After receiving thousands of requests for service during recent storms, the Urban Forestry section of the Department of Public Works continues to address tree-related issues across Sacramento.
Kevin Hocker, the City’s Urban Forester, estimates that at least 500 City trees were damaged by the storm. Some of these trees have already been removed and staff are working to address the remaining trees.
“There is no way to know for sure how many trees on private property were impacted, but we’re estimating over 1,000,” Hocker said, bringing the total estimate of fallen trees to 1,500.
City trees are those partially or completely located in a City park, on City-owned property, or on a public right-of-way, including any street, road, sidewalk, park strip, mow strip or alley. The City maintains more than 100,000 trees.
In the first three weeks of January, Urban Forestry received approximately 3,000 requests for service. This is typically the amount they would receive in a six-month period.
Requests included removal of trees that fell on houses, cars or in roadways throughout the city. All City trees on houses have been removed and major arterial streets are open to traffic. Cleanup around Sacramento is ongoing and expected to take up to six months to complete, officials said.
According to Hocker, there has not been an observed pattern of failure for the fallen trees. Trees of all species, sizes and ages failed during the storm. The majority of the trees downed by the storm were healthy, defect-free trees that were uprooted by the combination of heavy rains and strong winds.
The City employs a team of certified arborists with tree-risk-assessment training to inspect and evaluate City trees. Concerns on the condition of public trees can be submitted to 3-1-1 for a City arborist to assess.
Residents who are concerned about private trees should contact a private arborist for assessment.
A permit is required to perform regulated work on private protected trees. Private protected trees are designated to have special historical value, special environmental value, or significant community benefit. More information on the permit process can be found on the City’s website.