Local Tree Governance

Photograph of Washington Park, 1975

Burlingame’s trees are managed through the Department of Parks and Recreation. The city has produced an Urban Forest Management Plan that outlines the policies and practices of the department. Included is an inventory of the city’s street trees and themed blocks.

Download Urban Forest Management Plan (PDF 1.4 MB)

As part of this plan, Burlingame removes city-owned street trees if they’re dead, dying, diseased, have bad root health, stability problems, or significant structural defects. The trees that cause the most concern are the 100-plus-year-old eucalyptus that line boulevards such as Easton Drive and California Drive.

Eucalyptus trees are generally disease-resistant. However, pavement can block oxygen needed by the tree roots, causing health problems for the tree (and dangerous conditions on sidewalks and roads). A suffocated tree might grow smaller roots to compensate for the weakened roots, resulting in a loss of stability for the entire tree, especially in strong winds or heavy rain.