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Carmel Point was once the home of over 3,000 trees, thanks to the plantings of Robinson Jeffers and others. However, there has been a steady decline in the number of trees here, especially the tall ones that are classified as upper canopy trees. Now there are entire blocks here without any upper canopy trees along one side of the street. Because these trees add to the charm and the environmental health and wildlife habitat of the area (plus they hide the ugly utility poles), residents want them back.

Monterey County has policies and codes that regulate removal of native or protected trees of a certain size. A Tree Removal Permit is required to remove or significantly trim protected trees. Hazardous trees or the removal of some  trees may be handled administratively by County staff. The removal of three or more trees may require a Use Permit/Coastal Development Permit. A tree assessment from a County-approved arborist/forester is required in all cases. Before removing or significantly pruning any native trees, please contact the Planner of the Day at (831) 755-5025 or visit RMA-Planning on the second floor of the County Administration building at 168 W. Alisal in Salinas to determine if a permit is required.

There are plenty of tree services available but many are not licensed or certified (hence their low cost). Certified arborists should be used for tree removal and major trimming.  These arborists advise that the upper canopy trees be inspected every 3 years or so before the winter storm season to remove branches that are likely to fall in high winds.  The aborists are often employed by a tree service, but if not, the arborist can recommend a reputable service.

We all encourage the planting of trees and the removal or major trimming of trees only for safety reasons, or for the health of the tree and not, for instance, to improve a homeowner’s view of the water.  So, please plant and replant your tall trees, and beware of a neighbor who offers to trim your trees for free since this is often done to expand the neighbor's view regardless of what it does to the shape or health of the tree (or your views).

It is interesting to note, because of the close connection that Carmel Point has with Carmel-by-the-Sea, our area is classified as an urban forest. The Carmel-by-the-Sea city arborist and the Forest and Beach Commission strive to preserve this forest, which adds tremendously to the fabled character of the village.  Our neighboring community directly to the north, Pebble Beach, is located within the Del Monte Forest and Pebble Beach has been very careful that  their development is respectful of the forest. Pebble Beach considers the health of that forest extremely important and worth preservation. We would all like to emulate our neighbors in this regard.

Friends of Carmel Forest

Last Updated 6/9/16