Flintridge Tree Care

Tree Trimming In La Canada Flintridge

Pasadena, Altadena, Glendale, South Pasadena, San Marino, Sierra Madre, Arcadia, Etc.

Flintridge Trail – Tree Removal

Learn more about the La Canada Flintridge Trails https://www.lcftrails.org/

The City of La Cañada Flintridge is a “Tree City USA”. The Tree City USA® program, sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.

We follow Tree Preservation and Protection Guidelines to help homeowners care for their trees.

Trim your trees in time for El Nino.

Excess limbs and foliage coupled with lots of rain water create a heavy dense tree that does not allow the wind to pass through and they risk falling!

Trim and Clear Early!

With all the rain this winter comes a lot of new vegetation growth that we need to manage!

Please call us if you have Trimming and Clearing.

818) 952-5300



The state of California has seen an increase in frequency and size of wildfires, including historic brushfires in the city of Los Angeles such as the La Tuna, Creek, and Skirball fires. Additionally, smaller brushfires have been accidentally started by well-intentioned residents performing brush clearance. Therefore, Los Angeles City Council has approved an ordinance to increase requirements for brush clearance and fire safety in the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones (VHFHSZ).  This ordinance establishes appropriate safety measures necessary to mitigate the occurrence of such fires.

Highlights of the new ordinance include:

  • Use of metal cutting blades for grass or brush clearance shall be limited to those which are non-ferrous/non-sparking.
  • Brush clearance cannot be done on red flag days, when fire weather conditions are at their peak.
  • Individuals engaged in brush clearance operations shall not engage in any other activities during their actual clearance of grass or brush.
  • An approved fire extinguisher, or a pressurized garden hose with attached nozzle shall be within 10 feet of any grass or brush clearance operation, to quickly extinguish a small fire before it burns out of control.
  • A cell phone capable of dialing 9-1-1 shall be charged and readily accessible to the grass or brush clearance operation.

Read the full Ordinance here. It is effective now.

Revised – February 9, 2017


Owners of property located in the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone (VHFHSZ) shall maintain their property in accordance with the Fire Code (L.A.M.C. 57.322).   Year-round compliance shall be maintained as described below on all native brush, weeds, grass, trees and hazardous vegetation within 200 feet of any structures/buildings, whether those structures are on the owner’s property or adjoining properties, and within 10 feet of any combustible fence or roadway/driveway used for vehicular travel.  

1. Areas within 200 feet of structures and/or 10 feet of roadside surfaces or combustible fence: Grass shall be cut to three inches in height. Native brush shall be reduced in quantity to three inches in height. This does not apply to individual native shrubs spaced a minimum of 18 feet apart, provided such shrubs are trimmed up from the ground to 1/3 of their height with all dead material being removed (see diagram above).

2. For trees taller than 18 feet, trim lower branches so no foliage is within six feet of the ground, and remove all dead material. For trees and shrubs less than 18 feet, remove lower branches to 1/3 of their height, and remove all dead material (see diagram above).

3. Trees shall be trimmed up so the foliage is no closer than 10 feet from the outlet of a chimney (see diagram above).

4. All roof surfaces shall be maintained free of substantial accumulation of leaves, needles, twigs and any other combustible matter. Maintain five feet of vertical clearance between roof surfaces and portions of overhanging trees (see diagram above).

5. All cut vegetation and debris shall be removed in a legal manner. Cut vegetation may be machine processed (i.e.,chipped) and spread back onto the property at a depth not to exceed three inches within 30 feet of structures and six inches beyond 30 feet of structures. In addition, spread material shall not be placed within 10 feet of any usable roadside (in accordance with Fire Prevention Bureau Procedure No. 25)

The above general requirements also apply to landscape vegetation. 

All fire clearance shall be performed to comply with LAMC 46.00-46.06, relative to Native Protected Trees and Shrubs.

To Review ALL Enforceable Brush Clearance requirements, visit VMS3.lafd.org “Clearance Requirement.”


