San Jose City Crews Red-Tag 'Dangerous' Trees Ahead of Storm - NBC Bay Area
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San Jose City Crews Red-Tag 'Dangerous' Trees Ahead of Storm

City crews on Thursday inspected trees that may pose a danger as the next round of storms approach the Bay Area.

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    San Jose homeowners may have to spend thousands of dollars to remove trees being red-tagged due to the weather. Damian Trujillo reports. (Published Thursday, March 3, 2016)

    San Jose homeowners may have to spend thousands of dollars to remove trees being red-tagged due to the weather.

    City crews on Thursday inspected trees that may pose a danger as the next round of storms approach the Bay Area.

    Irma Balderas is one of several homeowners who question why they must pay to knock down trees that are not dead.

    Balderas' father planted street trees in 1975 when his family moved into their San Jose home. The family prunes the mulberry trees every year and they come to life in the spring.

    The Balderas family was shocked when a city inspector red-tagged the trees and said they have to come down.

    "First of all, I don't think the trees are dead," Baldera said. "Look, they're growing."

    City inspectors have been driving through San Jose and red-tagging what they feel are dangerous trees.

    "We always have our hands full," said Ralph Mize with the San Jose Department of Transportation. "In San Jose, we're blessed to have over 260,000 street trees."

    Mize, a former city arborist, said his crews try to get to as many questionable trees as possible, especially before big storms. In early February, an elderly man died while trapped under a fallen tree at Berryessa Creek Park.

    Mize concedes the mulberry trees in front of Balderas' home are not dead, but added they still must come down due to the way they were planted.

    "Topping is an unacceptable pruning method where indiscriminate cuts are put into the tree that can put the tree in an unstable, ruddy-appearance," Mize said.

    Balderas will now have to pay thousands of dollars to knock down the trees and repair the sidewalk damage caused by their roots. Balderas said she will likely appeal the red tag and challenge the city to keep her mulbery trees.

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