Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Monterey?
- 2 Does the City of Monterey Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Monterey?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Monterey?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Monterey?
- 6 What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Monterey?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Monterey?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Monterey?
Monterey is famous for many of its natural wonders, but one of the most iconic is Pinus radiata, or the Monterey pine. This tree is currently endangered in its native habitat due to the introduction of a fungus called pitch canker that spreads across all types of local pine trees. This fungus was introduced to northern California in 1986, and Monterey pines are particularly vulnerable. If you see any of the following symptoms in one of your pine trees, call our arborists for treatment options.
- Lesions on and around branches, exposed roots, and trunks
- Wilted tips of branches
- Soaking of resin at the site of infection
- Flattened or sunken spots (or cankers) on your tree’s bark
The good news is that many trees with pitch canker survive and even thrive long-term, as long as they get proper care, and these trees that survive are more resistant to the fungus, so a diagnosis of pitch canker isn’t an automatic death sentence for the trees on your property.
Another common killer of trees in the Monterey area is Sudden oak death or Phytophthora ramorum. Despite its name, this disease isn’t limited to just oaks; rather, it’s an invasive fungus that attacks oaks, tanoaks, bay laurels, rhododendron, and camellia plants. Sudden oak death kills about 100,000 trees every year on the Pacific coast. If you see the following symptoms on an oak tree that you own, call our arborists to have it tested.
- “Bleeding,” or sap coming from the trunk of a live tree
- Reddish, discolored areas beneath a tree’s bark
- Sudden browning of leaves
- Death of lichens and mosses that previously lived on the tree
There are a variety of other fungi and insects that can harm trees in Monterey, but none are quite as dramatic (or as invasive) as these two.
Does the City of Monterey Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
The city of Monterey isn’t in the business of removing privately owned trees; rather, these problems are left to the landowner. That said, you do need a permit to remove any tree larger than 6 inches in diameter or 4 and a half feet above grade. These permits are also necessary if you plan to prune more than 30 percent off of a tree. You can get these permits by calling the Parks Division at (831) 646-3860 or file the permit application online. Note that you may need to hire our arborists to file a report on the tree if the Parks Division has any questions or needs more information. If the permitting process seems daunting, call us first. We know our way around local regulations and can take care of it with you.
Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Monterey?
Removing fallen trees can be a tricky subject, because trees are so large and rarely stay within the property lines. When they fall, they often land on buildings, fences, cars, or other trees–all of which add complexity to an already large problem. The general principle here is that if you own the land, you own the tree, and you’re responsible for the damages if that tree should fall. This doesn’t mean you’re on your own, though. Homeowners, landlords, renters, and neighbors alike all have plenty of resources in their corner.
If you’re a homeowner?
The same basic idea applies in Monterey as it does elsewhere in the country: if you own the tree, you’re responsible for having it removed if it falls. It’s unlikely that you’ll be completely on the hook for the costs of removal, however, since most homeowner’s insurance policies cover tree removal, as well as damages caused by fallen trees. That’s why one of the first people you should call when one of your trees falls is your insurance provider. Many homes in the Monterey area are also subject to the rules of homeowners’ associations, and if you own one of them, it’s worthwhile to check your HOA’s bylaws to see what restrictions exist on removing fallen trees.
If you’re a renter?
If you rent your property, your lease will generally forbid you from making major changes to the land without your landlord’s approval. But what happens when a tree falls on its own? Your landlord is usually responsible for finding an arborist and organizing the removal of the tree, so your first call should be to them. Your renter’s insurance may also cover damage the tree caused to your personal property, but if it turns out the tree fell due to negligence on your part, you may be required to pay the full removal cost. Either way, it’s best not to do this alone.
If you’re a landlord?
If you have both tenants and trees, you should probably have our arborists on speed dial, just in case. You’re responsible for the trees on all land you own, including land you rent out. The best way to prevent issues like fallen trees in the first place is to do regular inspections and maintenance of the property; these inspections can find potential trouble and end it before it becomes catastrophic.
If you’re a neighbor?
Trees can be tricky business when neighbors are involved. If a neighbor’s tree falls onto your property, this complicates matters greatly. Your neighbor will likely still be responsible for the removal, but what about damages to your home and yard? Your neighbor’s homeowner’s insurance may cover these damages, depending on the plan. Your own insurance should cover the rest. Regardless, it’s important to remain calm and cordial no matter who gets involved.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Monterey?
The soil in Monterey County is mostly loam, which is a form of soil that mixes sand, silt, and clay in nearly equal amounts. This means the soil around Monterey is generally more nutrient-rich than sandy soils but easier to keep aerated than clay and easier to drain than silt. This doesn’t mean you can plant a tree and expect it to thrive completely on its own, however. You will likely want to have the soil around the tree aerated regularly to avoid compaction and ensure that excess water has a place to drain. Otherwise, your tree may end up rotting.
There are other forms of soil in the area, as well. If you’re unsure of what soil is on your property, you can use the USDA’s Soil Survey Map to find out more about a specific area.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Monterey?
The two main weather hazards to trees, as any longtime Monterey resident can attest, are drought and fire. If your home is in an urban environment, wildfires aren’t as pressing a concern to your trees, as the Monterey Fire Department fights bravely to keep fires out of the city. If you own forested land in the mountains, fire safety and mitigation are major concerns. In these cases, it’s a good idea to check with the state Board of Forestry and Fire Protection to see what you can do to protect your land next fire season. Drought, on the other hand, is everyone’s concern. When it comes to trees, drought can be a major killer. One way to help protect your trees during dry seasons is to install a more efficient irrigation system, especially a sprinkler system with a timer. You can also plant native trees that are drought-hardy (such as the California white oak, the American red maple, or the California buckeye), and make sure to drop an absorbent mulch around the base of your trees.
What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Monterey?
Central Coast Community Energy (3CE) periodically trims trees within its rights of way. This is for the safety of the entire power grid, as one fallen limb can cause an entire neighborhood to lose power. If you see a hazardous tree near a power line, or if one has fallen on or near one, don’t touch it yourself. Instead, you should call 3CE at 1-888-909-6227 to let them know of the danger.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Monterey?
Tree removal has a lot of potential variables, so it’s impossible to give an accurate estimate without seeing the tree. In general, though, removing a tree in Monterey will usually cost anywhere between $200 and $1,800, with an average around $700. There are a variety of factors that can influence that cost, some of which are listed in this article.
Access to the Tree
Maybe your tree is next to another tree or at the top of a hill. Maybe it’s just in the backyard and it’s hard to get machinery back there. Maybe it has branches that overhang your neighbor’s roof. Regardless, the harder it is for us to access a tree to cut it down, the more expensive the job will be. Likewise, if a tree has already fallen on a structure, it will likely need a crane or bucket truck to remove it, and these tools also come at a premium.
Size of the Tree
It shouldn’t be shocking that the cost of removing trees increases with the size of the tree. What may be a surprise is exactly how much size does matter to the cost of tree removal. Larger trees simply pose larger problems to our fallers; they may need to cut off some branches first or clear out a zone for it to fall onto. All of these factors increase labor time, and therefore, the cost of the job. There’s also the cost of getting a permit to remove any tree with a trunk more than 6 inches wide.
Supply and Demand
After a major windstorm or other event that can cause trees to fall, more people will be needing their trees removed. This means that if you want to remove a tree from your property, it will be more expensive. Likewise, if there’s an outbreak of a disease in your area, a lot of trees may need to be removed. This would necessitate you to either wait or pay a premium for faster service.