Caring for Trees in Mill Valley

The impact of the recent prolonged drought, along with diseases such as Sudden Oak Death (SOD), fungi such as Ganoderma (Artist’s Conk), and pests such as bark beetles, has led to the death or removal of some trees within our City. 

One of the most important ways to help preserve the beauty of our City is to please remember to periodically have your trees inspected and maintained as appropriate.


In accordance with the City’s Municipal Code, property owners are responsible for the maintenance of street trees located adjacent to their properties.

In addition to pruning and tending to the tree’s health, maintenance of the trees includes sufficient trimming so that a minimum of 12 feet of clearance is created over gutters and roads and 8’ over sidewalks. Trees, hedges, bushes, and shrubs must be limited to four feet in height for a distance of 50 feet from any intersection or curve in order to allow traffic visibility.


Anything more than minor trimming of low hanging branches of street trees requires a tree permit.  Work performed by a contractor or landscape maintenance company in the right of way requires an encroachment permit. 


Please click here for a tree permit.

Please click here for an encroachment permit.


Please allow up to 10 business days to process tree permits, as they require a physical inspection by City staff.  Encroachment permits can typically be processed within two days.


Another way to help our trees thrive is to cut the ivy off the tree trunks. The ivy can pull down healthy trees because the biomass is so heavy. To remove the ivy, cut away about four feet of the vines from the ground up the trunk of the tree. The vines will die and drop off the tree eventually. 

Also - please do not staple or nail signs to trees.

We are pleased to have many skilled staff, including Parks Supervisor Tony Boyd, at the City of Mill Valley who are available to discuss trees and advise on best practices. Please email to set up an appointment.