be deploying funds as these City cutbacks take their toll. Accordingly:


- The SMPNA identifies and funds structural pruning for young island trees that as they are due. Going forward, we will track new island trees for this care.

- In early 2000s, SMPNA arranged and funded pruning of our island trees for deadwood removal and proper structure. We began doing this again in 2019 and that work is ongoing.


 - We are pruning only for deadwood removal, not structure in these projects.

 - Young tree structural pruning should occur at 3 - 5 years after planting.

We are grateful to the City’s Parks Dept. for expert consultation, permitting, professional oversight, and handling the contracting for projects on City property that we want to pursue. The SMPNA is not structured to perform those functions, so without City support they would not happen.

Street trees: It’s always an option for homeowners to prune street trees privately. The property and aesthetic values of attractive, healthy trees along a home’s street frontage make this a solid investment – particularly pruning for proper structure at 4 – 7 years after planting.

Private pruning always requires a permit from the City’s Managing Arborist. How to apply is covered on the City’s website:

The City is not Pruning our Trees
We’ve been informed that, due to budget constraints, the City will not prune street and island trees unless they pose a hazard. “Hazard” could mean a limb falls or a tree has major
structural weakness. The message:

Although structural pruning for young trees is an important investment, it won’t happen through the City.

Accumulated deadwood? Get used to it. But if you think your street tree poses a hazard, report it to the City Arborist right away: 650-522-7420 or

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