San Francisco Guide

Tree Guards - San Francisco

street tree planting significant and landmark trees for property owners and urban forest plant treesIn San Fransisco, street tree care and maintenance is overseen by the Public Works Departments Bureau of Urban Forestry. You can find out more information about all the great work they are doing by visiting

According to the Best Streets San Fransisco guide, Tree Grates are discouraged which we totally applaud. Tree Grates are the flat steel tree bed / basin/ well / pit covers that do not protect the trunk, can become tripping hazards, are litter traps and can girdle (choke) the tree over time. The guide goes on so say that tree guards (while discouraged) may be used in heavily travelled sidewalks.

tree related sidewalk damage and tree canopy for public right of wayLuckily Curb Allure’s tree guards meet San Fransisco’s specific requirements of:

  • Having an attractive design – check
  • Not having sharp edges – check
  • Made from durable material – check
  • Minimum of 18 diameter – checkDistance of 18 inches from the trunk – check
  • Offer an opportunity to provide a special design and incorporate public art – check


maintain street trees and street tree maintenance by maintaining street trees planted with dead or damaged treesThese are a few photos of tree grates in use around San Francisco. Notice the angle of the tree on the left, this is very common for trees in urban streetscapes where the trees need to angle to the sunlight and are impacted by wind tunnels, both caused by the height of the surrounding buildings. As these trees continue to grow, the tree grates will chock and kill the trees over time.

Bottom line, thank you for protecting your street trees, but please make sure that you are helping them by properly protecting them using the guidelines above, and of course keeping them watered and litter free. Street trees not only have tremendous environmental benefits, they also make streets more beautiful.

We always try to keep our information as up to date as possible – but if we have missed something, please let us know (contact us at, as we are happy to update this page as needed. The better informed we all are, the better it is for the street trees and your community.

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