Please call us if you have Trimming and Clearing.818) 952-5300

The Code for Los Angele County


   No person who has any ownership or possessory interest in, or control of, a parcel of land shall allow to exist thereon any hazardous refuse or hazardous weeds, trees, or other vegetation which, by reason of proximity to a building or structure, constitutes a fire hazard. For purposes of this section hazardous weeds, trees, or other vegetation are defined as weeds, trees, or other vegetation which are in such condition and location as to provide a ready fuel supply to augment the spread or intensity of a fire. Nothing contained in this subsection shall be deemed to preclude the Chief from requiring more than the minimum specific requirements set forth above when the Chief determines that conditions exist which necessitate greater fire protection measures.


   Each person who has any ownership or possessory interest in, or control of, a parcel of land shall comply with the requirements set forth in Sections 57.322.1.1.1 through 57.322.1.1.10.


   Remove from the property all dead trees, and maintain all weeds and other vegetation at a height of no more than three inches, except as otherwise provided therein, if such weeds or other vegetation are within 100 feet of a building or structure located on such property or on adjacent property. This requirement does not apply to the maintenance of trees, ornamental shrubbery or plants which are used as ground cover provided such do not provide a ready fuel supply to augment the spread or intensity of a fire; nor does it apply to a native shrub, provided such shrub is trimmed up from the ground to 1/3 of its height; does not exceed 216 cubic feet in volume; is spaced at a distance of not less than three times its maximum diameter, but not less than 18 feet from the edge of any other native shrub, building or structure; and all dead wood and other combustible material within 18 feet of such shrub is removed except as provided above.


   Maintain trees which are 18 feet or more in height and are within 100 feet of any building or structure or within 10 feet of that portion of any highway, street, alley or driveway which is improved or used for vehicle travel or other vehicular purposes, so that no leafy foliage, twigs, or branches are within 6 feet of the ground. Trees and shrubs less than 18 feet shall be trimmed up 1/3 their height.


   Remove any portion of a tree which extends within 10 feet of the outlet of a chimney or stovepipe.


   Keep all trees, shrubs, and other growing vegetation or portions thereof adjacent to or overhanging any building or structure free of dead limbs, branches and other combustible matter. Maintain 5 feet of vertical clearance between roof surfaces and portions of trees overhanging any building or structure.

SEC. 57.322.1.1.5. ROOF MAINTENANCE.

   Maintain the roofs of all buildings or structures free of leaves, needles, twigs and other combustible matter.


   Maintain all weeds and other vegetation located within 10 feet of any combustible fence or an edge of that portion of any highway, street, alley or driveway improved or used for vehicular travel or for other vehicular purposes at a height of not more than 3 inches. This shall not require the removal of trees, ornamental shrubbery or plants which are used as ground cover, provided such do not provide a ready fuel supply to augment the spread or intensity of a fire, nor require the removal of native shrubs which meet the requirements set forth in Section 57.322.1.1.1.


   Clear all hazardous vegetation and other combustible growth within the first 100 feet surrounding structures as required by this section. Reduce the amount and/or modify the arrangement of hazardous vegetation within the area comprising the second 100 feet for a total distance of 200 feet from any structure unless otherwise specified by the Chief. The work required shall be set forth in the Notice of Noncompliance.


   Maintain all landscape vegetation, including, but not limited to, conifers (e.g., cedar, cypress, fir, juniper, and pine), eucalyptus, acacia, palm and pampas grass in such a condition as not to provide an available fuel supply to augment the spread or intensity of a fire. The Notice of Noncompliance citing violations of this subsection will specify that such landscape vegetation poses a threat to buildings or structures in the vicinity and may cause them to be indefensible, and shall describe the work required to be done.


   Nothing contained in this subsection shall be deemed to preclude the Chief from requiring more than the minimum specific requirements set forth above when the Chief determines that conditions exist which necessitate greater fire protection measures.


