Oak Tree Pruning
We all want to be good neighbors but, at the same time, be good to our trees.
Our Coast Live Oaks, Valley Oaks, Sycamores, and Wild Walnuts are a priceless resource in our community.
Experts recommend to prune a Coast Live Oak (small, hard, dark green leaves) in Southern California
in the summer months between June and September. Valley Oaks (large, soft leaves that all fall off), however,
should be trimmed in the winter because Valley Oaks go dormant in winter. Coast Live Oaks don't go
dormant because they are evergreen. They do have a slow growth period during the summer
months so summer is when you want to prune your Coast Live Oaks.
10 - 15% per year of pruning of the canopy is recommended, if any. Over-pruning is dangerous in many
ways to the tree and can actually cause it to over produce new growth and make them susceptible to mildew.
Although the City has softened their restrictions on trimming oaks, they are still protected trees,
so if you do something that winds up harming the tree, you are responsible for replacing the trees
at a 2 live trees for 1 dead tree level. This can be very expensive and the alternative is steep fines by
the City or County, depending on your address. Consider hiring a professional "consulting arborist"
to supply you with a written report before committing to any large scale tree project.
This could help in the case of any civil action someone might bring against you.
There is a right way and a wrong way to trim these trees. Don't rely on a tree trimming
company or an unlicensed gardener to do this level of work on a protected tree.
Their main interest is having work and money coming in, not your trees.
We encourage you to read more about this for the long term health of your trees.
California Oak Foundation
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
Oak Tree Removal Issues
Save Oak Savanna is dedicated to the preservation of the natural resources in our community.
Unfortunately, there are those that put profit above the rights and desires of the current stakeholders.
There have been several instances of questionable removal of established Heritage Coast Live Oaks.
These trees are protected by the Mulholland Scenic Corridor Specific Plan and the Los Angeles
Oak Tree Ordinance. The Urban Forestry Department has a website with guidelines
on removing an oak, which includes a PowerPoint presentation.
Following is a list of actions to take if you suspect someone is
in the process of illegally removing a protected tree from your community:
1) Ask to see the permit for the tree being removed. Ask the person in charge if they are aware of the
ten year moratorium on building on land where a tree was illegally removed.
2) Call Street Services /Urban Forestry Division (213) 847-3077, ask for Ron Lorenzen.
Remember NO PROTECTED TREE can be removed without a permit.
Sometimes people can get a permit from the Board of Public Works IF the tree is in the
street right of way or endangers someone's life. Those seem to be the only two valid reasons.
Have a copy of the tree ordinance handy. This can be downloaded here:
3) Document what is happening with photos of the tree, the tree trimming service and who hired them.
4) Call 911, tell them you have an emergency situation where someone is removing a protected tree.
5) Call Councilman Dennis Zines office (213) 473-7003 ask to speak with Jonathan Brand.
If Jonathan is not there ask for Octaviano.
6) Contact neighbors so that there a plenty of witnesses. Have them make phone calls as well.
Plan ahead, have information handy, create a phone tree with neighbors.
Support your local groups and organizations, like SOS and WHOO.
HELP US NOW BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!
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