Ordinances regarding Brush Clearance

Protected Tree Ordinance

Due to a declining Oak population over the past several decades, the City of Los Angeles has regulations to protect our native trees. The Protected Tree Ordinance:

  • Protects all native Oak tree species (Quercus spp), California Sycamore (Platanus racemosa), California Bay (Umbellularia californica), and California Black Walnut (Juglans californica)

  • Trees four inches or greater in diameter at 4.5’ above ground (DBH)

  • Multiple trunk trees are calculated by cumulative diameter

  • Trees on any lot size are protected

Protected tree removal requires a removal permit by the Board of Public Works. Any act that may cause the failure or death of a protected tree requires inspection by the UFD.  

Although the law does not require protected tree pruning be permitted, the UFD encourages residents intending to perform any type of work to a protected tree first consult with a RCA or Certified Arborist. The pruning of protected trees must be performed carefully. Any work above or below ground that will occur within five feet of a protected tree’s drip line (link to definition), the root protection zone, should not be performed until after RCA or Certified Arborist is consulted.  

Please read more info HERE, and to see the ordinance HERE

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Brush Clearance Ordinance in High Fire Hazard Severity Zones

As the risk of fire is a concern in Los Angeles, so our level of caution rises: all it takes is one spark to start a potentially devastating fire. Please follow these important tips for how and when to conduct your brush clearance.

The ordinance includes a ban on metal weed whackers, and also new requirements for brush clearance in Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones (VHFHSZ), including that brush clearance cannot be conducted during red flag days, and that proper extinguishing agents be nearby during brush clearance, and others. It also creates new penalties for violations.

You can read the ordinance HERE and to see a summary of the ordinance HERE

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