The Tree in Front of Your House is Yours To Tend

If you have a tree in front of your property, it’s important to know that you’re responsible for taking care of it.

There are approximately 100,000 street trees in San Francisco, as per the Department of Public Works (DPW). The majority of these trees are maintained by homeowners, but there are about 24,000 trees in DPW’s care. Unfortunately, DPW doesn’t have the resources to care for these 24,000 trees. The agency is transferring responsibility for these trees to the fronting property owners over the next seven years.

A good rule of thumb is to assume that the tree in front of the house you’re buying will be yours to maintain. You’ll have to prune and irrigate as necessary. Check DPW’s Web site about urban forestry for more details.

Also worth noting is that you need a permit to either plant or remove a tree. This permit can often be obtained at no cost. (Removing a tree without a permit may put you at risk for a fine.)

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Eileen Bermingham

Corcoran Global Living


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