Downtown Tree Replacement Project


The Pleasant Hill Downtown Project was completed in 1999 and included the installation of Bradford Pear street trees along Crescent Drive, Crescent Plaza and the adjacent downtown corridor. Over nearly 25 years of growth, the Bradford Pear’s root systems have presented ongoing maintenance issues, which require expensive asphalt pavement and sidewalk repairs. In addition, the height of the trees is such that pruning them has required a balance between the health of the trees and the needs of Downtown businesses for clearance and visibility. The typical lifespan for the Bradford Pear tree is 20-25 years, so these trees have reached the end of their normal life.

City staff, working closely with Vestar Downtown Property Managers (Vestar) and the Batha Design Group, a landscape architect, conducted a study of the Downtown street trees and compiled the Crescent Drive Street Tree Inventory and Sustainability Guide, which provides guidelines and recommendations for the removal of the existing Bradford Pear Trees, as well as recommendations for the type, installation and the long term care of the replacement trees. The Batha Design Group presented a variety of replacement tree options, including the Chinese Pistache. City staff and Vestar reviewed each specimen and determined that the Chinese Pistache “Keith Davey” species would best meet the needs of the City and the Downtown businesses. The species is the flowerless male clone of the Chinese Pistache tree, is drought tolerant, and is a more suitable specimen for outdoor public areas given its medium size, attractive form, brilliant fall colors, and non-flowering attributes. The Downtown Street Tree Replacement Project No. 03-23, Phase I, is identified as a funded project in the approved FY 2022-2027 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) (Project IP-3).

Bi-weekly Update July 21, 2023

On June 5, 2023, the Pleasant Hill City Council awarded Phase I of the Downtown Street Tree Replacement Project to Sandstone Environmental Engineering, Inc. The project will provide streetscape improvements along Crescent Drive from Crescent Plaza to Contra Costa Boulevard.

Work has begun and will continue for the next few months. The contractor will be replacing approximately 35 unhealthy Bradford Pear trees with new drought-tolerant, non-flowering Chinese Pistache ‘Keith Davey’ trees. The contractor will also repair irrigation, expand existing tree wells, and install pavers adjacent to the replacement trees along Crescent Drive. Businesses will be open and access will be provided to all businesses during construction. The project is anticipated to be completed by Fall 2023. Residents are encouraged to drive slowly through the work zone and follow all traffic control devices.

Please contact Omar Adina, Assistant Engineer,, for any project-related questions.