Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are The Most Common Tree Issues In San Jose?
- 2 Does The City of San Jose Provide Any Assistance In Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal In San Jose?
- 4 How Does The Soil Affect Trees In San Jose?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health In San Jose?
- 6 What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines In San Jose?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in San Jose?
What Are The Most Common Tree Issues In San Jose?
The city of San Jose has made trees and their care a priority. The city’s community forest is made of trees on private property, in parks and other open spaces, and city-planted trees in park strips and median islands. The city boasts many returns on its citizen’s investments including clean air, energy savings, combating the heat island effect, and increased oxygen.
Trees also offer cleansing of contaminated soil, flood prevention, roadway protection, and an increase in property value. They encourage safe driving, offer enhanced healing properties including positive psychological effects, and protection from skin cancer. Trees also provide a habitat for wildlife, help provide privacy, offer a strong sense of community, and benefit the business community.
San Jose’s Tree Ordinance
The city also maintains a tree ordinance protecting what it deems as its Heritage Trees. According to the ordinance a Heritage Tree “may be found on public or private property and has special significance to the community due to its history, girth, height, species, or unique quality.” There are numerous Mexican Fan Palms (Washingtonia Robusta) on the Heritage Tree list, along with some Canary Island Date Palms (Phoenix Canariensis) and Deodar Cedar (Cedrus Deodara), and a few Weeping Mulberry (Morus alba ‘Pendula’). There is also one California Nutmeg (Torreya californica).
Whether the identified trees are on public or private property, it is illegal to remove or prune any of them. Homeowners who wish to prune or remove a Heritage Tree on their property must contact the city first. An initial citation for pruning or removal without permission can cost up to $10,000 with repeated violations running up to $30,000.
For several years now, California has been suffering drought situations. It is affecting the state’s native trees and forests. It is also affecting plantings up and down the state including its farmland.
While San Jose may have milder weather than many other areas of the state, it is suffering similar drought-like situations. Like other large and smaller cities during recent times, San Jose has had to put restrictions on water use. This includes the time of irrigation and the length of sprinkler use.
Tree Diseases in San Jose
Trees in San Jose may experience many of the same issues a lot of Northern California trees do, depending upon the family of the tree. Some of the more common diseases are caused by fungus. They include:
- Anthracnose is a fungal disease that is the most common tree disease in the San Jose area. It affects hardwood trees. The leaves turn splotchy leaving brown and black marks.
- Dutch Elm Disease is also caused by a fungus but transferred through a beetle. It can be fatal to any species of elm tree. Signs include yellowing or brown leaves, and black or dark brown streaking on the tree trunk just under the bark.
- Crow Rot is caused by a fungus in the soil. Generally, it affects shrubs and plants, but can also be spread to trees. Signs of crow rot include rotted areas on the trunk near the ground and roots, as well as in the branches.
- Aspen Canker is yet another disease caused by fungus. Early signs include sunken oval areas on the bark. As the disease progresses the cankered areas can cause the bark to crumble.
- Shot Hole Fungus is a problem in areas close to the Bay, especially during a wet, warm winter. It affects members of the Prunus family including stone fruit trees such as plums and peaches, as well as almond trees. As the name implies, signs of the disease include holes in the leaves along with browning of them. While the fungus only affects the appearance of the tree, it can weaken it, making it more susceptible to other diseases.
Does The City of San Jose Provide Any Assistance In Tree Removal Problems?
The city of San Jose, through its Department of Transportation (DOT) office, is responsible for the care of all city-owned trees in parks, other open spaces, park strips, and median islands. If you see any mismanagement, potential hazards, or improper care of city trees, you should contact the city’s DOT office. Street trees are the responsibility of the property owner.
Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal In San Jose?
A permit is required for the removal of any fallen street trees within the city. If the permit is granted, a copy of the permit must be on-site at the time of tree removal. In case of an emergency, such as downed power lines or other safety issues, the work can be performed prior to the issuance of a permit.
If you’re a homeowner?
