Protected Tree Permits
Oak trees and designated heritage trees are of significant aesthetic, ecological, and historical value for the City of Westlake Village. The City regulates the maintenance and removal of these trees through the Protected Tree Permit process to preserve the distinctive character and beauty of the City.
Protected Tree Permit Steps
- Determine if your tree is protected. Oak trees are protected if they have a trunk diameter greater than 4 inches or trunk circumference greater than 12.5 inches when measured 4 feet, 6 inches above the ground. If the oak tree has multiple trunks, it is protected if any 2 trunks have a combined diameter greater than 6 inches or combined circumference greater than 18 inches. Designated heritage trees are protected regardless of size.
- If your tree is protected, hire an arborist certified by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). Use the ISA's online search tool to find a nearby ISA-certified arborist, or to verify ISA certification if you already have an arborist in mind. Tree evaluations will not be accepted if the arborist is not ISA-certified.
- Discuss with the arborist your goals for the tree: routine maintenance, prevent damage to structures, address a safety concern, etc. If there is an immediate need to remove part or all of a tree due to a hazardous or dangerous condition that poses an imminent threat to life or property, the arborist should immediately contact the Planning Department to request a permit exemption. The arborist will be required to provide documentation of the hazardous or dangerous condition to justify the removal.
- The arborist will evaluate the tree and prepare a tree report that discusses the following: the health and structure of the tree, the proposed work to be done to the tree, and how that work will affect the health and structure of the tree. If the property owner wishes to remove the tree, or the arborist recommends removal of the tree, the tree report must explain the purpose of removing the tree and provide justification as to why the removal is necessary. As a condition of removing a tree, the City Council may require one or more new oak trees to be planted in another area on your property.
- Submit a Protected Tree Permit application along with the tree report prepared by the arborist. City staff will review the tree report and determine whether the permit can be approved administratively or requires City Council review.