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ing will help improve Downtown as a place to

STREET TREES & work, live and visit. If the character of new
LANDSCAPING trees is considered in the context of existing
trees and abutting uses, tree planting will also
strengthen the attractiveness and highlight the
PRINCIPAL CONSIDERATIONS identity of each Downtown street.
Greenery in parks and along streets makes
Berkeley a more beautiful city, and is critical to Connecting with the UC Campus. Trees
Downtowns livability and success as a place. and landscaping may provide opportunities to
Trees and other landscaping on City land and bring a sense of UC Berkeleys extraordinary
in the public right-of-way enhance Downtown campus into the Downtown -- a campus that
environmentally, economically, and culturally. is known for its glades, plazas, and natural ar-
Healthy People & Ecosystems. People de-
rive psychological benefits by having access POLICIES AND ACTIONS
to green spaces and feeling a connection
with nature. Collective acts of planting trees Policy 5.1, Planting Program & Priorities.
and caring for landscapes build community. Promote the installation of Downtown street
Where trees and landscaping are planted at trees to the extent possible, with the ambitious
curbside or in traffic islands, traffic speeds are but attainable goal of 1000 Trees by 2020.
lower and rates of serious injury diminished. Strive to create a continuous canopy of trees
along every street over the long term.
Economic Development. Trees and land-
scaping increase property values and can re- a. Where adequate space exists, gaps in the
duce maintenance costs of other streetscape spacing of street trees should be filled and
elements. They also promote an attractive a continuous canopy of trees should be
sense of place and will help Downtown Berke- created along every street. Major gaps
ley compete as a regional destination. in the street tree canopy are depicted in
Figure h.3, Street Segments without Sig-
Beauty and Identity. Street trees and land- nificant Street Trees.
scaping play a critical role in making down-
towns more attractive and inviting. They are b. The City should strive to plant 500 trees
also a source of civic pride. Unfortunately, in the Downtown Area by 2020 (about fifty
one-quarter of all street frontages in Downtown per year), using existing City programs,
have no street trees as indicated in Figure h.3, with a near-term target of 100 trees plant-
Street Segments without Significant Street ed per year until new financial resources
Trees. In response, tree planting deserves are established (see also Financing Plan & Figure h.1. Trees & Placemaking.
emphasis. Omnipresent trees and landscap- Trees bring beauty and architectural
Near-Term Priorities) . An additional 500 form to urban places. They will play an
trees should be planted as part of major important role in making Downtown more
public improvements, as in kind contribu- pedestrian-friendly and strengthening
Facing Page: Street trees offer many benefits, the most
obvious of which may be shade and the sheltering effects tions from private development, or through it as a destination, as has happened in
of an outdoor canopy. Staff photo. initiatives sponsored by the Downtown downtown Vancouver, BC (above) and
downtown San Jose (below).

Street Trees & Landscaping 76

Berkeley Association or other organiza- ceptions should be allowed to highlight
tions. major designated landmarked structures.

