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Tree Removal & Replacement

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 Tree Removal & Replacement

City tree behind flags

Trees are a vital part of our City. As the biggest plants on the planet, trees provide oxygen, reduce pollution, help keep a building and street surfaces cooler, and provide shelter to wildlife. Unfortunately, sometimes a tree must be removed and, in most cases, is replaced with a new tree. Below are common conditions/situations that trigger consideration to remove and replace a tree:

  1. Dead, dying, disease/infestation, damaged
  2. Root damage, rot, decay, tree instability
  3. To make required infrastructure repairs (sidewalk, street, curb/gutter)

The City's Streetscape division of the Public Works Department has 6 Arborists who are certified by the International Society of Arboriculture on staff. Our certified staff perform a thorough inspection and assessment of a tree and also consider several alternatives to tree removal, prior to making a decision as to whether a tree should be removed and replaced. 

When our City Arborist determine there is justification to remove a tree, staff issues a notice to the property owner at the tree's location. The notice is issued 21 days in advance of the scheduled removal and contains information about the removal. Only the property owner at the tree location is notified. Subsequently, the property owner can then contact the City for further discussion or coordination. After all associated work at a location is completed (tree removal, stump grind, sidewalk, curb/gutter, street repair, etc.), staff replants a new tree and leaves a notice with the property owner explaining the watering needs of the new tree. 

 Permits to Remove and Replant a Parkway Tree

Torrance 5k w Trees in Background


The property owner may apply for a permit to remove and replant City street tree(s). Applications will be approved or denied by a City employed Certified Arborist based on our tree removal criteria. The City of Torrance will not approve the removal of a tree solely because of sap, leaf, flower, berry debris, surface roots, view, or personal preference.

If approved, the property owner is responsible for the purchase and planting of the replacement tree and all work associated with the removal of the existing tree. The City requires a $500.00 deposit per tree to be removed and replaced. The deposit will be refunded to the property owner after tree(s) have been replanted and an inspection by a Public Works Supervisor has verified that all specifications and conditions have been met. If replacement tree is not planted within 120 days from the date of permit approval the property owner forfeits the deposit, which is then used by the City to purchase and plant a replacement tree at that location. The City will specify the species and the size of replacement tree required based on the size of the parkway. The removal and replanting must be done by a City-approved contractor.  See link below.

List of City-Approved Private Tree Contractors





Why are Trees Identified for Removal/Replacement?

Infestation (Shot Hole Borer)

shot hole tree

 Tree Damage

Damaged Tree

 Dead, Dying, or Diseased

Dead Tree


Decaying Tree

 Street Damage

Street Damage Tree

Root Damage or Instability

Tree in Construction

Required Infrastructure Repair

CIP Tree

Wind or Storm Damage

Wind and Storm Tree

Tree Rot 

Rot Tree



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