Create safer, cleaner, and healthier neighborhoods by planting trees in your yard, on your street, and in your parks, and schools.

Element B: Local Government Policies and Ordinances

Improving the extent, safety, and health of trees can be advanced by adopting tree policies, ordinances, and plans for both public- and private-property trees. Local urban forest policies support and reflect the image, character, and values of your community.

Cities and counties throughout the region have a variety of policies and ordinances to protect and preserve trees. Throughout the region, the requirements vary widely from the species and sizes of trees protected, to the planting replacement ratios and mitigation requirements for removal. This is a great starting point from which to build a better future.

The Greenprint Clearinghouse will provide information, guidance, and workshops to develop model policies and ordinances that can be adopted throughout the region. This approach offers consistency throughout the region, creating a regional approach to the protection, replacement, and mitigation of trees.

Growth Ring 1

  • Adopt street and park tree protection ordinance/policy

Growth Ring 2

  • Develop stage 1 of comprehensive urban forest ordinance components3
  • Adopt street, median, and parking lot planting and design guidelines
  • Implement sustainable funding for urban forest activities


  • Develop stage 2 of comprehensive urban forest ordinance components4

Growth Ring 4

  • Adopt urban forest goals in the general plan and community plans5
  • Finalize comprehensive set of urban forest ordinances and policies

Element C: Community Partnerships »

  1. E.G. McPherson, et al. Guidelines for San Joaquin Valley Communities. March 1999.
  2. K.I. Scott, et. al. Effects of Tree Cover on Parking Lot Microclimate and Vehicle Emissions. Journal or Arboriculture, Vol. 25, No. 3. 1999.
  3. Shade cover objectives for various land uses, tree replacement and mitigation policies
  4. Healthy tree protection and preservation, ordinance compliance program
  5. Urban heat island mitigation policy, green infrastructure principles, smart growth and green planning policies