Policy 5.2, Tree Palette & Community Char- Policy 5.3, Tree Location. Use trees to shade
acter. New trees should be selected in the and provide a canopy over sidewalks, and over
context of community character and environ- bicycle and vehicle lanes to the extent pos-
mental objectives, along with existing condi- sible, and to provide a sense of separation
tions such as existing tree species on each between pedestrians and vehicles. New trees
street. Street trees make an enormous positive should be positioned for public safety and a
contribution to the character and quality of ur- healthy urban forest.
ban places, especially when they are selected
to promote visual congruity, livability and maxi- a. While the location of new trees will be
mize aesthetic benefits. determined as part of major projects,
new street trees are possible throughout
a. Limit trees to those that are appropriate Downtown. Street trees should gener-
to the Downtown as described in Appen- ally be planted between the curb and the
dix A, Palette of Appropriate Downtown main path of pedestrian travel. In some
Street Trees, except where indigenous or instances, it is not possible to plant trees
other drought resistant alternative would be between existing curbs and the main pe-
equivalent. Explore whether indigenous or destrian path such as when sidewalks
other drought-resistant alternatives may be are relatively narrow or where constrained
available. The Parks/Urban Forestry Divi- by utilities. In such instances, consider
Figure h.2. Cadence. The rhythm of
trees and lighting can provide a sense sion should determine the species for new extending the curb so that trees can be
of place that is distinct and memorable. trees, in consultation with abutting property planted but minimize the loss of on-street
owners. Recommendations for specific parking, such as by extending curbs next
streets appear in Tables h.1 and h.2, Rec- to red zones. Design projects to permit
ommended Trees by Street Segment -- ex- the parking and use of tree maintenance
cept for trees selected in conjunction with vehicles adjacent to the trees without inter-
Major Projects. Tree species have been rupting traffic or requiring a street closure
recommended based on their form, size at or detour.
maturity, color, texture, seasonal blossoms,
and persistence of leaves (evergreen vs. b. Where typical street tree locations and
deciduous). Staff may make revisions to curb extensions are not possible, consid-
these recommendations to address techni- eration should be given to the use of tree
cal concerns, such as tree litter and main- wells in the parking lane. If deemed ap-
tenance costs. propriate, trees that are planted in parking
lanes should be adequately protected and
b. A consistent rhythm and canopy of street address engineering and other critical con-
trees is desirable -- especially on the most cerns.
visible streets -- to provide a unified char-
acter and facilitate place recognition. Ex- c. Street tree spacing should promote the
creation of a continuous tree canopy. Do-
ing so depends on the expected mature
77 Street Trees & Landscaping
Figure h.3. Street Segments without
Significant Street Trees. Trees should
be planted throughout the Downtown
Area, not only as part of Major Projects
but also along street segments where
street trees are missing as are indi-
cated here.

Street Tree
Street TreeMissing InfillOpportunity
Missing++Infill Opportunity
University of

Durant A







Allllston W
M lvi
Mi SStt
l ia St.


Dwight W


y Av.

U niversit


0 50 200 500 feet

20 100 400

Street Trees & Landscaping 78

size of the tree. Generally, space new trees Policy 5.4, Preparation & Installation. Trees
so they can reach a mature canopy without and associated features should be installed in
crossing branches with any adjacent tree, ways that promote the sustained health of the
so as to avoid competition and manage trees.
disease. Refer to the Tree Palette (ap-
pendix A) for spacing guidelines specific to a. In the Downtown Area, responsibility for
each tree species. planting and maintaining trees falls into
two categories: for residential frontages
d. Trees in medians, when appropriate, and for commercial/cultural/civic frontages.
should follow the same spacing require- In all cases, trees growing in City rights-of-
ments as those on the sidewalks that run way are property of the City of Berkeley.
b. Figure h.3, Street Segments without Sig-
e. While a full and continuous canopy of nificant Street Trees identifies significant
street trees is desirable, trees should not gaps in the street tree canopy, and should
create unsafe conditions or put utilities at be referred to when setting priorities and
risk. Care should be taken to avoid con- planning tree planting events.
flicts between street trees and the use of
passenger loading zones, parking for per- c. Installation should follow Parks/Urban For-
sons with disabilities, and/or bus stops, on estry Division standards and guidelines.
a case-by-case basis. A minimum clear- For residential frontages, planting and
ance should be provided between street maintenance should be provided for using
trees and the following elements: citywide programs and procedures, which
are described in Berkeleys Illustrated
Intersection: 20 feet Guide to the Street Tree Planting Program
Stop sign/signal: 20 feet (available at the reference desk of each
Streetlight: half of width branch of the Berkeley Public Library).
of mature canopy Where appropriate, trees would be plant-
for species selected ed in public right of way locations at the
Utility box: 5 feet properties of residents who request them,
Utility pole: 10 feet to the extent that funding permits. Under
Water meter: 5 feet this citywide program, abutting residents,
Gas line: 5 feet agree to follow City procedures including
Sewer: 5 feet watering the tree for at least three years;
Fire hydrant: 5 feet keeping the tree well clear of weeds and
Figure h.4. Tree Guards & Grates. In
Parking Meter: 5 feet filled with soil or mulch; and to clean-up all
areas of heavy use, tree guards and tree Driveway: 5 feet (commercial leaf debris.
grates offer important protection. driveways may need
greater distance) d. For commercial, cultural, and civic front-
Building drain line: 5 feet ages, the Parks/Urban Forestry Division
Storm drain: 5 feet should coordinate planting and mainte-
nance. (Costs of installation, establish-
ment, and maintenance are addressed
79 Street Trees & Landscaping
under Financing Plan & Near-Term Pri- grade, by topping the tree basin with de-
orities). To accelerate tree planting, a composed granite (DG), by covering the
property owner along these frontages may basin with sand-set paving stones, or with
choose to sponsor a tree or trees using a metal grate.
citywide programs.
j. Tree grates should be used where high lev-
e. Tree basins (the hole that they are planted els of pedestrian activity are anticipated,
in) may have various shapes but should such as places with frequent entrances for
be at least 16 square feet to maintain ad- commercial, cultural or community uses.
equate oxygen and water, and should ide- Tree wells and accompanying grates should
ally be 32 square feet. Continuous trench- be at least 16 square feet to provide ad- Figure h.5. Neighborhood Involvement.
ing between tree basins should be used equate entry of water and oxygen into the Trees can be planted as part of commu-
wherever possible, particularly where min- soil. nity-building events that encourage on-
imum sized tree basins must be employed. going care for an urban forest.
k. Below grates, tree basins should have a
f. Permeable materials should be used to top surface just below the grate to reduce
maximize tree root access to water and litter that can fall in and become trapped.
oxygen. When the optimal tree basin size In addition, grates should have removable
is not possible, engineered soils or other inner rings to allow for tree trunk growth.
treatments should be used to promote root Forestry Section product and installation
growth and health. specifications are available and should be
g. Soil amendments are not typically recom-
mended. Occasionally a poor soil may l. Tree guard installation is recommended
warrant soil amendments consisting of or- in conjunction with tree grate installation.
ganic matter that has a low-bulk density, Other protective devices may be used
such as compost, fly ash, peat, leaf mold, where vandalism has been problematic,
or composted sewage sludge. Where and if equipment (for construction or other
street trees are placed in locations that purposes) may be used in close proximity.
were previously the street or parking spac- In all other locations, it is preferable to pro-
es, such as in bulb-outs, soil amelioration tect the tree and promote vertical growth
will be required to provide sufficient aera- by installing stakes on street side of each
tion and nutrients. new tree.

