Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Petaluma?
- 2 Does the City of Petaluma Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Petaluma?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Petaluma?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Petaluma?
- 6 What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Petaluma?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Petaluma?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Petaluma?
Petaluma’s trees play a significant role in making this city a great place to live, work, and play. They beautify our landscapes while also providing shade, cleaner air, and habitats for wildlife. Oak trees are one of the most popular and iconic trees in Petaluma, as they are throughout all of Sonoma County. We also have several varieties of pine, fir, and maple trees.
Northern California’s Mediterranean climate is very inviting for a wide range of trees, but we also get our fair share of damaging pests and diseases. Trees in Petaluma also have to contend with the drought conditions that have persisted for much of the last few years. Here are some of the common tree issues that might come up for Petaluma homeowners:
Pests and Diseases
Sudden Oak Death has been a major issue affecting oak trees across California, and it’s been especially devastating in Sonoma County because we have so many oaks. This disease is more common in forests, but it does make its way to oak trees in residential settings as well. The bad news is there’s no known treatment for the water-based pathogen that causes this fatal illness. Typically, tree removal is recommended as the only way to potentially contain Sudden Oak Death.
We also see cases of fire blight and bark beetles in Petaluma, which are both noticeably exacerbated by the drought. Going through periods without enough water is a major stressor for trees. They become weaker and more susceptible to being affected by pests, bacteria, and fungal infections. Depending on how far along the problem is, some tree diseases can be treated very successfully. More serious cases will eventually reach the point where they affect the structural integrity of the tree and make them very likely to fall during a storm. This situation is one of the main reasons we’re called for tree removals in Petaluma.
A common tree issue for Petaluma homeowners is simply that they need some care and attention from a skilled arborist like Tree Triage. All trees will benefit from annual pruning, and this is truly the very best investment you can make for the long-term health of your trees. Removing weak or overgrown limbs will free up valuable nutrients that the tree can now invest in some healthy new growth. Following an appropriate pruning schedule is even more important with the fruit trees that are very popular in Petaluma’s landscapes. The process of pruning really opens up the tree’s canopy, which allows for more sunlight penetration, better air circulation, and higher quality fruit.
Trees enrich our lives, but they can also inadvertently cause problems. The biggest culprits will often be large trees with aggressive root systems that can damage foundations, make cracks in the sidewalk, or grow into sewer pipes. Some trees are simply too much of a nuisance to have around. The Weeping Willow is a good example since it’s a beautiful tree in theory. However, in practice, it’s exceedingly messy and will take over your yard.
Does the City of Petaluma Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
Yes, in the sense that the City provides all maintenance for trees on public land, including parks, roads, pedestrian walkways, and other public spaces. As for problematic trees located on private property, taking care of any issues with them is the responsibility of the homeowner. If you need tree removal, you generally won’t need to apply for a permit from the City of Petaluma. The exception would be if you want to remove one that has been designated a “Heritage Tree”, which is a selection of healthy, mature trees that the city considers worth special protection.
Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Petaluma?
Sonoma County has mostly mild weather, but we do get winter storms with strong wind speed and relentless rain. Trees in Petaluma are especially likely to get knocked down if they’ve been weakened by disease or were damaged by a previous storm. Fallen trees are an eyesore and they also very quickly attract termites. But, who’s considered responsible for removing them?
If You’re a Homeowner…
It should be no surprise that homeowners are responsible for any type of maintenance needed for the trees on their property. This includes trimming branches that interfere with utility lines, removing trees that are potentially hazardous, and also dealing with fallen trees.
It’s very possible that your homeowner’s insurance will cover the removal of a collapsed tree, although some policies will only kick in if the tree caused some damage to your home during its crash landing.
If You’re a Renter…
Some renters in Petaluma might be asked to handle basic lawn maintenance as part of the terms of their lease. Dealing with a fallen tree is another story and definitely not your responsibility. The owner of the property has to contact us to make arrangements to get the tree professionally removed and, hopefully, before the termites move in.
