Tree Removal and Replacement

Legally, healthy living trees can only be removed with a permit from the county. The permit application is on the county’s website. The reason for tree removal is usually that the tree stands in the way of construction plans.

When one or more trees are removed to make way for a new house or addition, the property owner is required to replace them. Monterey Pines and Coast Live Oaks are the trees that are most significant in Cambria. To assure that new trees survive to replace the ones that have been removed, four Monterey Pine trees must be planted to replace each one of that species that is removed. Six Coast Live Oak trees must be planted to replace each one of that species that is removed.

Final approval of the building permit requires that the property owner submit a letter from a landscape expert that trees have been successfully planted.

Greenspace The Cambria Land Trust grows Monterey Pine seedlings and can provide them to the property owner. Greenspace can also plant the trees for the property owner on one of its protected properties. Contact them at 805-927-2866,

After young trees are planted, the law requires that they be caged to protect them from being eaten by deer, watered and weeded to insure their survival. The property owner is required to have a tree expert check on the newly planted trees once a year and report on how they are doing to the county.

If you’re witnessing possible violations, please contact the County to report a suspected violation on the County’s website.

Here are the specifics:

From the North Coast Area Plan 2018 revision Chapter 7 B: Planning Area Standards, Cambria Urban Area Standards, B. Combining Designations, p. 7-20 through 24:

Monterey Pine Forest Habitat (SRA) (TH) – Purpose. The purpose of these standards is to minimize tree removal and avoid impacts to the sensitive Monterey pine forest habitat. Applications for development within this SRA may require the preparation of a biological report, depending on the result of a mandatory site review.


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