Vegetation Management

Weed and vegetation control is done mostly during late summer on the Coast side and in June and July on the Bayside. The County controls roadside weeds and vegetation by mechanical mowing.

Why do we manage roadside vegetation?

Weeds and grasses along roadsides create a fire hazard in summer and fall, can obstruct drainage ditches, potentially limit driver visibility, and can directly lead to the deterioration of roads if left uncontrolled.


Road Maintenance crews trim or remove trees in the County maintained public right-of-way to maintain the safety of vehicular traffic and pedestrians. This includes site clearance near intersections; height clearance for vehicles and pedestrians; and removal of hazards such as broken limbs or diseased growth.

Any tree on private property which encroaches onto the public right-of-way must also meet these standards. We will notify you if a tree on your property needs to be trimmed. You may do the work yourself (or hire a contractor) if you’d like; if not, we will trim the tree to provide the required clearance at no charge to you.

The work we do is related to the use of the travel way by the public and is financed with gas tax revenues. The work is not financed with property taxes, and we are unable to trim trees for aesthetic purposes.

Request Tree Trimming

If you feel a tree in the County right-of-way needs attention, please open an online request 

Note: If the branches are entangled in power lines, call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.


Tree-Related Permits

Tree Removal Permit

Removing a tree located in the right-of-way of San Mateo County's unincorporated districts requires a permit from the Department of Public Works. Learn More 

Planting in the County Right-of-Way

Any planting in the right-of-way requires a permit. For more information, call the Public Works permit desk at (650) 363-1822 or 363-1821.

Significant & Heritage Trees

Significant and heritage trees, including those on private property, are protected by ordinance and a permit must be obtained before trimming or removing these trees. For more information, see the San Mateo County Planning Department’s Tree Trimmming & Removal Permit page or call their permit desk at (650) 363-4161.


Informational Tree Brochure