   All individuals performing grass or brush clearance activities in the VHFHSZ shall adhere to the following specific requirements:

   1.   Grass or brush clearance operations shall not be conducted on red flag days.

   2.   Individuals engaged in grass or brush clearance operations shall not engage in any other activities during their actual clearance of grass or brush.

   3.   Individuals engaged in grass or brush clearance operations shall use an appropriate extinguishing agent immediately to extinguish a fire.

   4.   All fires, regardless of size, shall be reported immediately via the 9-1-1 system to the Fire Department.

   5.   A Class 2-A two (2) gallon water fire extinguisher, pressurized garden hose with attached nozzle (fully open), or comparable pressurized Class 2-A extinguishing device, shall be within 10 feet of any grass or brush clearance operation.

   6.   Where a gasoline container is present at the site of the grass or brush clearance operation, a minimum 4A 60 B:C dry chemical fire extinguisher shall be within 10 feet of the brush clearance operation.

   7.   A cell phone capable of dialing 9-1-1 shall be charged and readily accessible to the grass or brush clearance operation.

   8.   A safety strap shall be used at all times for any tool or appliance with hot exhaust. Hot exhaust shall not come in contact with any brush, grass, flash fuels, or other flammable material.

SEC. 57.322. PENALTY.

   A first violation of this section shall be an infraction punishable by a fine not to exceed $250. A second and all subsequent violations of this section shall be subject to the provisions of Section 11.00 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code, including prosecution as an infraction or prosecution as a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000, by imprisonment in the County jail for a period not to exceed six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment. In addition to the aforementioned penalties, any violator convicted under this section, which resulted in a fire, may be liable for any civil cost recovery associated with the fire, as permitted by law.


   A fee shall be charged for the inspection of properties in the City of Los Angeles to determine whether a violation of this section exists. The fee shall be determined and established in the same manner as provided for in Section 57.106.7. Provided, however, that prior to any inspection occurring, the owner of record of each property proposed to be inspected shall receive a notice advising the owner of the intended inspection, the cost thereof, that penalties will be imposed for nonpayment within the time period specified, and that the owner will not be billed if the owner elects to follow the procedure, or any of the procedures, described in the notice within the period of time specified in the notice. Any procedure which the property owner may elect to follow must be determined by the Fire Department to be one which will provide adequate assurance to the Department that the property does not contain hazardous vegetation as defined in Section 57.322, a copy of which definition shall also be set forth in the notice, and which would not be unduly burdensome upon the property owner to accomplish. In the event an inspection occurs and the property owner is billed the cost of inspection, a penalty shall be imposed if the fee is not paid within the period of time specified in the billing document. Such penalty shall be 200% of the fee imposed, or the cost of rebilling, whichever is greater.

Heavy Rains can cause root failure

Please call us if you have an emergency.

818) 952-5300

Fallen trees can cause property damage, injuries and death. Safely removing them once they have fallen in an urban environment has to be done so as to not cause more damage. This means highly experienced arborists need to engineer the removable. Flintridge Tree Care is one of the only tree companies capable of removing a fallen urban tree, thanks to our capable teams and custom built trucks and machinery.

Trees and Heavy Rainfall

We have recently been inundated with multiple events of heavy rainfall – a whole lot of water in a short amount of time. While rain is a welcome relief for landscapes in the hot, dry summers of California, there can be a little too much of a good thing, which can cause some issues for young and mature trees alike, such as:

General Tree Stress

Trees respire through their roots, which mean that they take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide through air spaces in the soil. When soil becomes saturated and those pores are filled with water, this function is disabled which can cause stress for the tree. There are a few things we can do about trees affected by standing water after a big rain, but it’s important to try to prevent your tree from becoming more stressed after conditions improve to avoid continued problems.

