Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in San Bernardino?
- 2 Does the City of San Bernardino Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in San Bernardino?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in San Bernardino?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in San Bernardino?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in San Bernardino?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in San Bernardino?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in San Bernardino?
The San Bernardino National Forest is home to thousands of plant species and more than 440 wildlife species, many of which are endangered or threatened.
Pest infestation causes severe damage to trees not only in the National Forest but on the residential properties of San Bernardino, as well.
The Ponderosa and Coulter pine trees, commonly found in San Bernardino, are often attacked by Western Pine beetles. These pests quickly overwhelm healthy trees as they reproduce several times a year. The Jeffrey Pine beetle is another dangerous threat that attacks Jeffrey Pine trees.
As invasive beetles attack the trees, they lay their eggs, which feed under the bark when they hatch, essentially cutting off the water supply to the tree. In the warmer months, these pests are actively producing, killing pine trees in epic proportions.
The bark beetle crisis has been rampant in San Bernardino for many years. These invaders destroyed millions of trees. They are known to attack weak, stressed, or dying trees. We recommend actively trimming and pruning limbs and inspecting your trees for signs of infestation. Yellowing needles, pitch tubes, and holes in the trunk are sure signs of bark beetle presence.
The City of San Bernardino recommends removing an infested pine tree that has been dead for more than six months. If you can easily peel away the bark, the beetles have done their damage, and the tree needs to come down to prevent further spread.
Drought is another issue that commonly affects the trees of San Bernardino. The lack of water leads to unhealthy sap production, eliminating the tree’s natural defense mechanisms.
Does the City of San Bernardino Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
According to the County of San Bernardino Tree Policy 08-12, a homeowner is responsible for tree trimming and tree removal “for his convenience or protection of his property.”
The county will do its best to preserve all trees in San Bernardino but must remove trees on public right-of-ways that are dead, deemed hazardous, or pose a potential threat. They will not remove trees on private property, as that is the responsibility of the property owner.
In the past, the County Board of Supervisors oversaw a million-dollar program to assist residents with tree removal on their private property. While the fund is no longer active, it did help to eliminate many of the dead trees throughout the City.
If trees from the San Bernardino National Forest are endangering your home in any way, call the local ranger station for assistance. They can advise you of current wildfire threats and handle claims for fallen trees belonging to the National Forest Service.
Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in San Bernardino?
There are more than 52,000 trees in the City of San Bernardino. Any tree on private property is the responsibility of the homeowner. If a tree falls, there are strict guidelines to determine who will bear the costs for tree removal.
While each scenario is different, here are a few guidelines to help you understand accountability according to the zoning laws of San Bernardino.
If you’re a homeowner?
According to California Civil Code 833, “trees belong exclusively to the owner of the land where the trunk of the tree is located, even if the tree’s roots or branches extend into another person’s property.”
If an “act of God” causes a tree to fall on your property, your insurance company will cover any damages incurred. If there was pre-existing damage or disease that you were negligent in taking care of before the tree fell, you could be held liable and your insurance claim denied.
If you’re a renter?
A tenant is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the entire rental property. However, most leases prohibit renters from making any cosmetic or structural changes to the property, including all landscaping and trees.
If a renter cuts down a tree on a rental property, the landlord can sue for damages in the State of California. The offense is considered destruction of property. When a tree falls, your only responsibility as a renter is to contact the landlord to make them aware of the potential hazard.
If you’re a landlord?
The City of San Bernardino conducts an annual inspection of all single-family rental properties to ensure code compliance. The owner of the property must pay a $100 inspection fee.
In California, landlords are responsible for providing a safe living space for tenants of their rental property. Landlords must maintain all trees on the property. Tenants do not have the right to remove a tree from a property without prior written permission from the landlord.
A landlord cannot hold a tenant financially liable for the cost of tree removal. Failure to remove a fallen tree in a reasonable amount of time could leave a landlord legally responsible for “failure to act.”
If you’re a neighbor?
