Trees & Landscaping

Trees & Landscaping

Private PropertyDaybreak at Victoria Country Club, Riverside, California

Property owners are responsible for trees, shrubs and bushes planted on private property.

Vegetation cannot impair the view of the street signs, traffic signs, or any other control devices or signs placed upon the streets for the safety and convenience of the public.

Riverside Municipal Code - Vegetation Maintenance clearly defines the owner’s responsibilities for private trees impeding in the public right of way.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can't find your question? Ask us by calling 951-826-5311.

How do I know if a tree is within my private property?

The right-of-way for each address is different throughout the city. If you have a curbside sidewalk or no sidewalk, the right-of-way could be anywhere from ten to fifteen feet or more. Contact the 311 Call Center to verify ownership.

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What can I do about a neighbor’s private tree that is causing problems for me?

If low hanging branches, from a private tree, are interfering with the use of your property it is considered a civil matter.

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Who is responsible for vegetation encroaching into public rights-of-way?

The property owner is responsible to maintain all private trees, shrubs and bushes. Please visit the Walkway Clearances page for more information.

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What happens if someone is injured on a sidewalk raised by a private tree?

Any damage done by a private tree or shrub is the owner's responsibility. Contact the 311 Call Center to verify ownership.

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Do I need a permit to plant or trim a private tree?

No. Any tree may be planted and maintained on private property. Read the Tree Planting Guide for information regarding what trees grow best in Riverside and how to maintain them.

Riverside Public Utilities also offers rebates on trees.

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What happens if a private tree grows too close to power lines?

Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) is responsible for the operation, maintenance and construction of electric lines and equipment. Should RPU determine private trees or landscaping materials are growing at an unsafe distance from electric lines and equipment, RPU will:

  • Give notice in person
  • Place a written notice on the premises

The notice will let the owner know line clearance crews will be working to remove any encroaching growth. However if a hazard exists, RPU will immediately trim or remove the encroaching growth to mitigate safety hazards.

Service drop line clearances are maintained by the property owner. RPU is not responsible for cable television or phone line clearances.

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Utility Trees
(Trees Near Power Lines)
City Trees & Landscaping
Landscape Water Conservation
General Information
3900 Main St. 4th Floor
Riverside, CA 92522

Phone: (951) 826-5311

Mon - Fri 7:30am - 5:30pm
Closed on Weekends and Major Holidays
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