Friday, March 2, 2018

Dead Trees in Amador County Threaten County Roads and Infrastructure

The cumulative impacts of the prolonged drought and bark beetle attacks of recent years and their devastating effects on trees in Amador County continue and are likely to increase in the future. Many of the trees killed over the past several years are now starting to decompose and fall, causing damage to structures and creating obstacles to vehicle access on County roads. The County has aggressively pursued a Tree Mortality Program of removing dead and dying trees along its roads and to date has authorized contracts for tree removal on hundreds of privately owned parcels.

The tree removal is offered free of charge to landowners. Yet, there are over 180 properties with dead trees potentially affecting County roads where owners have not returned right of entry forms to allow the assessment of dead trees and their removal. This is a critical oversight because the dead trees along County roads on private property not only represent a threat to the roads but they are a liability to the property owner. If trees fall and damage roads or cause damage or injuries to travelers, the private property owner may be responsible for compensation. In some cases, trees that threaten County roads also threaten houses and other assets. 

A new round of mailing right of entry forms to the owners who did not return forms was just implemented. Property owners are urged to return them as soon as possible. The benefits of the County program include removal of the trees at no cost to the property owner and alleviation of the hazards posed by the trees.

Property owners who have questions about the County program or who would like to report dead trees that could affect County roads should contact the County Tree Mortality Program Coordinator, Dr. Richard Harris at (707) 685-5508 or at

The County's tree mortality webpage has additional information:

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