How to Protest a Tree Removal

How to Protest a Tree Removal

Tree removal notices can be either a paper notice attached to a tree or an online listing at Department of Public Works (DPW)’s Tree Removal Notifications site or at a privately compiled Tree Removal Archive site.

If you want to protest a tree removal, you can write a letter or email to DPW and say why you protest the removal, as explained at the Tree Removal Notifications site, or you can generate an automatic email at the privately maintained Tree Removal Archive.

Here is a sample email:

from: <your email>
date: <today’s date>
subject: 900 Kearny Street , Site 1 removal protest

message:  I protest the removal of the subject tree because it appears to be in good health.

You do not need an elaborate removal reason.  The main purpose of  a “protest” is to stop the tree from being removed and to get the tree on the agenda for the next removal hearing.

Once DPW receives your letter or email, they will contact you to say that you will be notified of a hearing to be scheduled sometime in the future.  Hearings are typically  on the 4th Monday of each month at City Hall at 5:30pm, and several removal cases are heard at each hearing.

How to use the Tree Removal Archive site

When you first view this site it will look like a spreadsheet with “too much information.”  However it has several advantages over DPW’s Tree Removal Notifications site:

  • It has links so you can see a photo of the tree, see permit information, and generate an automated email protest.
  • It lists all tree removal postings since DPW’s online site first began in November 2019.   This is useful if you need to go back and find information, since DPW’s site removes listings whose Protest End date has passed.

Using the links

To explain this we’ll use the following example:

Place the cursor next to the desired link — note there is a link in a window nearby.  Move the cursor to that link.  While holding down the Ctrl key click it.  (On a Mac hold down the CMD key.)  For a Protest email, edit the message as needed, and then click Send.