Overhanging branches that cross a property line belong to whoever “owns the property upon which the branches encroach.” If branches from a tree you own reach into an adjacent property, the neighbor can cut those branches. However, the tree can only be removed by the property owner. A neighbor can be liable for damages if they injure the tree in any way.
If you live in a neighborhood with a homeowner’s association (HOA), the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions may have specific rules regulating trees in the community.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in San Bernardino?
San Joaquin soil is the official soil of the State of California. More than a half-million acres of this reddish-brown soil occupies the region.
There are two types of soil in the San Bernardino Valley, one derived from granite and the other weathered from sandstone. The gravelly content has mixed with the sandy wash materials, eventually turning to sandy loams.
Southern California is home to the San Fernando, San Gabriel, and San Bernardino valleys. Each area has unique characteristics, comprising a total of 18 types of soil.
To the north lies the Sierra Madre mountain range, and to the south the Coast Range. The area is plentiful with washes that have helped to create soil classified as Riverwash. A combination of sand and gravel, it holds no agricultural value.
On the contrary, in the adjoining foothills of the San Bernardino valley, fruitful orchards and farms cover the region. The loose soil provides the fertile lands needed for crops and vineyards.
Good soil is essential for healthy tree growth. The earth carries nitrogen and necessary minerals for proper root structures to expand. Properly compacted, the soil stores water and acts as an anchor for trees, providing the support needed to thrive.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in San Bernardino?
San Bernardino has a semiarid climate that is not as severe as its neighboring desert regions. The mean temperature is 62ºF, with a minimum extreme of 35ºF and a maximum of 104ºF.
On the valley floor, precipitation consists mainly of rain with a mean annual rainfall of 16.37 inches. June is typically the driest month, with February receiving the most rain.
As climate change intensifies and warming trends increase, the San Bernardino region struggles with the threat of wildfires year-round. Low humidity and strong winds create a perfect environment for fires to spread rapidly.
Dead trees create dangerous fuel for a raging fire, making it essential to monitor the condition of the trees on your San Bernardino property. Cal Fire recommends removing dead or dying trees, especially those infested with bark beetle.
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in San Bernardino?
Southern California Edison (SCE) is responsible for maintaining all trees encroaching upon high-power electric lines. The City of San Bernardino will not remove the trees.
Contact SCE at 1-800-611-1911 for assistance.
Do not attempt to trim or otherwise remove a tree near a powerline without first contacting SCE. The energized wires are a hazard that can pose serious harm. Only line-clearance-qualified tree workers are permitted to remove trees within 10 feet of power lines.
SCE works diligently year-round to trim trees, install fire-resistant poles, and assess wildfire threats around the clock.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in San Bernardino?
Homeowners do not need a permit to remove a tree located on their property unless it is a protected species. Residents of San Bernardino are prohibited from removing trees on public property.
The cost to remove a tree depends on several varying factors.
Size of the Tree
The primary factor regarding the cost of tree removal is its size. Most trees in San Bernardino average $900 to remove, ranging between $250 and $2,000.
The following prices, while only estimates, will give you a good idea of what tree removal costs are in San Bernardino:
- Small Tree – up to 20 feet: $240 to 420
- Medium Tree – 20 feet to 40 feet: $480 to $840
- Large Tree – 40 feet to 60 feet: $720 to $1,260
- Extra Large Tree – up to 80 feet: $1,060 to $2,000+
Location of the Tree
It will cost more to remove a tree located in a difficult-to-access part of your property. Gates, fences, or outlying structures will make it more difficult for our crews to maneuver.
The use of special equipment such as a bucket truck or crane will also raise the bill for tree removal. A tree that is easy to access will cost considerably less to remove.
If a tree falls, creating a potential risk, you will need to have it removed immediately. We offer 24/7 service and can help with any emergency. Of course, there will be a premium surcharge.
A pre-scheduled appointment made during regular business hours will save you money on the cost of tree removal. Unfortunately, that is not always possible. Your safety must come first.