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Alameda County, CA,

Urban Forestry Program

street lined with trees

Unincorporated Alameda County has approximately 280,168 acres in which substantial portions were and are covered by native, indigenous and historical trees. The County recognizes that the preservation of these trees and our urban forest enhances the natural scenic beauty, sustains the long term potential increase in property values, which encourages quality development, maintains the ecology, moderates the effect of extreme temperatures, prevents the erosion of topsoil, helps create an identity and quality, which enhances the attractiveness of the County to visitors and increases the oxygen output of the area which is needed to combat air pollution. For these reasons the Alameda County Board of Supervisors finds that in order to promote the public health, safety and general welfare of the County while at the same time recognizing individual rights to develop and maintain private property in a manner which will not be prejudicial to the public interest it is necessary to enact regulations controlling the planting, pruning and removal in order to preserve trees within the County right-of-way.

(click here for Alameda County Tree Ordinance)

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors recognized the need for tree preservation and adopted the Alameda County Pilot Tree Policy in April of 2000. By May 2002 the need for a Tree Ordinance became apparent and the Alameda County Tree Ordinance was adopted. After a year of implementation, problems were identified and changes to the Ordinance were necessary. In September 2003 the Alameda County Board of Supervisors adopted the revisions to the Alameda County Tree Ordinance.

The Tree Ordinance is the County's primary regulatory tool to provide for orderly protection and preservation of all street trees located within the County right-of-way. Enforcement of the Tree Ordinance promotes health, safety, welfare, and quality of life for residents of the unincorporated areas of Alameda County. Additionally, educating citizens with the standards of tree care as well as the Tree Ordinance guidelines and regulations will assure the preservation and protection of trees.

Program Goals and Objective

  1. To manage tree resources in the County right-of-way; to protect and promote community values consistent with the safety of the motoring and pedestrian public and of public and private property.
  2. To protect and preserve urban trees which have high value for unincorporated communities and neighborhoods.
  3. To plan and implement innovative programs to enhance and expand urban and suburban tree resources, and supporting activities.
  4. To communicate the importance of urban and community forestry activities to a broad range of community participants through outreach and education and encourage and support grassroots and local efforts in building sustainable urban forest ecosystems.
  5. To integrate guidelines and services of the Urban Forestry Program with other County and agency programs to maximize effectiveness and provide technology sharing.

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