h. Street trees can be positioned and in- m. Tree grates are not necessary where lower
stalled in ways that capture stormwater and levels of pedestrian traffic are anticipated.
filter pollutants in urban run-off (see also In residential areas, street trees should be
Watershed Management & Green Infra- planted within continuous landscape strips
structure). with appropriate shrubs and groundcover.
In some residential locations, preexisting
i. The surface of tree basins should be concrete or utilities may make the use of a
brought to the same level as surrounding tree well a better option; in these locations
tree grates should not be used and tree
Street Trees & Landscaping 80
wells should be filled with decomposed basin with sand-set paving stones, or with
granite (or similar material). a metal grate.

n. Low-activity locations with commercial, cul- c. If the tree basin is to be used to retain
tural or community uses should be evaluated water, suitable tree species should be se-
to determine whether there is a relatively high lected and the top surface should be the
turnover in on-street parking. Where there is level of adjacent gutter. Where the top of a
not a high turn-over rate, a continuous plant- basin is intentionally lower than surround-
ing strip is preferred. When sidewalks come ing grade, it should surrounded by a curb
to the curb near low-activity commercial, cul- or other barrier to prevent tripping.
tural or community areas, tree wells should
be used but may be filled with materials ap- d. For higher street-tree survival rates, a
proved by the City instead of using a tree responsible party such as an abutting
grate. property owner, community organization,
or landscape contractor -- should weed,
o. Minimum tree size at planting is a 15-gal- water and mulch a new tree for the first
lon container, and 24-inch box is required three years after planting. Newly plant-
when associated with development. The ed trees must be given approximately 20
caliper (trunk diameter) of trees to be plant- gallons of water once a week, especially
ed should be a minimum of 3/4 to 1.5 inch- during warm weather seasons (approxi-
es for a 15-gallon container, and 1.5 to 2.5 mately from March 15 to October 15). The
inches for a boxed tree. responsible party should also keep grass
and weeds out of mulching areas, without
p. The City gives priority to planting trees damaging the base of the tree.
where trees have been removed, but plant-
ing may not necessarily occur in the same e. Pruning must be coordinated and autho-
spot on account of underground utilities, rized by the Forestry Section, and should
intersection visibility, and other concerns be conducted under the supervision of a
Certified Arborist. No branches should ex-
Policy 5.5, Establishment & Maintenance. tend beyond the tree basin perimeter be-
Trees should be maintained to protect public low 8 feet in height. Tree branches that ex-
safety and the health of the tree. tend over pedestrian paths of travel should
be maintained to provide 8 feet of vertical
a. Tree grates should be maintained regularly clearance. Over vehicle lanes, branches
to insure clearance around tree trunks and should pruned to provide a 14-foot mini-
to eliminate tripping hazards. mum clearance.

