Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in El Cajon?
- 2 Does the City of El Cajon Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in El Cajon?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in El Cajon?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in El Cajon?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in El Cajon?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in El Cajon?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in El Cajon?
While El Cajon has no shortage of natural beauty, the trees in this area still experience problems. Here are a few of the more common tree issues we see here.
Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer
In 2013, this area became home to a new exotic pest complex: a combination of the polyphagous shot hole borer and a fungus known as fusarium dieback. The pest and the fungus form a symbiotic relationship, as the polyphagous shot hole borer can feed on the fungus before carrying trace amounts of it into nearby trees. The fungus will then create blockages in the tree’s vascular system, resulting in branch dieback. Commonly impacted trees include box elders, valley oaks, and Japanese maples.
Gypsy moths are a pest that will feed on the foliage of infected trees, negatively impacting the trees’ health. Although they will not cause instantaneous death, gypsy moths can ultimately kill local trees if allowed to feed unchecked for several years in a row. Gypsy moths are very pervasive, as they can feed on over 500 different plants. They are particularly drawn to many trees commonly found in this area, including oaks and manzanita.
Sudden Oak Death
Sudden Oak Death is a disease caused by a fungus that attacks several oak species in California, including coast live oak, canyon live oak, and California black oak. This fungus is often found along California or in local nurseries that mimic a cool, wet environment. Infected trees will experience leaf fall, branch dieback, and potential death.
Does the City of El Cajon Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
In El Cajon, San Diego County is responsible for maintaining and removing any hazardous trees located in the County right-of-way areas. The County will likely get involved if a tree has fallen, is blocking road signs or traffic lights, or has large root systems causing the sidewalk or road to buckle. If they are going to perform maintenance on trees in your neighborhood, they will place a notice on your door so that you and your neighbors will have the opportunity to maintain the trees yourself if appropriate. However, if you do not wish to do so, the County will trim or remove the trees free of charge. If you would like to report a hazardous tree or have questions about whether a tree is your responsibility to maintain, you can contact the San Diego County officials at (858) 694-3850.
However, you will not be able to receive assistance to remove trees located on your private property. In this case, the tree will be your responsibility to care for and remove.
Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in El Cajon?
A tree may fall for numerous reasons: disease, pests, or acts of God such as earthquakes and storms. Who is responsible for the tree’s removal will depend partly on who owns the property and partly on why the tree fell. Here’s how to figure out who will be responsible based on several common scenarios you may encounter.
If You’re a Homeowner?
As a homeowner, the trees on your property are your responsibility to maintain. This responsibility means that if one should fall, you will need to arrange for its removal. Depending on why the tree fell, you may or may not be held liable for damages. If you had good reason to believe it might fall — for example, if it was dead or badly diseased — you will typically be held responsible for any damages it caused when it fell. However, insurance companies will typically cover incidents that are considered an act of God, as there was no way for you to prevent the tree from falling.
If You’re a Renter?
On rare occasions, your lease may contain a clause stating that you are responsible for the care and maintenance of your rental property’s landscape. If this is the case, you may be the one responsible for fallen tree removal. However, it is more common for your landlord to retain the responsibility of the property. In most cases, it will be your landlord’s responsibility to arrange for the removal of any fallen tree.
If You’re a Landlord?
As a landlord, it is your responsibility to ensure your properties are well-maintained and free of hazards. Because trees are such a good asset, it is an excellent idea to care for them and keep them in good health regularly. Keeping your trees healthy makes them much less likely to fall from preventable causes and means that if they do fall, you are unlikely to be held liable. Regardless of what caused the tree to fall, you should remove it as soon as possible so that it does not become hazardous to your tenants.
If You’re a Neighbor?
Even if the tree was initially located on your neighbor’s property, it becomes your responsibility to remove it once it has fallen onto your property. Fortunately, as you are not the person who was initially responsible for the tree, you cannot be held liable for any damages. You should file a claim with your insurance right away, and you may want to talk to your neighbor, as they might be willing to help you arrange for the tree’s removal even if they are not legally obligated to do so.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in El Cajon?
El Cajon is located in the Coastal Plains region of San Diego County, meaning that it has primarily sandy loam soil. The soil here is very well-drained, which is typical for predominantly sandy areas. This type of soil does not retain water well, and therefore often requires higher levels of irrigation. Sandy soil also contains lower levels of nutrients, making fertilization very important for tree health. When it is loamier, as is the case in El Cajon, sandy soil is slightly better at retaining the proper moisture levels. Regardless, the trees that will thrive here are those that prefer somewhat drier climates.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in El Cajon?
El Cajon has a hot, dry climate. The Coastal Plains area of San Diego County has particularly mild weather, with warm winters and only occasional frost. There is very little rain here — the average annual precipitation is just 12.8 inches, and the average temperature is 62.2° F. Even during the coldest days, it is rare for the temperature to fall below 46° F. The trees that will do well in this climate are those that can withstand drought and heat, such as:
- Australian willow
- California sycamore
- Crape myrtle
- Coast live oak
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in El Cajon?
Trees located too close to power lines pose a significant safety risk and should be treated cautiously. If any part of the tree comes in contact with active power lines, the entire tree could become energized. This means that it could electrocute anyone who touches it and could even catch fire.
Dead trees are hazardous when located near power lines, as they are much more likely to fall. If this should happen, the tree may bring the power line down with it. A down power line will cause widespread power outages and create an electrocution hazard for anyone nearby.
If you spot a hazardous tree near a power line, do not approach it. The severe nature of this situation means that it is the responsibility of your local electric utility company, SDG&E, to handle it. California law requires all utility companies to maintain trees located near power lines regularly. SDG&E is responsible for the management of approximately 460,000 trees. To report a dead tree near a power line, you can call the SDG&E Customer Contact Center at (800) 411-7343.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in El Cajon?
Every tree removal is unique, making it challenging to predict the costs ahead of time. In El Cajon, tree removals may cost anywhere from $200 to over $2,000. Here are a few factors that are likely to influence the cost of this service.
The Location of the Tree
Is your tree located on a hill or close to a building? Is your yard very small or challenging to access? Are there power lines located nearby? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you should expect to pay slightly more for tree removal. Trees that are difficult to access may necessitate unique removal solutions, taking us more time and increasing labor costs. On the other hand, your tree will be much more affordable to remove if it is easy to access or has already fallen.
The Size of the Tree
Large trees with expansive canopies will often need to be removed in sections. They require more of our crew members and equipment and typically leaves a significant amount of debris behind. As such, they will be more costly to remove than a smaller tree.
The Health of the Tree
If your tree is badly diseased, it will generally be more expensive to remove. This is because diseased trees are often fragile, requiring our crews to work more slowly to ensure everyone’s safety. Additionally, additional steps will often be necessary to ensure the disease does not spread to other trees.