It is the homeowner’s responsibility to care for all trees on his property including any street trees between the sidewalk and roadway. This includes watering, pruning, and removal of dead branches or the entire fallen tree.
If you’re a renter?
A renter bears no responsibility for caring for a fallen tree unless otherwise written in the rental agreement
If you’re a landlord?
It is up to a tenant to inform the landlord of a fallen tree, or other tree-related issues on the property. The landlord of any property, be it residential or commercial, is responsible for the care of living trees and fallen tree removal on his property as well as street trees, unless otherwise noted in a rental agreement.
If you’re a neighbor?
If a neighbor’s tree falls on your property, it is the neighbor’s responsibility to have it removed. If they dilly-dally, you may have to send a letter through the mail requesting a signed receipt as proof of your communication. If you are having problems getting a fallen tree from your neighbor’s property removed, you may want to consult with the city. Sometimes trees exist directly on property lines. If so, the care and removal of that tree should be split between the property owners.
How Does The Soil Affect Trees In San Jose?
Much of the ground in San Jose is made of clay, which is a good thing for trees. Clay soil holds water and nutrients while making trees and other plant life fairly easy to maintain. Be aware that there are some areas of sandy soil and loamy soil, which tend to drain faster. Trees in those areas may require more water and care than those in clay soil. Amendments to enrich clay soil are easy to work in and add to proper drainage. Another benefit to clay soil is that it helps anchor trees and provides them with more stability.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health In San Jose?
One of the pleasures of living in San Jose is its moderate temperatures. It rarely dips below 40F in the winter and summers are blessed with highs in the low 80s. On average the sun shines for more than 250 days of the year. The average rainfall is around 17 inches, although, like the rest of the state, the city has seen drought-like conditions in recent times leading to a loss of tree life.
Drought is hard on tree life. It can slow down or totally inhibit growth. It also leaves trees more susceptible to pests and disease. Trees in the clay soil areas are better equipped to handle drought situations. An organic mulch of two inches thick will help in any soil situation enhancing the tree’s ability to retain moisture.
Advice for new tree plantings is to consider drought-resistant trees such as the Ponderosa Pine (Pinus Ponderosa), Sargent Cypress (Cupressus Sargentii), and Bishop Pine, also known as the Santa Cruz Pine (Pinus Muricata).
What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines In San Jose?
Dead and fallen trees on or near power lines are considered an emergency hazard. For city trees or street trees, call the city’s DOT office immediately. The need for an active permit can be forgone should an emergency arise. If it is after hours, or on the weekend, leave a message with the DOT office, and make arrangements to handle the situation immediately. If lines are down, or there is a possibility of live electricity exposure, contact the local fire department, or call 911.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in San Jose?
Even if you are skilled at using a hand saw to remove dead branches from a tree or to do a little pruning, removing an entire tree is quite a different proposition. It is one of those things best left to our professionals with the proper equipment, a chipper, and a truck to remove the entire tree.
The average cost for tree removal in San Jose is between $450 and $1,250. There are several things that come into a cost estimate for removing a tree and here are a few:
Number one is the height of the tree. Not surprisingly, the taller the tree, the more it will cost to remove it. Some of the things that factor into this include the possible use of a lift to elevate our removal expert up high into the tree, as well as other equipment needed to remove a larger tree than a smaller one. On average, a small tree is considered to be 30 feet or less. A medium-sized tree is between 30 and 60 feet in height. And a taller one is over that 60-foot mark. The larger the tree, the longer it will take to remove it.
State of the Tree
A simple cost factor is whether the tree is still standing or has fallen. Removing a fallen tree is going to be safer, easier, and will require less work, although the volume of the tree to cut up and haul away remains the same.
Another consideration is whether the stump is to be removed as well as the tree. In some cases, a stump is left and treated to help break it down. Removing the stump will add to the cost and is dependent upon the condition of the soil, the tree’s root system, and the quality of the wood of the stump and roots. You may need to apply fill dirt to cover the space where the former stump and roots were located.