b. The top surface of tree basins should be f. Where sidewalk damage presents insuffi -
maintained to be the same level as sur- cient path of travel (a minimum of 6 feet) or
rounding grade, unless it is being used for a tripping hazard, the sidewalk should be
stormwater treatments. This grade may be repaired.
maintained by topping the tree basin with
decomposed granite (DG), by covering the
81 Street Trees & Landscaping
g. Tree litter or leaf drop affects mainte- c. Landscaping should provide should not
nance costs associated with raking and interfere with parking for persons with dis-
sweeping, but also impacts the Citys abilities, and should provide adequate ac-
ability to conform with stormwater quality cess to utility boxes.
standards. If needed, design recommen-
dations and management practices should d. Raised planter beds and potted plants
be refined to address this issue. may be incorporated into sidewalk areas
(see Furnishings and Other Amenities).
Policy 5.6, Tree Removal. It is the policy of the
City to protect all public trees from unnecessary e. Living walls might be used to mitigate the
removal and make every effort to preserve and negative visual impact of blank walls, by
protect public trees until such time as removal is growing vines on a lattice, grid of wire or ar-
warranted and prudent. mature. Where living walls are within public
spaces, care should be taken to assure ad-
a. Trees should only be removed when a tree equate sight lines for assuring that spaces
is dead, severely diseased or declining, are perceived as safe and inviting.
structurally unsound, hazardous, or does
not meet criteria established by City urban
forestry staff. City of Berkeley tree remov-
al criteria can be viewed on-line.

Policy 5.7. Ground Cover & Shrubs. Drought

tolerant groundcovers and shrubs are encour-
aged in landscaped areas, except for tree ba-
sins, and should provide for public safety.

a. Generally, mature shrubs should not ex-

ceed 36 inches. For major project oppor-
tunities, the palette of shrubs and ground
cover should be determined in the context
of the overall design.

b. A responsible party, such as an abutting

property owner, community organiza-
tion, or landscape contractor, should be
designated to weed, watering and mulch-
ing drought-tolerant vegetation for the
first year after planting. Responsibilities
should be set forth in a signed agreement,
and monitored by Forestry staff. Irrigation
Figure h.6. Living Walls. Living walls may provide a met-
should be provided where drought-tolerant
al armature around which plants can grow. Living walls
plants are not used or where hand-water- offer a way to add greenery in a conspicuous way.
ing cannot be assured.
Street Trees & Landscaping 82

Segment Context ExistingTreeSpecies Proposed
OxfordtoShattuck AbutsUCDevelopment ChinesePistache Pistache
ShattucktoMilvia Residential Plum&BlackAcacia PurpleLeafPlum
MilviatoBonita Residential Plum PurpleLeafPlum
BonitatoMLK Residential EvergreenPear&Magnolia Decid.PearorEvergreen

Segment Context ExistingTreeSpecies Proposed
OxfordtoShattuck PartofMajorImprovements RedMaple noinfillneeded
ShattucktoMilvia Commercial TulipPoplar&RedMaple RedMapleorFrontierElm
MiviatoMLK Commercial TulipPoplar RedMapleorFrontierElm

Segment Context ExistingTreeSpecies Proposed
OxfordtoShattuck Commercial&Cultural TristaniaElegant&Sourgum SourgumorTristaniaLaurel
ShattucktoMilvia Commercial&Cultural Hornbeam Hornbeam,Sourgumor
MilviatoMLK Commercial LondonPlane&Sweetgum ColumnarRedMaple

