Caltrans Begins Removal of Remaining Hazardous Trees

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State of California • Department of Transportation


Today’s Date: October 7, 2019
District: 1 – Eureka
Contact: Bonnie Kuhn
Phone: (707) 441-4678



Eureka – Caltrans has identified dead and dying trees that are hazardous and pose a significant threat to the safety of motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians, impacting the safety of the traveling public along Routes 20, 29, 53, and 175 in Lake County. Most of the identified trees were damaged by the Valley Fire in 2015.

After the initial removal of dead trees during the Valley Fire cleanup, it was determined that a certified arborist would re-assess trees that were identified with the potential for recovery at a later date. These trees are located along our right-of-way and on personal property. Each tree is evaluated for health, viability, and the potential to become an immediate or future hazard to public safety.

Property owners will be contacted by Caltrans to perform the tree assessments along the right-of-way on their property. They will be sent a “Permission to Enter,” that will allow Caltrans to cut and remove the identified trees or keep the timber for personal use. If homeowners refuse the removal of the trees by Caltrans, they will be held liable if the trees fall, causing damage or harm to utilities or the traveling public.

Reasons for removing live trees include the presence of internal decay, insect damage, fungus, signs of stress such as excessive pitching and/or deformed growth, loose bark, signs of instability and fire damage. The arborist has currently identified over 500 trees that need to be removed, although there are many more miles of road to assess.

Dead or dying trees will be marked with a blue paint ring to facilitate identification. Hazardous tree removal began Monday, Sept. 30.

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