Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Pasadena?
- 2 Does the City of Pasadena Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Pasadena?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Pasadena?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health In Pasadena?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Pasadena?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Pasadena?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Pasadena?
Pasadena has carried the Tree City USA designation from the National Arbor Day Foundation for 30 years, celebrating our heritage and the care and attention we lavish on our gorgeous trees. Unfortunately, now, many of us notice our tree canopy thinning as many of the non-native trees planted here in the 1950s and ’60s are falling victim to pests, diseases, age, and our changing climate. Even our native trees, long able to weather the worst nature could throw at them, are succumbing to damage and disease.
Our ongoing drought problems here in Pasadena and throughout California combined with continued growth and demand for water have left our trees with a diminishing supply. Frequent cycles of drought put an increasing strain on trees as they struggle to survive on less, making them vulnerable to other types of damage.
Insect Damage and Fungal, and Bacterial Diseases
Insect pests such as shot hole borers (specifically the polyphagous shot hole borer and the Kuroshio shot hole borer around Pasadena) damage and spread fungal infections, especially to landscaping favorites such as willows, Japanese maples, avocados, and sycamores while our many ficus trees are rapidly dying from Bot Canker (the botryosphaeria fungus). Our native oaks are also vulnerable to the goldspotted oak borer, particularly with the strain they are under due to drought conditions. Oleander and palms are under attack from other pests, and even our famed citrus trees are suffering from Huanglongbing (HLB) disease, which ruins their fruit and easily spreads among the trees.
Not only do the Santa Ana winds make people nervous, and a dangerous fire season even more hazardous, they’re hard on our trees, too. Those unwelcome, strong winds bring down many dead or dying limbs and trees, and our drought-weakened trees are especially vulnerable.
Does the City of Pasadena Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
The City of Pasadena is responsible for the over 60,000 trees that make our streets and parks a beautiful place to be. In fact, Pasadena’s Tree Ordinance protects our whole community of shared trees. These include special “landmark trees” as well as native and “specimen” trees in both public and private areas. If you want to remove a protected tree on your property in Pasadena, you’ll usually need to request a permit to do so. In general, such permits are only issued in a handful of cases including:
- A tree removal that provides more community benefits than keeping the tree does
- A tree that is unhealthy or damaged so it is at risk or causing injury or damage
- A tree that causes a property owner undue hardship or makes it impossible to enjoy the property
Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Pasadena?
Having a tree come down unexpectedly can be a real hassle, especially if it caused property damage on the way down. If you’re dealing with a situation like this, you almost certainly wonder who has to pay to remove the tree. California Law indicates that the responsibility for a fallen tree (and the damages it may have caused) depends on where the tree’s trunk grew. If it grew completely on one property, that property owner is usually responsible. If the trunk grew across two or more properties, each property owner is jointly liable. Trees on public property, including trees planted in parkways and other rights-of-way, are generally the responsibility of the City of Pasadena who will also often trim or prune trees on private property if they are causing a hazardous situation such as blocking a sidewalk or hindering visibility for drivers, pedestrians, or cyclists. Importantly, trees that have already fallen do not require permits to remove, even if they are considered protected trees.
If you’re a homeowner?
As mentioned, you’re normally responsible if the tree trunk grows completely on your property. Of course, your homeowner’s insurance will also likely help out. If the fallen tree’s trunk grows over more than one property, each property owner is partially responsible for the tree’s removal. Property owners are also responsible for doing their best to ensure dead or dying trees or limbs are removed promptly to help prevent injuries and property damage.
If you’re a renter?
If you rent your home, unless your rental agreement specifically indicates otherwise, your landlord is normally responsible for tree removal on the property you rent. If you notice a tree that is damaged or in poor condition on or near your property, you should notify your landlord so appropriate action can be taken.
If you’re a landlord?
Landlords are generally responsible for the trees on any property they own, unless a rental agreement specifically states otherwise. Taking good care of trees on rented properties is one component of being a good, responsible landlord and neighbor.
If you’re a neighbor?