If You’re a Landlord…
As the owner of a rental property, you are legally and financially responsible for any major upkeep that’s needed. Depending on the type of policy you have, your homeowner’s insurance would cover both the removal and any associated damages from the tree’s collapse.
If You’re A Neighbor…
Unfortunately, falling trees won’t necessarily be able to respect property boundaries on the way down. That means they can end up landing partially or mostly in a neighboring yard. As the unlucky neighbor in this scenario, you will usually have to pay for the removal of whatever portion landed on your land. California law considers trees that get knocked down by extreme weather to be “an act of God,” and no one is necessarily liable.
The exception would be if the tree was dead or visibly diseased, which means it was extremely unstable and very likely to fall. Structurally compromised trees are considered hazardous, and they should be removed sooner rather than later. Your neighbor could be considered liable and you, or your insurance company, would be in a position to file a claim for damages.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Petaluma?
High-quality soil is essential for growing healthy trees, and this has to do with both the texture of the soil and the density of nutrients it contains. Most of Petaluma’s soil is a mix of Haire and Diablo, two soil types that are very common throughout central Sonoma County. These are both well-draining, loamy soils that are excellent for growing a wide range of our native trees.
While Petaluma has great soil, there are many ways to improve it and create the optimal conditions for healthy trees. You can make the soil on your property even more nutritious by adding in organic matter like peat moss or composted yard waste.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Petaluma?
Petaluma enjoys a very mild Mediterranean climate with wet winters and very dry summers. The weather is usually a plus for our trees. However, like most regions in California, we do deal with recurrent droughts in Sonoma County. These dry spells are particularly difficult for water-loving trees like redwoods, birch, and maples. Our native oak trees are drought-resistant, which is what helps them prosper so well throughout this region. Still, all drought-stressed trees can become weaker and are, therefore, more susceptible to a range of pests and diseases. Younger trees are especially vulnerable since they naturally tend to need more water. Wilting leaves are one of the earliest signs that your trees are not getting enough water.
Wood chip mulch is always a great addition to your soil, but it’s particularly helpful during drought conditions. Mulching helps the tree hold on to more water and protects the roots from drying out. If you’re going to be watering your trees, make sure to do it either very early in the morning or after sunset so that the water doesn’t evaporate under the sun’s rays.
What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Petaluma?
A dead tree that’s located perilously close to power lines is pretty much a ticking time bomb. Trees begin rotting as soon as they die, and they also quickly get infested by drywood termites. That makes their structural integrity very poor, and they’re very likely to collapse, especially during a storm. Along with causing outages, trees that knock out power lines create a serious electrocution hazard for anyone standing up to 35 feet away from the downed power line.
Crews from PG&E are responsible for trimming or removing any trees that interfere with electric services throughout Petaluma, but they won’t necessarily catch every single problematic tree. If you notice a dead tree near a power line in Petaluma, call the City’s non-emergency number at 707-778-4372 so that they can alert the right team.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Petaluma?
Every tree removal is different, but the price will generally reflect how much time and effort our team of arborists will have to spend on the project. The range for removing a medium-sized tree that’s 30-60 feet tall would be between $150 and $850, although it can be more in some circumstances. The cost of removal for trees that are over 60 feet tall can range from $750 to well over $2,000. Here are some of the elements that go into your tree removal estimate:
While tree removals are always very precise, there’s more planning involved with taller trees. We usually have to cut the tree in sections, with one person climbing the tree with special equipment while the rest of the team assists from the ground. The process is longer and more work-intensive than shorter trees, and this is reflected in the price.
Depending on their location, some tree removals will be trickier than others. For example, trees that are very close to a house will be potentially more expensive because we have to take extra measures to avoid causing any sort of damage. If we have to use a bucket truck or a crane for your removal, this will potentially cost more.
Some tree removals truly can’t wait, especially trees that fell on a house or knocked down power lines. If we have to drop everything and rush to the job, especially outside regular business hours or during a holiday, we’ll be glad to help. However, emergency services do tend to cost more.