  • Consider adding a 3-4” thick layer of mulch out to the drip line of the tree.
  • Give the tree a long, deep soaking later in the season when it gets hot and it hasn’t rained in a while.
  • Install water/aeration tubes inside the drip line. These provide deep watering and aeration to the roots to prevent root wrought.
  • Turn off your lawn irrigation system during weeks when it has rained to let the soil dry out a little. If the soil is wet, the grass doesn’t need to be watered. This can reduce your water bill too!
  • Do not apply fertilizer when your tree is stressed unless a soil test shows a mineral deficiency, then only amend for that specific problem. Unneeded fertilization stimulates growth that a tree must then use energy to support, further stressing an already weak tree.
  • Finally, flood stress can be avoided entirely by not placing trees in locations that tend to hold water, or by using flood tolerant species.

Most trees can tolerate short durations of saturated soil conditions when they have a chance to dry out and recover.


A more specific symptom of saturated soil conditions shows up in the leaves. Foliage may start to turn yellow and then fall off, particular in the lower, inner part of the canopy. If soil is allowed to dry out, trees will usually put out a new flush of foliage growth, but prolonged defoliation contributes to tree stress.

Other Foliage Problems

Cool, humid conditions are perfect for fungal diseases to flourish in. We tend to see a lot of leaf spot and powdery mildew in years with a lot of rain. These problems are usually just cosmetic and will not affect the tree long term, but they can cause minor stress. If a tree defoliates, it’s likely to produce new foliage. Just work at keeping the tree healthy otherwise (see the suggestions above), and remove any fallen leaves to dispose of so they do not re-infect healthy foliage. Make sure your irrigation does not splash leaves, which can spread spores and prolong infection. If it’s raining this much, the landscape probably does not need to be watered anyway, right? Repeated defoliation over multiple seasons can cause greater stress and result in reduced growth and additional pest and disease problems. Fungicides may be necessary in these instances, applied early in the season, before symptoms occur.

Root Problems

We have had some issues this spring with trees planted in the last few years having their roots loosened so that the tree has an unnatural amount of sway. This compromises the anchorage of a young tree and can lead to further stress. We recommend placing stakes to support the tree while its roots re-establish in the surrounding soil, to be removed no more than one year later. Larger trees can also experience root issues sometimes after heavy storms/rain events. Signs of root failure include mounding of soil on the side opposite a lean that is becoming more pronounced. If you notice that one of your trees is experiencing this problem, it’s a good idea to contact your Flintridge Tree Care Certified Arborist for a tree risk assessment. Saturated soil conditions are also conducive for root rot organisms. Fungal fruiting bodies at the base of the trunk or near roots could be indicative of root decay. Tree roots scoured out by eroding soil can make a tree more susceptible to root failure.

It’s a good idea to go outside and take a look at trees in your yard after big weather events, just to ensure there are no issues that need attention contact your Flintridge Tree Care Certified Arborist to take the steps to maintain healthy trees throughout the year and this way you can potentially reduce the adverse effects experienced from saturated soil conditions.

The drought has compromised all trees

Fallen Tree Knocks Out Power in Sierra Madre – NBC Los Angeles

Watch this news clip!

We are truly the experts when it comes to emergency tree removals.

Please call us if you have an emergency. 818) 952-5300

You need a plan to save and strengthen your trees!

8 things we do to save and strengthen your trees!

(818) 952-5300 (626) 440-0300

Serving: La Canada Flintridge, Pasadena, South Pasadena, Altadena, San Marino, Glendale, Arcadia, Sierra Madre and surrounding areas

Tree Safety

  • Winterizing your trees
  • Opening up the canopy to prevent wind damage
  • Raising up heavy limbs that pull on the tree
  • Watering and fertilizing schedule

Why Hire Us ? We Are Arborists.

Arborists specialize in the best care for your trees. They are knowledgeable about the needs of trees, and are trained and equipped to provide proper care. Tree Trimming, Tree Removals, Tree fertilizing and Tree Watering can be areas that protect and preserve your trees. Hiring an arborist is a decision that should not be taken lightly. Proper tree care is an investment that can lead to substantial returns. Well cared-for trees are attractive and can add considerable value to your property. Poorly maintained trees can be a significant liability. Pruning or removing trees, especially large trees, can be dangerous work. Tree work should be done only by those trained and equipped to work safely in trees.

