Oakland’s hazardous tree ordinance
Owning a home has numerous responsibilities. One is to ensure that trees on your property are not dangerous to your neighbors. A large, dead or dying tree can cause massive damage if the entire tree or any of its limbs fall. This is why many municipalities, including the City of Oakland, have hazardous tree ordinances. The Oakland law (read it HERE), set up procedures for filing claims regarding city owned and privately owned trees.
Not long ago, an Oakland homeowner approached his neighbor and pointed out how an old, huge Monterey pine was severely leaning toward his house, with about a third of the canopy actually hanging over his roof. After consultations with various licensed arborists, it was agreed that the tree, about seventy feet tall, would need to be removed. Due to its size and proximity to high-tension electric wires, it cost the neighbor over $10,000 to have the tree cut down and taken away.
As it turned out, the pine was not only leaning, but was also seriously diseased. Within a year or two, it could have caused major property damage and, possibly, injury or death to the complaining neighbors. The tree ordinance helped avoid these issues and the likely legal action that would have followed.
For more information, see my article, “Eucalyptus and Monterey Pines Present Problems.”