Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Riverside?
- 2 Does the City of Riverside Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Riverside?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Riverside?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Riverside?
- 6 What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Riverside?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Riverside?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Riverside?
Whether you’re touring the California Citrus State Park or taking a scenic hike on Mount Rubidoux, there’s nothing like the sun and heat of Riverside to brighten your day. Most days are sunny — higher than the national average, in fact — and the rain is nearly nonexistent, so while it may feel like a challenge for tourists and some residents to survive, it’s much more challenging for plant life.
Fortunately, there are Riverside native plants that are more accustomed to our climate and have found a way to survive the unique parameters of our area. Some species include Fir, Maple, Elm, Oaks, Hackberry, Buttonwillow, and more.
Here are some tree characteristics encouraged by the City of Riverside when planting:
- Drought tolerance
- Heat tolerance
- Minimal allergy problems (pollen production)
- Native to California
- Minimal root damage potential
- Long life span
- Good branch strength and structure
- No major insect/disease problems
- Good cold tolerance
- Low maintenance
- Large shading potential
- Future wood utilization/recycling potential
- Low amount of natural hydrocarbon production
- No messy fruit/other plant parts
- Showy flowers
Unfortunately, it isn’t guaranteed your tree will thrive in Riverside even after planting with these conditions in mind. This is because tree diseases also have a way of thriving in your landscape. Here are some of the most common ones in Riverside.
The Goldspotted Oak Borer (GSOB)
This tree disease refers to an invasive pest that plagues our landscapes in many cases, attacking our oak trees primarily. According to the UC Cooperative Extension, isolated areas of infestation have been sighted in Riverside and areas surrounding it.
Signs include dieback, bark injury, D-shaped holes (the best way to determine GSOB), staining on the tree, obvious signs of tree health declining, and eventually death. The diagnosis must be definitively confirmed before treatment is pursued. This can be done by purple-prism flight-intercept traps (don’t work as well), specific insecticides, and tools. Our arborists can help with this challenging diagnosis.
Sudden Oak Death
Sudden Oak Death is a dangerous tree disease common in Riverside and most areas of California. It attacks all oak species, although some species like red oaks are known to die suddenly while some other cases are more gradual over time.
Signs and symptoms include leaf browning, cankers, shoot die-back, spotting, and more. These signs also differ by species, so the best way to diagnose your tree is with the help of our arborists. Since it is so common (and fatal) in our area, it is recommended to keep an eye out for it when possible.
In fact, the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources report that more than 1 million oak and tanoak trees were killed by this fatal disease in the last decade along the coast of California counties from Monterey to Humboldt and in a small portion of southwest Oregon.
As the birthplace of California’s citrus industry, it’s no surprise that the most common (yet most deadly) disease to hit our landscape is HLB. HLB is a citrus killing machine, spread and infected by Asian citrus psyllid that lives off of the leaves and stems of citrus trees. Their presence then causes the trees to be infected with bacteria that leads to their death.
According to California Citrus Threat, “The best way to protect citrus trees from HLB is to stop the Asian citrus psyllid. Once a tree is infected with HLB, it will die. Diseased trees need to be removed to protect other citrus trees on the property, neighbors’ trees, and the community’s citrus.”
Additionally, the City of Riverside advises residents to avoid traveling with citrus to reduce (and hopefully stop) the spread of this harmful tree disease to other landscapes.
Does the City of Riverside Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
The City of Riverside does not provide any assistance to homeowners looking to remove a tree from their own private property, but they assist with trees on city property — meaning on the right-of-way, parks, etc. If you need a public tree removal expedited for any reason, The City of Riverside says to “either apply for a no-fee permit to have a licensed contractor remove the tree, or you can use the city’s contractor and pay the bid price.”
If there is a scenario where a tree is both on your private property and city property, the city takes care of the portion on their side and expects homeowners to take care of the portion on their private property.