What is a Certified Arborist?

An arborist by definition is an individual who is trained in the art and science of planting, caring for, and maintaining individual trees. ISA arborist certification is a nongovernmental, voluntary process by which individuals can document their base of knowledge. Certified Arborists are individuals who have achieved a level of knowledge in the art and science of tree care through experience and by passing a comprehensive examination developed by some of the nation’s leading experts on tree care . They simply provide the best care for your trees!

Services an Arborist can Provide

  • Pruning. An arborist can determine the type of pruning necessary to maintain or improve the health, appearance, and safety of trees.
  • Tree Removal. Although tree removal is a last resort, there are circumstances when it is necessary. An arborist can help decide whether a tree should be removed.
  • Emergency Tree Care. An arborist can assist in performing emergency tree care in a safe manner, while reducing further risk of damage to property.
  • Planting. Some arborists plant trees, and most can recommend species that are appropriate for a particular location.
  • Plant Health Care. Preventive maintenance helps keep trees in good health while reducing any insect, disease, or site problems.
  • Many other services. Consulting services, tree risk assessment, cabling and bracing trees, etc.

Benefits of Trees

The benefits that trees provide from social, communal, environmental, and economic perspectives.
Most trees and shrubs in cities or communities are planted to provide beauty or shade. While these are excellent benefits, woody plants serve
many other purposes. The benefits of trees can be grouped into social, communal, environmental, and economic categories.

Social Benefits

Human response to trees goes well beyond simply observing their beauty. We feel serene, peaceful, restful, and tranquil in a grove of trees. We are “at home” there.
The calming effect of nearby trees and urban greening can significantly reduce workplace stress levels
and fatigue, calm traffic, and even decrease the recovery time needed after surgery. Trees can also reduce
crime. Apartment buildings with high levels of greenspace have lower crime rates than nearby apartments without trees.
The stature, strength, and endurance of trees give them a cathedral-like quality. Because of their potential for long life, trees are frequently planted as living memorials. We often become personally attached to trees that we, or those we love,
have planted.
The strong tie between people and trees is often evident when community residents speak out against the removal of trees to widen
streets or rally to save a particularly large or historic tree.

Communal Benefits

Even when located on a private lot, the benefits provided by trees can reach well out into the surrounding community. Likewise, large growing trees can come in conflict with utilities, views, and structures that are beyond the bounds of the owner’s property. With proper
selection and maintenance, trees can enhance and function on one property without infringing on the rights and privileges of neighbors.
City trees often serve several architectural and engineering functions. They provide privacy, emphasize views, or screen out objectionable
views. They reduce glare and reflection. They direct pedestrian traffic. Trees also provide background to and soften, complement,
or enhance architecture.
Trees bring natural elements and wildlife habitats into urban surroundings, all of which increase the quality of life for residents of the community.

Environmental Benefits

Trees alter the environment in which we live by moderating climate, improving air quality, reducing stormwater runoff, and harboring
wildlife. Local climates are moderated from extreme sun, wind, and rain. Radiant energy from the sun is absorbed or deflected by leaves
on deciduous trees in the summer and is only filtered by branches of deciduous trees in winter. The larger the tree,
the greater the cooling effect. By using trees in the cities, we can moderate the heat-island effect caused by pavement and buildings in commercial areas.
Wind speed and direction is affected by trees. The more compact the foliage on the tree or group of trees, the
more effective the windbreak. Rainfall, sleet, and hail are absorbed or slowed by trees, providing some protection
for people, pets, and buildings. Trees intercept water, store some of it, and reduce stormwater runoff.
Air quality is improved through the use of trees, shrubs, and turf. Leaves filter the air we breathe by removing dust
and other particulates. Rain then washes the pollutants to the ground. Leaves absorb the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide during photosynthesis and store carbon as growth. Leaves also absorb
other air pollutants – such as ozone, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide – and release oxygen.
By planting trees and shrubs, we return developed areas to a more natural environment that is
attractive to birds and wildlife. Ecological cycles of plant growth, reproduction, and decomposition are again present, both above and below ground. Natural harmony is restored to the
urban environment.

