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AUBURN, Calif. March 28, 2019 — As Placer County continues its project to remove dead and dying trees threatening county infrastructure, county officials are reminding property owners of the April 15 deadline to complete right-of-entry forms needed to have eligible trees removed from their property.
Arborists with the county’s consultant for the project, Mountain G. Enterprises Inc., have identified approximately 10,500 dead or dying trees countywide that could fall onto county roads or other county-owned infrastructure like trails and parking lots. About half of these are on federal land and most of the rest are on private property or in the county right-of-way.
On private property, only trees that could fall and damage county infrastructure are eligible for removal under this program.
Following a countywide survey of hazardous trees, Placer County and MGE notified affected property owners of their eligibility for the program and requested their permission to enter the property to remove eligible trees.
More than 260 trees in the Foresthill area have been removed through the project, and more are planned in the coming year.
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, and some assistance is available to them through the county’s Firewise Communities Program and the Placer County Resource Conservation District.
Nearly all felled trees will be removed, but a limited number determined to be in ecologically-sensitive areas will be left in place. Trees deemed to have died before Placer County declared a local emergency in December 2015 due to the tree death crisis have been marked with white paint and won’t be felled by the county.
An estimated 147 million trees in California were killed by drought and bark beetles between 2010 and 2018, according to the state’s Tree Mortality Task Force. Placer County remains under a declared emergency due to the tree death crisis and is counted among the 10 hardest-hit California counties. That makes Placer eligible for reimbursement of 75 percent of the project costs through the California Disaster Assistance Act. The county’s 25 percent cost share is 100 percent reimbursable up to $364,000 through a CAL FIRE grant program.
Property owners with eligible trees may complete and submit right-of-entry forms online at placer.ca.gov/trees. Those with questions are encouraged to contact the Placer County information line at 916-438-9542.