Street trees contribute significantly to the landscape and charm of Los Altos and also provide many benefits to our community and environment. Preservation of our urban forest requires a working partnership between the residents of Los Altos and the City to ensure its sustainability.
The City provides emergency service if a tree or limb falls onto the street or public property. The City will clear the street and residents are responsible for removing any remaining debris.
To report a down tree or limb, contact the Maintenance Division at (650) 947-2785. For after hours emergencies, contact the Police Department at (650) 947-2770.
There are approximately 12,000 trees lining the streets of Los Altos, adding to the rural character enjoyed by residents. The number and increasing size of these trees makes the pruning and associated debris removal an unmanageable task for City crews.
In August 2003, the City Council approved an ordinance assigning the responsibility for street tree maintenance to adjacent property owners (LAMC § 9.20.025). The ordinance requires residents keep trees and shrubbery adjacent to their property from conflicting with normal use of the street or walkway, and that trees overhanging the street are trimmed to allow for truck traffic at a minimum of 13 feet tall. Also, trees, bushes or groundcover adjacent to residential property that impedes the flow of storm water in the curbs should be trimmed back and should not obstruct visibility for street name or traffic control signs.
The City continues to maintain trees growing in the median area or adjacent to a rear yard in the public right of way and street trees in commercial areas.
The Environmental Commission published the book Trees of Los Altos. The book provides an overview and pictures of the many species of trees one can find throughout the community as well as the benefits they provide. The Los Altos community features a stunning tree canopy, which helps to promote better air quality, cooler summers, natural shade and less reliance on air conditioning. The trees throughout the community greatly contribute to the quality of life, which the book beautifully portrays. Trees of Los Altos is available for sale at the Los Altos History Museum, the Los Altos Chamber Commerce, Los Altos Community Foundation and Los Altos City Hall. The book is $12.00 plus tax.