Rain’s Coming, Check Your Trees

Tree safety is homeowner's responsibility

Most people in the Bay Area appreciate a tree-lined street. But, what makes for a nice stroll on a lovely day can make for a dangerous dash in inclement weather. Rainy season is upon us, as is the time to look for tree danger.

Property owners are responsible for keeping their trees healthy. In San Jose, that includes the so-called “street trees,” the tree the city requires homeowners to have within 10-feet of the curb or 30-feet from the center of the road.

In January, a toddler was killed when a 60-foot maple tree fell on top of his family’s pickup truck in front of their San Jose home. An arborist blamed root rot, adding that root rot is difficult for the average person to detect.

A group dedicated to making sure city streets have plenty of trees says the following can be signs of trouble:

  • Smaller leaft size, chane in leaf color or fewer leaves
  • Dead, dying or diseased branches
  • Missing Bark or damage to the trunk, including cracks
  • Insects or damage from pests
  • Mushrooms or other fungal fruiting bodies on the trunk, near the base of the truck or on the roots
  • Old wounds that seem wet or ooze
  • A noticeable lean that does not correct itself
  • Lifted ground on one side of the tree

Arborists say that most trees need a deep pruning every four to five years and adequate water source. Also, water young trees deeply to encourage a deep root system.

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