Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Oakland?
- 2 Does the City of Oakland Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Oakland?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Oakland?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Oakland?
- 6 What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Oakland?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Oakland?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Oakland?
The Bay Area has a rich oceanic ecosystem and supports many types of plant and animal life. In a complex natural biome, as we have here though, diseases and pests are also encouraged to thrive by the natural conditions. There are many diseases and pests for trees that are common in Oakland, including:
- Sooty mold
- Fire blight
- Chinese Elm Anthracnose
- Shot Hole Fungus
A recent outbreak of sudden oak death has also ravaged oak trees in the Oakland area, causing the majestic trees that are so iconic to the California coast to die back in large numbers.
Does the City of Oakland Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
Unfortunately, The City of Oakland does not provide any assistance with tree removal. Quite the contrary, to remove a tree in Oakland on any non-developmental land you must first acquire a permit from the city. The City of Oakland does this to maintain rich plant life in the city and discourage homeowners from clearing land and removing perfectly healthy trees. These permits can be expensive and currently cost over $400.
Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Oakland?
Throughout California, the law requires that tree removal is the responsibility of the owner of the tree. This can get confusing and complicated when it comes to trees on property lines or trees that fall onto another property, but typically the owner of the land the tree originally grew on is responsible for its removal. If a tree falls from your property onto someone else’s in Oakland, it’s still your responsibility to remove the tree or compensate the property owner for its removal.
While fallen trees that cause damage are usually considered an “act of God” for the purposes of assigning fault if you knew that the tree was dead and a danger of falling, you may find yourself responsible for any damages the tree causes to surrounding properties. This makes it absolutely essential to remove trees that could cause damage before they fall to avoid costly damages that your insurance won’t cover.
If you’re a homeowner?
If you own a home in Oakland, your trees are a serious asset that adds to the beauty and value of your land. Those trees come with responsibilities for maintenance, and sometimes, removal, as well. You’ll be responsible for the removal of fallen trees on your land, and failure to remove them may cause you to run afoul of city ordinances and nuisance law.
If you’re a renter?
If you rent in Oakland, upkeep and maintenance of trees on the property are typically the responsibility of your landlord. While it’s true that tenants are usually responsible for lawn maintenance, trees carry a more permanent value than grass and unless your lease agreement spells out responsibility for you to remove fallen trees, your responsibility is probably just to alert your landlord. Depending on the situation, your landlord may want you to contact us to have the tree removed and compensate you or handle it themselves, but your landlord will usually have a responsibility to act quickly and remove fallen trees on the property that you rent.
If you’re a landlord?
If you’re a landlord, you don’t really want to entrust the care of your trees to your tenants. Even if you are an absentee landlord, your trees add a lot of value to your property, and requiring tenants to maintain and remove your trees may save you a little hassle, but it also entrusts valuable assets to someone who doesn’t have a vested interest in the value of your investment property.
If a fallen tree needs removal on your rental property, act quickly to remove the tree to fulfill your upkeep responsibilities under rental law. Communicate with your tenant thoroughly about tree removal to ensure that they don’t jump the gun and take matters into their own hands, potentially risking damage to your property’s value.
If you’re a neighbor?
If your neighbor has a tree that falls across property lines onto your property, it’s still their responsibility to remove it or at least compensate you for the removal. Even if a fallen tree doesn’t cross your property lines, it can attract bugs and pests as it rots on the ground and can be a serious eyesore that can damage the appeal and beauty of your home. If your neighbor won’t act to remove the tree, you may want to reach out to Oakland code enforcement and see what you can do to rectify the situation.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Oakland?
While Oakland contains its share of so-called “Merritt Sands” that are fine-grain sandy soil in the vicinity of nearby Lake Merritt, most of the soil around Oakland is composed primarily of loose sandy clays and silt. These are great for moisture retention and root development of trees, but clay content in the soil could also pose problems during the rainy season.
Clay-heavy soil absorbs water extremely well and clay expands when wet and contracts when dry. This can cause shifts in the soil over time, which could disrupt root structures leading to exposed roots in older growth trees if care isn’t taken to keep up with landscaping. Exposed roots can make trees vulnerable to sickness and pests, as well as physical damage to the roots that can harm the tree.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Oakland?
Oakland’s warm, coastal climate is in many ways ideal for the trees that grow here. It can, however, pose some challenges. Heavy rainfall during the winter months can nourish trees, but too much and soil erosion in some areas can cause exposed roots and harm your trees. Strong winds that come across The Bay can also commonly wreak havoc on trees that are vulnerable or weak from being in poor health.
What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Oakland?
Trees near power lines in California legally must be trimmed or removed by certified technicians who are equipped to deal with the specific hazards that power lines pose. If dead trees on your property are encroaching on power lines, do not try to deal with them yourself. Trees crossing power lines or falling on nearby transformers can be disastrous to surrounding buildings and people and proper precautions need to be taken. Contact Pacific Gas & Electric to come to inspect the tree and see if their technicians need to come out and remove the tree. Their specialty training to deal with electrical hazards and equipment will enable them to deal with it safely for both their technicians and the surrounding vicinity.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Oakland?
Thanks to the benefits of living near major ports and the booming economy of The Bay Area, tree removal here in Oakland usually is cheaper than the national average cost. Since The Bay Area’s cost of living isn’t necessarily cheaper than average, this comes as a very welcome surprise to many residents here. Tree removal may be as little as $200 or total over $1,500, and several factors can have a major influence on the cost.
Size is a pretty significant factor when it comes to the cost of tree removal. Larger trees mean more waste material to haul away and dispose of, but also can mean significantly more logistical challenges for our removal team. Oakland is a pretty densely populated city. Living in close quarters with other property owners can pose serious risks when it comes to the removal of large trees that may have the potential to cause damage to surrounding trees, public infrastructure, and buildings. Our arborists have to put in a significant amount of planning for these larger trees to ensure that we can execute the safest removal possible.
2: Health of the tree
Even dead trees can still suffer from the ravages of diseases, pests, and rot. These vulnerabilities in dead trees can create challenges for removal as the weaknesses that they cause may limit the tree’s structural stability, potentially causing it to splinter or fall in unpredictable ways. Again, this means that our arborists need to put in extra work to plan diligently for removal that’s safe for both our crew and surrounding structures and people to prevent damages from being caused. Diseased trees also pose special challenges, as special care will have to be given to ensure that the tree doesn’t pass its infections on to other trees in the area.
3: Unusual circumstances
Removal of trees in extraordinary circumstances may also pose significant risks and, thus, take more time, planning, and tools to remove. We’ve already discussed trees that grow near power lines, but trees growing immediately next to your home or nestled up against other trees may also complicate the removal process and require extra planning and safety precautions. These crowded trees also can, in particular, cause access issues, where it can be difficult to remove trees without damaging nearby trees or structures which will cause even more logistical problems.