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Arbor Day 2012 bannerThe Street Tree Division provides a full range of tree care services to City owned trees, including scheduled tree pruning, dead wood, mistletoe and stump removal, reforestation, hazard elimination, special tree treatments and corrective measures as identified by our tree program objectives or by customer requests.

Mission: To maintain the health and vitality of the urban forest through a comprehensive inspection, maintenance and reforestation program that is designed to ensure public safety, provide excellent customer service while beautifying the City of Merced.


  • People planting a treeContinue scheduled area pruning, mistletoe removal, and tree plant/removal programs to properly maintain the City’s urban forest.
  • Reduce claims resulting from incidents involving street trees through early identification and timely response to citizen requests.
  • Continue to explore reforestation-funding sources and seek City Council approval for implementation.

Frequently Asked Questions About Trees

  • The street trees in front of my house need to be pruned. How do I schedule service?

    All street trees in Merced are on a regular pruning schedule. To efficiently prune all the trees, the city is divided into approximately 80 quarter-mile sections, and each is serviced completely before moving on to the next one. Each year, approximately 8 to 12 sections are scheduled for service, based upon their degree of need for service and budget constraints. The sections are reevaluated each year to determine if the degree of pruning needs has changed. This reevaluation is necessary due to the unique mixture of trees in each section along with the varying tree ages, and variation in growth characteristics that causes variation in maintenance concerns.

    If your tree has a problem creating a hazardous situation, please call our office immediately to have it inspected and resolved at (209) 385-6800. Emergency situations that arise after regular hours, please call 385-6905. If your street tree is causing a problem with streetlights, power lines, or other structures, please call us. City trees are pruned according to internationally accepted pruning guidelines, which are designed to promote the health and safety of each tree. That means Merced will NEVER “top” a tree. The City of Merced has a special annual program for mistletoe removal in City trees. The program is carried out during the winter months when the mistletoe is easily observed in the trees. If you have mistletoe in your City tree, you need not call as it will be removed when we are in your area.

  • Who is responsible for maintaining City trees in front of houses?

    Residents are responsible for watering street trees that are along the street in front of their homes. This includes trees that are in the parkway area between the sidewalk and street. Trees should be “deep watered,” that is watered slowly for an extended period of time. This helps promote deep root growth, which is better for the tree and helps in reducing lifted and cracked sidewalks.

    Residents can trim back small branches within their reach from the ground for sidewalk clearance. Any other trimming on street trees is the city’s responsibility and shall only be performed by City forestry crews.

  • How do I know if a tree is a City-maintained tree?

    Tree’s located in the public right-of-way and tree easements are City trees. These areas typically extend 8 to 10 feet behind the curb, even when no sidewalk is present. You can check your deed to confirm if trees are located on City-controlled property. If you are still unsure you can contact the Development Services front counter at City Hall to confirm the location of City tree easement and right-of-way boundaries.

  • How do I get a tree removed?

    Requests to remove a tree are handled by the Public Works Department. Not all requests to remove a tree will be honored. The City of Merced has established policies governing the removal of city trees. Trees are typically removed if they are dead, declining, or pose a hazard for public safety. Call our office at (209) 385-6800 for more information.

  • How do I get a tree planted?

    If you would like the City to consider planting a street tree in front of your home, call our office at (209) 385-6800 to make a request. Requests will be considered based upon current tree policies and available funding.

  • The street tree in front of my house has damaged the sidewalk. Who should I call?

    Repairing sidewalk damage caused by a City tree is an on-going effort by the City. Call our office at (209) 385-6800 to report such damage or to see when a damaged section is scheduled for repair. In some cases, a temporary repair may be performed until a permanent repair can be made.

  • I think a street tree is damaging my sewer line. Who should I call?

    Maintenance and repair of the sewer line on your property are your responsibility from the house to the City main-line connection located in the street. Sewer problems can be due to various reasons. You will need to have a plumber determine if tree roots are involved. Have the plumber indicate where the blockage occurred and if he encountered tree roots. Then contact our office at (209) 385-6800 to schedule an inspection with our city forester to evaluate the problem.