Trees & Urban Forestry

Tree City USA

The City of Napa is recognized by the National Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City USA, learn more on the National Arbor Day Foundation website. The City strives to maintain this honor through tree preservation, care and reforestation programs such as Arbor Day. There are a number of City ordinances that protect both public and private trees. These regulations are included in Street Tree, Protected Native Tree, and Significant Tree Programs. The Tree Advisory Commission works with City staff and advises the Council on all issues involving trees, both public and private, throughout the community. The Commission may also serve as an appeals board on tree related matters.

Street Tree Program

A street tree is any tree located within the public right of way. Many street trees are located between the sidewalk and street, within ten feet of the curb, or in areas where there is no sidewalk or curb. Street trees are typically owned by the adjacent private property owner, but are regulated by the Napa Municipal Code, Chapter 12.44. The Parks and Recreation Services Department has regulatory jurisdiction over street trees. The Department has authority to maintain and remove street trees, including pruning for street and sidewalk clearance, and removal of dead or hazardous limbs. Street trees are pruned to professional standards, but the Department does not prune trees for aesthetic reasons. Street trees may also be maintained by the property owner, with a permit from the Department. Pruning and other maintenance must adhere to City standards to protect the health and vitality of street trees. Permit application and fee must be submitted at the Parks and Recreation Services office located at 1500 Jefferson St. NapaCA 94559 . Learn more on the Parks, Recreation and Trees Advisory Commission.

Master Street Tree List

The City values the right tree for the right place when it comes to new plantings. The City of Napa maintains a Master Trees List that consists of trees that can be planted within the City right-of-way. The location of utilities, soil type, and available planting areas are all part of this criteria.

Arbor Day

Arbor Day has been celebrated in the City of Napa since 1990. The City is recognized by the National Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City USA for its commitment to urban forestry. Each year City staff and the Tree Advisory Commission plant trees with help from the community in a public place, such as parks and schools. It is estimated that over 800 trees have been planted as part of this annual celebration since 1990. Click here  for information on this years celebration.

Protected Native Tree Program

The removal or pruning of a protected native tree is prohibited unless a permit is first applied for by the property owner or person authorized by the property owner. Applications will be reviewed by City staff to determine whether it is part of a discretionary development application or if the application will need to be brought before the Parks, Recreation and Trees Advisory Commission for a final determination.

Protected native trees are specific species of trees located on private property one acre in size or larger, zoned for residential or agricultural purposes, or located on property zoned for commercial or industrial purposes. In establishing this protection of specified trees, it is the City’s intent to promote a healthy urban forest that contributes to clean air, soil conservation, energy conservation, scenic beauty, enhanced property values, and quality of life; ensuring that Napa will continue to be a desirable place to live and work. Section 12.45 of the municipal code regulates Protective Native Trees.

The following native tree species with a diameter as shown are considered protected:

Size Details
Black Oak
Quercus kelloggii
12 inches or greater
Black Walnut
Juglans hindsi
12 inches or greater
Blue Oak
Quercus douglasii
 6 inches or greater
California Bay
Umbellularia californica
12 inches or greater
Coast Live Oak
Quercus agrifolia
12 inches or greater
Coast Redwood
Sequoia sempervirens
36 inches or greater
Valley Oak
Quercus lobata
12 inches or greater

Significant Tree Program

The Significant Tree Program was created to both honor and protect trees of historic significance, that are unique or rare specimens, that possess unique physical characteristics, are Napa Valley natives, or trees with special or unique habitat value. Significant trees are regulated under section 12.45 of the municipal code. Currently there are over 36 trees on the Registry of Significant Trees within the City of Napa.

Tree Registry Nominations

  1. In order to have a tree or grove of trees considered for the registry an applicant will first need to submit a significant tree applicationavailable from the Parks and Recreation Services Department. There are only two key criteria:
    1. Only the property owner, whose land the tree is located on, can make the nomination.
    2. The tree or grove of trees to be considered must be located within the City of Napa.
  2. Next, the nomination will go before the City’s Parks, Recreation and Trees Advisory Commission for review and approval.
  3. If approved by the Commission the nomination will go to the Napa City Council for final approval through a resolution.

    Residents who wish to prune or remove a significant tree must submit a Significant Tree Pruning/Removal Application in person or by mail to the Parks and Recreation Services Department or call 707-257-9529