Economic Benefits

Property values of landscaped homes are 5 to 20 percent higher than those of non-landscaped homes.
Individual trees and shrubs have value, but the variability of species, size, condition, and function makes
determining their economic value difficult. The economic benefits of trees are both direct and indirect.
Direct economic benefits are usually associated with energy costs. Air-conditioning costs are lower in a
tree-shaded home. Heating costs are reduced when a home has a windbreak.
Trees increase in value as they grow. Trees, as part of a well maintained landscape, can add value to your
The indirect economic benefits of trees within a community are even greater. Customers pay lower electricity bills when power companies build fewer new facilities to meet peak demands, use reduced amounts
of fossil fuel in their furnaces, and use fewer measures to control air pollution. Communities can also save
money if fewer facilities must be built to control stormwater in the region. To the individual, these savings
may seem small, but to the community as a whole, reductions in these expenses are often substantial.

Trees Require an Investment

Trees provide numerous aesthetic and economic benefits, but also incur some
costs. Investing in a tree’s maintenance will help to return the benefits you desire.
The costs associated with large tree removal and replacement can be significant. In
addition, the economic and environmental benefits produced by a young replacement tree are minimal when compared to those of a mature specimen. Extending
the functional lifespan of large, mature trees with routine maintenance can delay
these expenses and maximize returns.
An informed home owner can be responsible for many tree maintenance practices.
Corrective pruning and mulching gives young trees a good start. Shade trees, however, quickly grow to a size that may require the services of a professional arborist.
Arborists have the knowledge and equipment needed to prune, treat, fertilize, and
otherwise maintain a large tree. Your garden center owner, university extension
agent, community forester, or consulting arborist can answer questions about tree
maintenance, suggest treatments, or recommend qualified arborists.


Planting a large tree
We Are Experts At Planting Large Trees

Plant a Tree

 Mature trees can increase property value by 20 percent, according to The U.S. Forest Service. Besides increasing property values and creating a more desirable street on which to live, the benefits of trees are endless. Studies show trees improve health, lower anxiety, produce more sociable neighborhoods and more. 


worker safely carrying debris to chipper
Our Staff Are Equipped With The Best Safety Equipment!

Tree Trimming . Tree Planting . Tree Removals

 Expert Tree Trimming keeps your trees healthy and beautiful, and healthy, beautiful trees not only enhance the appearance of your home, they increase its property value, making tree service an investment that’s well worth your while. We simply provide the best care for your trees.

At Flintridge Tree Care, we specialize in oaks, pine trees and sycamores, but our experienced staff is knowledgeable about a wide variety of trees from all around the world, including Italian cypress, Brazilian peppers, Chinese elms and more.

Large Removal
Removing A Large Infected Pine

Expert Tree Removal

Expert Tree Removals- If you need to eliminate hazardous, dead, unhealthy or infested trees, make room for construction, or for landscaping design changes, contact Flintridge Tree Care.

  Some Cities require permits for removal of protected trees, for instance Oaks, in La Canada Flintridge. If you wish, we can assist with the permitting process.

Stump Removal and Stump Grinding – Some stumps and roots can be easily eliminated with a stump grinder, but other roots aren’t as easy, and must be dug out.  Either way, we’ll get it done for you.

planting a tree as part of public works project
We Are Tree Planting Experts

Tree Planting, and More!

Plant a new tree or shrub on your property with the help of the professionals at Flintridge Tree Care. Working with the top local nurseries, we can provide you with high-quality trees and shrubs. Depend on us if you are working on a new landscape design, have had to remove a tree, or just want to add a tree to your landscaping. 

  • Infestation and Disease Diagnosed and Treated 
  • Lot Clearance, Hillside Clean-up and Brush Hauling 
  • Arborist Reports and Consultation 


Tree Trimming managed by Arborists
Tree Trimming broken down in payments
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