Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in San Luis Obispo?
- 2 Does the City of San Luis Obispo Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in San Luis Obispo?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in San Luis Obispo?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in San Luis Obispo?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in San Luis Obispo?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in San Luis Obispo?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in San Luis Obispo?
San Luis Obispo is a historic town on the California Coast, approximately halfway between Los Angeles and Monterey. As would be expected from such a location, SLO, as the locals call it, is surrounded by natural beauty. Nearby Morro Bay attracts wildlife of all kinds, and visitors flock to take advantage of its opportunities for hiking, bird watching, kayaking, and more.
On the other side of the city, among the string of volcanic peaks known as the Nine Sisters overlooking the town, residents can enjoy exploring Bishop’s Peak, the highest summit in the area. Residents and visitors can trek along the tree-laced paths that lead toward the top of Bishop’s Peak, from where they can enjoy stunning views of the city and the surrounding area.
Indeed, while they’re out taking advantage of all the opportunities to enjoy nature in the area, residents of San Luis Obispo County can enjoy the variety of trees that grow there. But as is the case with trees anywhere, occasionally trees in SLO County can begin showing signs of disease or age. If such is the case with trees on your property in the area, it may be time to begin thinking about the possibility of tree removal.
In fact, trees in San Luis Obispo can face certain challenges that are less common in other areas of the country. The most significant of these challenges may well be the drought that has plagued California recently. The federal government tells us in fact that the entire county of San Luis Obispo is at threat of severe drought and lists the following effects of drought:
- Fire season is longer, with high burn intensity, dry fuels, and large fire spatial extent
- Trees are stressed; plants increase reproductive mechanisms; wildlife diseases increase
In addition to bark beetle infestations that have resulted from the drought, another tree-related challenge that has faced property owners in San Luis Obispo in recent years has been the invasion of the Asian citrus psyllid. These insects can spread the disease huanglongbing, or citrus greening disease. Symptoms of this disease in citrus trees include mottled leaves and bitter, misshapen fruit. Trees infected with huanglongbing typically die within five years.
Does the City of San Luis Obispo Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
The city of San Luis Obispo does not provide any financial assistance in tree removal problems, although they may in some cases do the work themselves. In fact, the city specifies that should a property owner be required to remove a hazardous tree, the owner will be responsible for paying the associated costs, even if the city carries out the work.
Section 12.24.100 of the Municipal Code states that “Any tree or shrub growing on private property that, in the opinion of the director, endangers public property shall be removed or trimmed by the property owner within fourteen days after receiving notice from the director. If the property owner fails to remove or trim the trees or shrubs, the city will conduct the work and assess the property owner for the cost of the city tree crew or for a contractor to do the work. Any removal and trimming costs shall become a lien on the property if not paid by the property owner after being billed by the city. These costs shall be recorded with the county recorder’s office. The assessment may be collected by court action.”
Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in San Luis Obispo?
A general principle in issues related to trees in California is that a tree is yours to deal with if it is on your property. As a result, if your tree were to fall over due to disease or storm damage, you would be responsible, as the landowner, for having it removed. Of course, life is never quite as simple as we would like it to be, so there may be other factors to consider when it comes to tree responsibility. Homeowners, renters, and neighbors may all have different views of the subject.
If You’re a Homeowner?
If you’re a homeowner, you will generally be responsible for removing trees that have fallen on your property. If you find yourself in need of such services, you may wish to see whether your homeowners’ insurance company can assist with the cost, particularly if the fallen tree has caused damage to your house. Just keep in mind any deductibles when determining whether it would be worth it to pursue a possible insurance claim.
If You’re a Renter?
Tree maintenance is legally on the landlord in California, so unless your lease specifies otherwise, you should not be expected to remove trees from the property where you’re renting. If you see a problem with a tree, let your landlord know so that they can hire a professional like us to deal with the situation.
If You’re a Landlord?
Because they are the property owner, a landlord will be expected to pay for the removal costs of any tree whose trunk is on his or her property that has become diseased or has died. The only possible exception to this would be if there was an arrangement spelled out in the lease that gave this responsibility to the tenant.
If You’re a Neighbor?
In general, in California, if you’re a neighbor, you don’t have many rights when it comes to trees on another’s property, or even when it comes to branches from your neighbor’s property extending onto your own. In the state, trees belong entirely to the person on whose land the tree’s trunk is located, even if its roots and branches extend elsewhere. If a tree’s trunk is located on a property line, however, then the tree belongs to all parties.
For an in-depth rundown on California law related to trees and property lines, see this helpful guide from the Hastings Environmental Law Journal.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in San Luis Obispo?
Soil surveys in San Luis Obispo County are divided into two distinct regions, one coastal and the other called the Carrizo Plain area, which is more inland. The soil series that predominates in the latter area is called the San Emigdio series, which is a fine sandy loam that drains particularly well. Due to its propensity for holding nutrients while also allowing for drainage, San Emigdio soil is particularly noted for its usefulness in the growth of citrus trees.
Meanwhile, the coastal soil survey points out that “A dense live oak woodland is especially common on the sandy and coarse-textured soils influenced by the cool ocean climate. These coarse-textured soils in areas of relatively high rainfall often support stands of predominantly bishop pine.”
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in San Luis Obispo?
As mentioned earlier, drought is a large concern in San Luis Obispo. Not only is drought hard on trees in and of itself, but it can also lead to fire danger that threatens trees’ very existence. San Luis Obispo County’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan points out that “The old-growth stands of Monterey pine… are considered extremely hazardous in the case of fire ignition, evacuation, and high winds. When a tree is hazardous because of structural weakness this poses a risk to civilians and firefighters. This structural weakness is increased by the infestation of bark beetles, dwarf mistletoe, western gall rust, and pine pitch canker. These conditions may result in pre-mature tree death, thus posing an increased risk to the 6,000 people of Cambria Village that reside within the infected pine stands. In addition to risks to people, the tree mortality also creates an extreme wildfire hazard.”
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in San Luis Obispo?
PG&E conducts an ongoing tree-trimming program to mitigate fire hazard risk and to keep the trees from interfering with power lines. If you notice dead trees around power lines, you should call PG&E. Their employees have the skills and knowledge to deal with removing the trees from the area.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in San Luis Obispo?
It can be difficult to offer precise estimates for tree removal in a particular area, given the various factors at play in determining costs. Nevertheless, we find that in San Luis Obispo, the average cost to remove a tree is around $660, and a reasonable range of costs could be anywhere from $200 to $1,990 or up, depending on the number and size of the trees being removed.
If we need to spend extra time or use extra technology to reach the tree in question, it will of course end up costing the customer more. After all, time is money! If a tree that you want to be removed is already on the ground in an easily accessible spot (near the road, for example), you are much more likely to end up with a lower bill than if your tree is up a steep hill behind your home, or if our arborist has to work around many other trees in trying to remove the one you’ve called about.
In the case of tree removal, it’s not necessarily true that bigger is better. The more work it is to remove a tree, the more it is going to cost the homeowner. San Luis Obispo is certainly known for having some large trees, including a wide variety of oaks. For this reason, it may end up seeming particularly pricey to have a tree removed in the San Luis Obispo area, but as mentioned above, the alternatives are usually worse.
Some other factors that may contribute to increased costs include:
- You have made an emergency, after-hours request
- Heavy equipment is required
- There is high demand for our tree removal services, such as after a wildfire
Now here are some things that might decrease the price:
- The tree turns out to be smaller than anticipated
- You have provided a good deal of advanced notice to us
- The tree is easy to access
- No heavy equipment is required.