$2,900,000 million to remove 2,038 trees
AUBURN, Calif. – The Placer County Hazardous Tree Removal Program took a step forward with the Board of Supervisors awarding contracts to remove an additional 2,038 dead or dying trees throughout the county.
Placer County, along with much of California, is facing an unprecedented threat from the millions of dead and dying trees in its forests. Five years of successive drought has stressed the trees, which enabled native bark beetles to proliferate and kill stands of once healthy trees.
While the record precipitation from the winters of 2016 to 2017 has helped, many affected trees will not recover and remain vulnerable to bark beetles; most foresters say the massive die-off is likely to continue for several more years. The Hazardous Tree Removal Program continues the county’s commitment to address the tree mortality issue in the region.
Mountain F. Enterprises Inc., Joe Benigno Tree Service Inc. and Dowling Underground & Networking Inc. were collectively awarded $2.9 million to remove 2,038 trees. Work will take place from the Sacramento County border to the Lake Tahoe Basin region of the county.
In 2015, then-Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. proclaimed a state of emergency due to the extreme hazard of the dead and dying trees.
Following the proclamation, 10 counties were determined to be most affected, which included Placer County. Placer County proclaimed a local emergency due to tree mortality conditions on Dec. 8, 2015.
1.5 million trees in Placer County affected
The Board of Supervisors approved the Hazardous Tree Removal Plan in 2016, which outlined the steps needed for the removal of hazardous trees that threaten county infrastructure. Placer County is responsible for over 1,000 miles of roadway. An aerial survey documented approximately 1.5 million dead and dying trees within Placer County because of the drought and resulting bark beetle infestation. Of those 1.5 million trees, approximately 5,200 were eligible for the program.
Many other agencies are also removing dead trees in Placer County, including Pacific Gas and Electric, Liberty Utilities, Caltrans and CAL FIRE. Hazardous trees on private property are the responsibility of the property owner to remove, but assistance may be available through the Placer County Resource Conservation District and county’s Fire Safe Alliance.
This removal adds to approximately 2,000 trees removed from previous operational years since the program’s inception. Work on the project started in 2016 as a partnership between the Placer County Public Works Department and the Office of Emergency Services. The projects are scheduled to go through the fall of 2020.
More information about the program is available at http://www.placer.ca.gov/trees. Those with questions are encouraged to contact Placer County’s information line for the project at 916-438-9542.