Trees and Urban Forestry


Photo: Red Maple (Acer rubrum) on San Pablo Ave.

To report issues with trees in the public right of way, please contact the Maintenance Division (510) 215-4369.

The City celebrates California Arbor Week March 7—14, with its first-ever Tree City USA flag raising ceremony followed by a public tree planting. The event will begin at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, March 7, 2020 at El Cerrito City Hall Plaza (10890 San Pablo Ave). 
This past year, the El Cerrito City Council adopted a Public Tree and Shrub Ordinance to protect public trees; set guidelines for planting, pruning, and removal; and define the elements of the City’s Urban Forestry program. The creation and adoption of the ordinance was a culmination of efforts by the City’s Urban Forest Committee and City staff over the last 3 years to clarify issues and add protections for City trees. As a result of these efforts, the City of El Cerrito achieved recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City USA in January 2020. The four standards for Tree City USA recognition are for a City to have a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation. The City joins a nationwide network of more than 3,500 other communities that have made these same commitments. 

Other El Cerrito Arbor Week events included an Arbor Day tree planting with school children and a public workshop on small tree training and maintenance on March 15- this workshop has been postponed due to the current public health situation. 
For future workshop information, contact and sign up for the City’s monthly “Green Happenings” e-newsletter at to learn more about El Cerrito’s green community.

El Cerrito is committed to maintaining a healthy urban forest. Annually, City trees provide over $1 million of benefits to residents, including air quality, stormwater interception, CO2 reduction, energy savings and contributions to community health, economy and aesthetics. The City is responsible for about 30,000 trees on its streets and open space areas.

Businesses and Trees (PDF brochure) - An informational brochure informed by a Spring 2014 survey to local businesses regarding common concerns about City trees; funded by a grant from Invest From the Ground Up.

Learn about the City's Tree and Shrub Ordinance here!