Heritage Trees Designation Program
The purpose of the heritage trees designation program is to facilitate the voluntary designation of non-oak species of trees within the City of Westlake Village that have special community value as exceptional specimens with aesthetic, ecological, and/or historical significance as heritage trees in order to identify these important resources and ensure their lifelong protection. The intent of this program is to celebrate, protect, and preserve outstanding trees within the community and to assist residents in obtaining information on the proper care and maintenance of these trees.
Heritage trees may be on public or private property. The designation process for a heritage tree on private property is entirely voluntary and involves no cost to the property owner. Property owners can apply for designation by submitting an application and at least two photographs of the tree. The application will be reviewed by the Land Use Committee which will make a recommendation to the full City Council. If the City Council approves the heritage tree designation, the Council will adopt a resolution that sets forth the findings supporting a heritage tree designation, and prescribe any special care or protection requirements.
In order for the City Council to approve a heritage tree designation, the tree must be healthy and must be a non-invasive, non-oak species that meets the criteria of one or more of the three resource categories defined below:
- Aesthetic Resource – The physical presence of the tree is an integral part of the landscape and/or a landmark of the community, and the tree is an exceptional specimen in regards to size, form (e.g., structural interest), rarity, and/or uniqueness.
- Ecological Resource – The tree provides habitat for an animal species that has a designated protected status (e.g., rare, threatened, endangered, Fully Protected, or Species of Special Concern) under State or Federal law, protects water quality, and/or provides essential corridors linking habitats.
- Historical Resource – The tree is recognized by virtue of age, cultural significance, and/or an association with a notable local or regional historical event, person, structure, or landscape
Owners of designated trees will have the option to be included as part of the “Heritage Trees of Westlake Village” self-guided tour map that will provide the location, photographs, and a description of the heritage tree on the City’s website. Additionally, property owners of designated trees will receive a plaque commemorating the designation of their heritage tree and one assessment of the tree’s health by an ISA certified arborist at the City’s expense. All designated heritage trees are subject to the City’s Heritage Tree Preservation Standards, which include the requirement to obtain a Protected Tree Permit prior to performing any work on the tree. Property owners maintain full responsibility for all heritage tree care and maintenance.