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City of Encinitas Receives "Tree City USA" Designation

Encinitas, CA - For the 8th year, the City of Encinitas has been named a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management. The City achieved this designation by meeting the organization's four requirements:

  1. A tree board or department (such as the City's Urban Forestry Advisory Committee);
  2. A tree care ordinance, which can be found on the City's website;
  3. An annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita (the City's current budget is $10 per capita); and
  4. An Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

"We are truly proud to be a Tree City," said Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear. "We understand the importance of optimizing our tree canopy cover and the future benefits from street trees as global warming continues to impact our environment."

The City of Encinitas is responsible for the maintenance of public trees and the urban forest. Staff has overall responsibility for all City tree concerns and is the liaison for the development and construction processes. In-house crews perform inspection, minor pruning and emergency tree operations. Staff also administers contracts with tree services companies who perform a wide variety of services (such as tree removal, pruning and stump grinding).

The City's Tree Ordinance and Urban Forest Management Policy are the City's primary regulatory tools to provide for orderly protection of trees, to promote the health, safety, welfare, and quality of life for the residents of the City, to protect property values and to avoid significant negative impacts on adjacent properties. By assuring preservation and protection through regulations and standards of care, these resources will remain significant contributions to the landscape, streets and parks, and continue to help define Encinitas.

The City has also developed an Administrative Manual which establishes specific technical standards and specifications necessary to implement the Urban Forest Management Policy.

Property owners can request a permit to plant a tree in the street right-of-way, prune an existing city tree or remove a city tree themselves by submitting an application, linked here, to the Engineering Department at City Hall. In addition, if a property owner contracts the work to a third party, that party must be a licensed contractor with a valid City of Encinitas business license.

Contractors who perform work on city trees or wish to plant a tree as part of a project must submit a City Tree Permit Application, linked here, along with their project submittal documents. Please contact the City's Public Works Department with any questions at (760) 633-2850.

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The City of Encinitas maintains more than 15,000 trees as part of its Urban Forest Management Program. For the past 8 years, the Arbor Day Foundation has honored Encinitas with its "Tree City USA" designation. This is a national program that provides the framework for community forestry management in over 3,400 accredited cities and towns that are home to 135 million people across America.

In America, Arbor Day is a tradition dating back to April 1872 when 1 million trees were planted in Nebraska. Trees are a critically important part of sustainability and protecting the environment. They absorb storm water runoff that can harm our coastline, fight climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the air, reduce energy usage by providing natural shade and beautify streets and parks. The annual Arbor Day celebration supports the City of Encinitas' Gold Standard Climate Action Plan Strategy 7: Carbon Sequestration. Read more on how trees fight climate change by visiting the Encinitas Climate Dashboard.


Located along six miles of Pacific Ocean coastline in northern San Diego County, Encinitas has an approximate population of 60,000 and is characterized by coastal beaches, cliffs, flat-topped coastal areas, steep mesa bluffs and rolling hills. The city was incorporated in 1986, drawing together the communities of New Encinitas, Old Encinitas, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Olivenhain and Leucadia.


Founded in 1972, the centennial of the first Arbor Day observance in the 19th century, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with over one million members, supporters, and valued partners. www.arborday.org