Saturated Soil Brings Danger of Falling Trees
The recent storms are over for now, however the rainy weather has increased the danger of falling trees. If a tree is diseased, weakened or has root issues, the heavy rain and wind may cause the tree to topple over. The City is encouraging residens to inspect trees on their properties, especially eucalyptus trees, which have shallow roots. Trees are weakened as roots are exposed from the heavy rains causing the dirt to wash away.
Property owners should inspect their trees and have them removed or thinned to prevent the danger of the tree falling on pedestrians, drivers or affecting properties, such as electrical wires, homes and cars.
Privately owned trees are the responsibility of the private property owner. The City Public Works Department responds to calls when a tree or branches fall from a tree in front of homes adjacent to a street. If a fallen tree or branch is removed from the road by City crews for public safety reasons, the disposal of the debris is the responsibility of the property owner.
Managing Privately Owned Trees in the Public Right of Way
Privately owned trees are the responsibility of the private property owner unless otherwise determined by way of fee and title ownership, dedication and/or a City owned easement. The Public Works Department responds to calls when branches fall from a tree in front of homes adjacent to a street or when a tree has died. In response, a certified arborist visits the property to determine the condition of the tree. If a fallen branch is removed from the road by City crews for public safety reasons, the disposal of the debris is the responsibility of the property owner. If the tree is in decline and will likely die, the property owner is notified and it is the property owner’s financial responsibility to remove the tree (Vista Municipal Code Section 19.24.140).
Private property owners who own property adjacent to a public road are also presumed to own the trees that are planted in the right-of-way. When a private tree becomes a public nuisance, the property owners are responsible for taking action (i.e. root pruning, trimming, branch, or tree removal) in the interest of public safety.
Do I need a permit to remove a tree?
Residents are reminded that trees located within the public right-of-way require a “no-fee tree removal” permit.
Trimming Privately Owned Trees in the Public Right of Way
Because trees are growing, interfacing and maturing in urban communities, intermittent trimming, inspections and other types of services are essential to maintaining a robust tree population. The City performs cyclical trimming of private trees planted in the right-of-way and the funding used to help pay for this service is a nominal fee collected through property tax “Landscape and Lighting Maintenance District” assessments. Using both City and contract resources, the Public Works Department oversees the management of the trees.
Public Works Department