A permit to trim trees in the front yard/side yard on City right of way is not required. Proper trimming procedures to maintain the trees must be followed (ANSI A300 Pruning Standards). While tree trimming is not closely monitored, City staff will respond to complaints regarding improper tree trimming.
Generally, trees five years or younger should be watered once a week during the summer. To promote deep rooting and reduce sidewalk damage, a water basin around the tree should be used to hold water. Water applied within the basin will thoroughly moisten the tree's root zone without runoff.
Trees need space for root growth. Trunk rot can occur if plants or mulches are placed within one foot of the tree. Beyond one foot, annual or perennial plantings of your choice would add beauty to your home and neighborhood.
If you want to install concrete, asphalt paving or other hard surfacing in front of your residence, you will need to obtain an encroachment permit to install and maintain the surface according to City policies and requirements. This permit must be obtained from the City of Los Altos Engineering Division; Engineering can be reached at (650) 947-2780.
Because Los Altos has a large number of oak trees, the Environmental Commission has provided some tips for their care: