Who is responsible for maintaining street trees and sidewalks?

For many years the City maintained street trees on behalf of property owners. In 2010 due to significant budget and staffing cuts, the responsibility for maintaining street trees returned to property owners.

Excerpt from Fremont's Tree Preservation Ordinance:

Article II. Duty of Property Owners to Maintain Street Trees and Sidewalks

12.30.200 Maintenance of landscaping along or in the street right-of-way.

(a) The owner of a lot with frontage along a public street must maintain the street trees and other landscaping growing along the frontage or in the street right-of-way adjacent to the lot, including in any park or parking strip between the property line and the street line.

(b) The owner’s obligations under subsection (a) of this section include at a minimum all of the following:

(1) Maintaining the street trees and other landscaping in a good and safe condition as will not interfere with the public convenience or safety in the use of the public street and sidewalk, including:

(A) Ensuring sufficient passage of light from any public street light to the street;

(B) Ensuring a clear height of 10 feet above the surface of the street or sidewalk unobstructed by branches;

(C) Ensuring street signs, parking restriction signs, bus stop signs, and other directional and regulatory signs are not obstructed; and

(D) Removing dead, decayed, or broken limbs or branches that overhang the public right-of-way.

(2) Deep root watering, root pruning, installing root barriers, fertilizing, and pest control.

(3) Clearance, structural, and safety pruning.

(4) Removal of fallen leaves, branches and other debris.

(5) Replacing any removed or otherwise missing street tree as may be required by Article I of this chapter.

(6) Replacing any removed or otherwise missing landscaping if the landscaping was required to be planted by this code or an approved development plan.

(c) An owner owes a duty to members of the public to maintain street trees and other landscaping along the street frontage or in the street right-of-way adjacent to the owner’s property in a safe and nondangerous condition.

(d) If an owner fails to maintain street trees and other landscaping in a safe and nondangerous condition as required by this section, and a person suffers damage or injury to person or property, the owner shall be liable to the person for the resulting damages and injuries.

(e) The city of Fremont shall have a cause of action for indemnity against a property owner for any damages it may be required to pay as satisfaction of any judgment or settlement of any claim from injury to persons or property as a legal result of the owner’s failure to maintain a street tree in accordance with this section. (Ord. 11-2010 § 6, 5-25-10. 1990 Code § 6-2201.)

Show All Answers

1. What is a street tree?
2. Who is responsible for maintaining street trees and sidewalks?
3. Can I do the tree work myself or have my gardener do this?
4. Why do I need a tree permit?
5. What criteria do you use to decide if a permit for tree removal will be approved?
6. How long does it take for a tree permit to get approved or denied?
7. What is tree topping?
8. The topped tree was here when I purchased the house. Am I still responsible to fix it?
9. This tree has been pruned like this (topped) for years. Why did I receive a notice about it now?
10. The tree is alive, why do I need to remove it?
11. How do I report a tree down on the sidewalk or street?
12. Tips for hiring tree professionals
13. What if I am concerned or would like to file a complaint about a neighbor’s tree?
14. Can I plant a street tree?