Landmark Trees of San Francisco

Posted On: March 1, 2017
By: ffdadmin

Did you know San Francisco offers landmark tree status for the best trees? In true San Francisco fashion, the Chronicle has the story of a neighborhood dispute that offers a great way to learn all about landmark tree status! In short, a Russian Hill woman has petitioned to have a Redwood tree given landmark status. Neighborhood groups oppose this and paint an ominous picture of branches plummeting on children at any moment. Ah, San Francisco….

New Zealand Christmas Tree Landmark status tree in Cole Valley neighborhood of San Francisco

A landmark status tree in Cole Valley – A New Zealand Christmas Tree

From the Chronicle article:

The process of landmarking a tree in San Francisco is long and requires the tree to get the approval of the Landmark Tree Committee, the Urban Forestry Council, and then, finally, the Board of Supervisors. Only 18 individual trees and five groves of trees currently have landmark status in San Francisco, recognized for their size, age, species, historical significance and/or cultural value. Removal of these trees is punishable with jail time.

Yes, it’s true. We have a Landmark Tree committee. And yes, the presence of a landmark tree would be a disclosure item for a seller.

Curious where those 18 individual (perhaps someday 19?) and 5 groves of trees are? Here’s a quick google map we pulled together:

The Landmark Trees of San FRancisco

The Landmark Trees of San Francisco

And remember – a landmark tree is more than a “significant” tree. Which we also love and hug.

A little more about the landmark tree program from the Department of Environment website’s FAQ:

Who can nominate a tree for landmark status?
Landmark Trees may be nominated by five sources:
The property owner
The Board of Supervisors
The Historic Preservation Commission
The Planning Commission
San Francisco city agency or department heads

A member of the public may approach a property owner, any member of the Board of Supervisors, the Planning Commission, any member of the Historic Preservation Commission, or the head of a City department or agency about nominating a tree.

Why would someone nominate a tree for landmark status?
Trees provide environmental, social and economic benefits for everyone. While nominations are submitted for different reasons, generally nominations are made because the tree has made a substantial beneficial impact, which was then recognized by the nomination source.  We hope our program will encourage deeper appreciation of San Francisco’s trees, especially those of unusual size, historic or cultural significance, that provide critical habitat, and other ecological benefits or have other unique characteristics.