« Pan Handling | Main | Burlingame Art Walk »

May 01, 2005



Yes you will be fined if you trim the tree. However, if you go to the Park division and get a permit to do the work yourself then it should not be a problem. Check out the City of Burlingame web site formore info. It is very informative.


Since the City owns the street tree, I believe its their liability if the tree falls. You might want to hire an arborist (2nd opinion) to determine if this tree can be salvage prior to any action, and contact Steve Porter, city arborist, for next step.


It's sad, at the end of the day the City of Trees will be reduced to drought resistant grasses and low shrubs. It seems that nearly every tree is seen as a potential liability. It isn't necessarily the city's fault, but people are so litigious these days. The stately large trees are going to become more and more rare. Really, they are our most wonderful asset.


The problem is the people who make it so easy for people to be litigious--the lawyers. And it's not just the city, but Caltrans too, because of the El Camino eucalyptus that they feel the need to cut down for little or no reason. Certain council members have shown themselves to be no fans of big trees either, so that's another part of the problem.

I love those bottle brush trees and I think the idea of a second opinion is a good one. Stick to your guns.


Definately get a second opinon and get some neighbor comments...Contact the parks department and try to find out the 'plan' for this tree- Is the tree a sick or unstable? If it is healthy it should be preserved-

I'm not sure but I think they would need to notify you if they were going to cut the tree...

Stick to your guns- this is YOUR front yard...think of what a beautiful town we could have if everyone took care of their own area...

Just because a tree is inconvenient is not justification enough to cut it...

Thank you!


Perhaps get in touch with Laura Hesselgren, who I think is the chairperson for the Beautification Commission. (the city website still does not include who is the chairperson) http://www.burlingame.org/council/commission.htm

Two trees were taken down on Cypress because of a buckled sidewalk. I am watching to see if they replace those with two new ones.

Does anyone know if new houses have to include trees in the front of the house. A new home on Crescent "forgot" to include a tree on the front strip but now I see they dug up the grass and included two new trees. Alleluia!


The City of Burlingame Park Division plants aprox. 300 trees a year in our city. It is unfortunate that they don't put this information out. It is a free service to any homeowner. All you have to do is call the Park Div. Tell them you would like a tree in front of your house.(within the city owned easment)
They will send you a list of @20-30 trees that can be properly planted at your site. Consideration of width of easement,overhead/underground utilities,determine the types of tree that can be planted so problems with roots, leaves, and the topping PGE does will be abated.If you do not know the characteristics of the tree on the list,the Park Div. gives address's in the city of homes where you can see the tree you might be interested in planting. It is entered into a data base and every time you call in regards to a maintenance issue it is recorded. The maintenance and problems you may encounter with the tree will be answered with a phone call to the Park Div. I think this should be added to the "Hidden Gems" of living and working in Burlingame.


Thank you, Tee, for this very useful information. This is a "hidden gem"!

Laura Hesselgren

Just to let you know, the City removes trees without a request from the homeowner if the tree is a hazard, is sick or diseased or if it is a major liabilibity to the City or homeowner that can't be fixed by trimming,re-routing sidewalks etc. The City would rarely, (I want to say never but I'm sure someone would come up with an example) remove a tree because it was "too much work". The bottle brush tree, which I believe is the tree you are talking about is on the City approved list of trees to be planted in a parking strip. It would not be there if it was too much work. Your tree is more than likely in ill health or a hazard. You can appeal the removal once you are notified that it is scheduled to be removed by contacting the Parks department.

Fiona,As far as planting trees in the parking strip, the City does supply each homeowner a
"free" tree if requested and a second or third tree for a minimal cost. It truly is a wonderful program and a program that helps Burlingame keep it's "Tree City USA" status. It is however up to the homeowner to request that a tree be planted in their parking strip. It is not a requirement and if a tree is removed for a legitmate reason, the homeowner does not need to replace it. Only thing you can do is remind the homeowner that the City will plant a tree for "free" and hope that they contact the City.


To dovetail on what Laura said, it is also possible to purchase trees for spaces other than one's own strip, where a person may not be able to afford, or has no opinion about having a street tree. I have purchased several for my neighborhood over the past decade. At that point, they cost about $50 each, a great deal. I got to pick from the list, and all I needed was the home-owner to sign a note saying they didn't mind having a tree in the strip. I don't know if this is still allowed, but I sure hope so. I think that the sidewalk and street are really spaces to be enjoyed by the public at large. Trees provide shade, they help dim noise, etc. I personally would like to see all the available strips in town planted with something. It makes such a difference in how a neighborhood looks.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

About the Voice

  • The Burlingame Voice is dedicated to informing and empowering the Burlingame community. Our blog is a public forum for the discussion of issues that relate to Burlingame, California. On it you can read and comment on important city issues.

    Note: Opinions posted on the Burlingame Voice Blog are those of the poster and not necessarily the opinion of the editorial board of the Burlingame Voice. See Terms of Use

Contributing to the Voice

  • If you would like more information on the Burlingame Voice, send an email to editor@burlingamevoice.com with your request or question. We appreciate your interest.

    Authors may login here.

    For help posting to the Voice, see our tutorial.