Segment Context ExistingTreeSpecies Proposed
OxfordtoShattuck Commercial&Cultural L.Plane,Pittosporum&Ev. LondonPlane
ShattucktoHarold Commercial Hackberry ChinesePistiche
HaroldtoMilvia Commercial&Cultural ChinesePistache ChinesePistiche
MilviatoMLK Park&CivicUses LondonPlane&Camphor LondonPlaneorChinese

Segment Context ExistingTreeSpecies Proposed
Tables h.1 & h.2 (Recommended
Street Trees) only pertain to Street seg- OxfordtoShattuck Commercial&Cultural AustralianWillow&Sweetgum ColumnarRedMaple
ments that are not within Major Projects. ShattucktoHarold Commercial&Cultural ChineseElm&Katsura FrontierElmorColumnar
For Major Projects, a consistent and ap-    RedMaple
propriate palette of trees should be de- HaroldtoMilvia Commercial&Residential FrontierElm FrontierElmorColumnar
fined during design development.    RedMaple

83 Street Trees & Landscaping

Segment Context ExistingTreeSpecies Proposed
FultontoShattuck Commercial LiveOak&HollyOak LiveOak,Colum.Oakor
ShattucktoMilvia Commercial&Residential RedMaple ColumnarRedMaple

Segment Context ExistingTreeSpecies Proposed
FultontoShattuck Commercial ChineseFlame&Ash ChineseFlameorZelkova

ShattucktoMilvia Commercial&Residential Elm,Hackberry&LondonPlane LondonPlane(no.);Fr.Elm


Segment Context ExistingTreeSpecies Proposed
FultontoShattuck Residential RedMaple&Sourgum Sourgum
ShattucktoMilvia Residential Maple&Hackberry Sourgum
MiviatoMLK Residential Linden,Sourgum&Ash Sourgum

Segment Context ExistingTreeSpecies Proposed
FultontoShattuck Residential Citrus,Ash&Sourgum RedMaple
ShattucktoMilvia Residential&Hospital Sweetgum RedMapleorHedgeMaple
MiviatoMLK Residential Sweetgum RedMapleorHedgeMaple

Segment Context ExistingTreeSpecies Proposed
FultontoShattuck Commercial&Residential Evg.Pear,FernPine,Willow& RedMaple
ShattucktoMilvia Hospital&SmallOffice Sweetgum RedMaple
MiviatoMLK Residential&ParkingLot Sweetgum RedMaple

Street Trees & Landscaping 84

Segment Context ExistingTreeSpecies Proposed
HearsttoDurant PartofMajorImprovements HollyOak&FrontierElm determinedaspartof
DuranttoChanning Residential Linden&ChineseFlame ChineseFlameor
ChanningtoHaste Residential HollyOak&Linden ChineseFlameorRedOak

HastetoDwight Residential LiveOak&Miscellaneous LiveOakorChineseFlame


Segment Context ExistingTreeSpecies Proposed
Berk.WaytoUniversity Commercial&Residential oneloneAlder Decid.Pear,LiveOakorBl.

Segment Context ExistingTreeSpecies Proposed
HearsttoUniversity Residential&Commercial Decid.Pear&Evg.Magnolia Decid.PearorEvg.
UniversitytoAllston PartofMajorImprovements LondonPlane&Sweetgum LondonPlaneorColumnar
AllstontoBancroft Civic Ginko&Decid.Pear Ginko
BancrofttoChanning Residential&Civic nonepresent LondonPlaneorGinko
ChanningtoHaste Residential nonepresent HedgeMaple(east);Red

HastetoDwight Residential&Hospital Sweetgum Japan.orHedgeMaple(e.);


Segment Context ExistingTreeSpecies Proposed
HearsttoBerkeleyWay Commercial&Residential Palms,Hawthorn&Sumac PurpleLeafPlum
Berk.WaytoUniversity Commercial&Residential Plum PlumorHawthorn
Segment Context ExistingTreeSpecies Proposed
HearsttoUniversity Commercial&Residential RaywoodAsh RedMapleorRaywoodAsh
UniversitytoAllston Civic&Commercial LondonPlane,Maple, RedMaple
AllstontoDwight School&Residential Sweetgum,Elm&Camphor RedMapleorHoneyLocust
85 Street Trees & Landscaping
Street Trees & Landscaping 86