CAL. PEN. CODE § 384a : California Code - Section 384a

Every person who within the State of California willfully or negligently cuts, destroys, mutilates, or removes any tree or shrub, or fern or herb or bulb or cactus or flower, or huckleberry or redwood greens, or portion of any tree or shrub, or fern or herb or bulb or cactus or flower, or huckleberry or redwood greens, growing upon state or county highway rights-of-way, or who removes leaf mold thereon, except that the provisions of this section shall not be construed to apply to any employee of the state or of any political subdivision thereof engaged in work upon any state, county, or public road or highway while performing work under the supervision of the state or of any political subdivision thereof, and every person who willfully or negligently cuts, destroys, mutilates, or removes any tree or shrub, or fern or herb or bulb or cactus or flower, or huckleberry or redwood greens, or portions of any tree or shrub, or fern or herb or bulb or cactus or flower, or huckleberry or redwood greens, growing upon public land or upon land not his or her own, or leaf mold on the surface of public land, or upon land not his or her own, without a written permit from the owner of the land signed by the owner or the owner's authorized agent, and every person who knowingly sells, offers, or exposes for sale, or transports for sale, any tree or shrub, or fern or herb or bulb or cactus or flower, or huckleberry or redwood greens, or portion of any tree or shrub, or fern or herb or bulb or cactus or flower, or huckleberry or redwood greens, or leaf mold, so cut or removed from state or county highway rights-of-way, or removed from public land or from land not owned by the person who cut or removed the same without the written permit from the owner of the land, signed by the owner or the owner's authorized agent, is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than six months, or by both fine and imprisonment.

The written permit required under this section shall be signed by the landowner, or the landowner's authorized agent, and acknowledged before a notary public, or other person authorized by law to take acknowledgments. The permit shall contain the number and species of trees and amount of shrubs or ferns or herbs or bulbs or cacti or flowers, or huckleberry or redwood greens, or portions of any tree or shrub, and shall contain the legal description of the real property as usually found in deeds and conveyances of the land on which cutting or removal, or both, shall take place. One copy of the permit shall be filed in the office of the sheriff of the county in which the land described in the permit is located. The permit shall be filed prior to commencement of cutting of the trees or shrub or fern or herb or bulb or cactus or flower or huckleberry or redwood green or portions of any tree or shrub authorized by the permit. The permit required by this section need not be notarized or filed with the office of the sheriff of the county where trees are to be removed when five or less trees or five or less pounds of shrubs or boughs are to be cut or removed.

Any county or state fire warden, or personnel of the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection as designated by the Director of Forestry and Fire Protection, and personnel of the United States Forest Service as designated by the Regional Forester, Region 5, of the United States Forest Service, or any peace officer of the State of California, may enforce the provisions of this section and may confiscate any and all such shrubs, trees, ferns or herbs or bulbs or cacti or flowers, or huckleberry or redwood greens or leaf mold, or parts thereof unlawfully cut or removed or knowingly sold, offered, or exposed or transported for sale as provided in this section.

This section does not apply to any tree or shrub, or fern or herb or bulb or cactus or flower, or greens declared by law to be a public nuisance.

This section does not apply to the necessary cutting or trimming of any trees, shrubs, or ferns or herbs or bulbs or cacti or flowers, or greens if done for the purpose of protecting or maintaining an electric powerline, telephone line, or other property of a public utility.

This section does not apply to persons engaged in logging operations, or in suppressing fires.