Resource Management Agency Seal

Resource Management Agency


Planning Services
1441 Schilling Place
Salinas, CA 93901
(831) 755-5025
(831) 757-9516

Although every effort is made to provide complete and accurate information on this website and all its documents, users are advised to contact applicable County Resource Management Agency staff before making project decisions and fee estimates.

Removal of Trees & Vegetation & Fire Management

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Monterey County has policies and codes that regulate removal of trees and native vegetation.  Before removing or significantly pruning (more than 30%) any native tree or removing vegetation, please review the policies applicable for your area or contact the Permit Technician of the day by calling (831)-755-4800 for assistance to determine if a permit is required. Click here for the Tree Removal Permit Form - you may submit this form to 

Tree Removal.  A permit is required to remove or significantly trim protected trees.  Up to three trees may be handled administratively and more than that requires a Use Permit/Coastal Development Permit.  A tree assessment (arborist) or forest management plan (forester) is generally required, unless:

  1. the tree is clearly dead, or
  2. has created an immediate hazard such as leaning 
    on a power line or fallen across an access road.

Reports/Assessments will only be accepted by professionals on the County's approved list Approved Arborist & Forester Consultants.  Such assessment/report must meet the County standard Tree Report Requirements.  Companies preparing the report/assessment of trees on a property may not also remove the trees on that property.  The County strongly recommends using only licensed and insured professional tree services for removing trees because of potential hazards and liability to the homeowner. 

Fuel Management.  While Monterey County encourages proper management of fire loads around homes, trimming trees and vegetation to reduce fire fuel loads may require a permit depending on the area and type of vegetation being impacted.  Some minor trimming of vegetation is allowed without a County permit Basic Fuel Management.  Removing or trimming vegetation along a river or creek requires permits from the County and possibly State or Federal agencies.  Clearing to the bare ground is strongly discouraged and not allowed in most cases due to possible erosion problems that may create.  Erosion from improper removal of vegetation could result in liability to the homeowner. 

In certain cases a biological assessment will be required to assure no protected species (plant or animal) is impacted.  Biological reports/assessments may only be prepared by professionals on the County's approved list Approved Biologist Consultant List

Oak Woodlands.  State law requires protection of oak woodlands. The County has an existing Oak Protection Ordinance and has adopted guidelines to preserve oak woodlands: Monterey County Voluntary Oak Woodland Stewardship Guidelines

For better understanding on processing Tree Removal Permits, please read the County Tree Removal Permit Process.



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