If you’re planning to plant a tree to replace the tree you’re removing, it is important that you know the City of Riverside has a 5% rule, where no more than 5% of the Riverside area can have one tree species. They also report that there are already more than 5% of the following trees: Mexican Fan Palm, California Fan Palm, Crape Myrtle, Shamel Ash, and Holly Oak.
Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Riverside?
It’s hard to tell who is at fault when it comes to fallen tree removal, especially since it differs from state to state and city to city. For Riverside, however, the responsibility goes as follows.
If you’re a homeowner?
Homeowners are responsible for any tree removals on their own private property in Riverside. Circumstances can change this sometimes, depending on if the tree is on a boundary line, on multiple properties, etc. More on this is in the neighbor section.
If you’re a renter?
A wonderful advantage of being a renter in Riverside is that the landlord is responsible for any big responsibilities like tree removal. Although, you should discuss any dangers or signs of decay/dying with your landlord.
If you’re a landlord?
Being a landlord gives you the same tree removal responsibility as a homeowner, except you’re also responsible for the lives and safety of all your renters on the property. If the tree was left uncared for and someone was hurt because of it, landlords can be sued and charged for any damages or liabilities.
If you’re a neighbor?
If your neighbor’s tree falls onto your property as a result of natural causes, then you are responsible for its removal (and vice versa). If the tree falls onto your property after a long period of neglect, then it is their responsibility to remove the tree and compensate you for any damages.
A tree on the property line is split in costs and responsibilities between neighbors and property owners.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Riverside?
The soil in Riverside is primarily clay, which can be a real challenge for many plants to live in, but is perfect for the California natives that thrive in it. The problem it has for many trees is it doesn’t drain water very well (and can store nutrients our trees need to stay healthy), but if that proves to be problematic, Clemson suggests “subsoiling or deep tilling prior to adding organic matter.”
However, as long as you stick to Riverside native trees, there shouldn’t be any real reason to interfere because the trees that thrive the most here are ones that benefit the most from our soils.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Riverside?
Weather affects tree health everywhere, in all honesty. In Riverside, our lack of rain and a significant amount of sun year-round is what can affect our trees the most. Fortunately, there is an abundance of information and resources in our area to help residents get their trees through droughts and healthier than ever.
Waterwise has an excellent guide to helping your trees survive droughts by providing great information on identifying stress and maintaining the right amount of hydration. In the meantime, the City of Riverside also has a Save Our Water and Our Trees program for getting through a drought with limited access to water while protecting trees that depend on regular watering.
What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Riverside?
The City of Riverside states that if Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) finds that a tree on private property is an unsafe distance from electric lines and equipment, then a notice will be sent to the property owner (either by letter or in person) to inform them that line clearance crews will be over to remove any encroaching growth.
They also note that “service drop line clearances are maintained by the property owner. RPU is not responsible for cable television or phone line clearances.” For tree trimming or removal around these lines, our experts can help.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Riverside?
Before jumping into tree removals, it’s important to note that you will likely need to fill out a Tree Removal Permit and Environmental Assessment application first. This is not the case for smaller trees, so it would be a good idea to discuss your options with our professionals.
With that being said, the following cost factors are highly likely to influence whether your cost goes up or down. Without their consideration, the average cost of tree removal is about $865, with a good range between $320 and $1,400.
Since trees in Riverside range from generally small to incredibly tall, the tree height can also determine whether you pay more or less in final costs. Standard trees of 30 feet can hit around $680, with each foot thereafter making the price increase.
Additional Service — Tree Protection
Since Riverside (and most of California, for that matter) has so many problems with tree diseases taking down their landscapes, it’s also common for residents to take advantage of local tree protection services. Whether this is for other trees around the tree that needs to be removed or for the tree replacing it, this service can cost an additional $100 but save a lot of problems for your trees in the future.
Standing/Fallen Tree Position
Whether the tree is standing or has already fallen over also decides your final cost. This is because a standing tree would take our crews much more work, hours, manpower, and effort to take down and remove than a tree that has already done most of the job for us.
In most cases, a fallen tree can be as much as 50% cheaper than one that is still standing.