If your neighbor’s tree (with a trunk growing entirely on that property) falls onto your property, your neighbor is normally responsible for its removal. Be a good neighbor by taking care of tree problems while they’re small, so your trees are less likely to fall on your neighbors.
No matter who you are, if you spot a tree that’s blocking the street, you should contact 911, and you should also report any storm damage to Los Angeles County.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Pasadena?
Most of the soil around Pasadena is various kinds of loam, which means it’s a mixture of sand, silt (grains of rock like quartz and feldspar) and clay. Some parts of our area have more sand, some have more silt, and some have more clay, but all are good soil for plants and trees. The best thing about a loamy soil is that it drains well enough that it doesn’t tend to be waterlogged (allowing roots to rot) but it also holds enough moisture to nourish those plants and trees. It’s one of the reasons our famed roses do so well! If you’re a tree, you’ll be happy to enjoy our good soil, as do these beautiful Pasadena specimen trees.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health In Pasadena?
While many of us have chosen to live in Pasadena to enjoy the sunny days and beautiful weather, one of the prices we pay for all that sunshine is having a limited amount of rain. In recent decades, with the population booming throughout southern California, water demand is at an all-time high. At the same time, our weather patterns have produced more frequent and prolonged drought cycles. When drought is combined with sporadic but heavier rainfall at times, our trees can become very stressed with this feast or famine schedule. All of this contributes to uneven tree growth and reduces trees’ ability to perform photosynthesis, meaning they remove less carbon dioxide from our air and produce less oxygen as they process nutrients. With fewer nutrients to strengthen and sustain them, they are more vulnerable to insect pests and diseases, triggering a cycle of worsening problems until they can no longer survive. Consulting our specialists can help you evaluate a tree’s condition and figure out the best ways to maintain it, and, if needed, remove it from your property.
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Pasadena?
Trees, especially dead trees, near power lines are not only a problem if they fall on lines and knock the power out. As everyone in California and beyond is aware after recent wildfires, dead trees and power lines are a recipe for disaster. To limit such problems, Pasadena Water and Power normally trims trees and removes dead trees and limbs from the vicinity of power lines. Their work helps maintain a consistent power supply and helps prevent hazards and danger from falling trees as well as critically helping to prevent a common cause of wildfires. If you notice dead or dying trees near power lines in our area, contact PWP to make sure they’re aware of the problem.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Pasadena?
If there’s one thing that worries most homeowners who need to arrange a tree removal, it’s concerns over the costs. If you start looking around online, you may find horror stories of astronomical prices, but honestly, the vast majority of tree removal jobs we’ve completed around Pasadena run from $600 to $825, with an average cost being right in the $700 neighborhood. That’s for an average-sized, standing tree without any major complications. On the extreme ends, it may cost between $200 and $2,200. A tree that’s already fallen will usually cost a good bit less, and larger trees or complex locations can push costs higher. Our arborists will, of course, be able to offer you a more accurate estimate after reviewing your tree situation. Several factors that have the greatest influence on the cost of your tree removal include:
Permits and Compliance With Regulations
As we mentioned earlier, Pasadena values a beautiful tree canopy and takes steps to protect it with a Tree Ordinance and requirements to obtain permits for many instances of tree pruning and removal. The fees for those permits will add to the overall cost. In addition, some situations will require the planting of replacement trees to meet certain guidelines after removing a protected tree, and those associated costs may be applicable.
Size of the Tree and Site Specifics
Naturally, a smaller tree with easy access will almost always cost quite a bit less to remove than a larger tree or one which cannot be accessed as easily due to other structures and landscaping, terrain, power lines, neighboring buildings, or other complications. Every tree and its location and situation are unique and will have individual effects on the overall cost of a tree removal.
Special Equipment and Additional Work
If your tree removal requires additional equipment, such as a bucket truck, or a larger crew of workers, your costs may go up. Any additional work you request as part of the tree removal may add to the cost, too, such as stump grinding, log splitting, limb chipping, and more.