Caltrans to begin identifying hazardous trees on Hwy 174 | TheUnion.com

Caltrans to begin identifying hazardous trees on Hwy 174

Submitted to The Union

Arborists contracted with the California Department of Transportation will be contacting homeowners with property adjacent to Highway 174 this month for permission to perform tree assessments on their land, according to a news release.

Caltrans will be identifying and marking dead and dying hazardous trees that could impact the safety of the traveling public and increase wildlife risk, the release states.

The hazardous tree project is unrelated to Caltrans' proposed Highway 174 safety improvement project, according to Liza Whitmore, a public information officer with the department. It is part of a statewide project to remove dead and dying trees that were impacted by California's most recent drought, Whitmore said.

According to the release, millions of California trees are dead or dying, the result of four years of drought and bark beetle infestations across large regions of the state. Locally, Caltrans recently completed hazardous tree removal operations on Highway 20 between Nevada City and Yuba Pass. Most of the trees removed were converted to energy at a biomass facility in Placer County.

Caltrans contractor Davey Resource Group's certified arborists will be making contact with property owners. Door hangars will be left at homes if the property owner is not available. If a door hangar is received, the public is encouraged to contact the Davey Resource Group at the number/email on the notice and schedule an assessment. Dead or dying trees will be marked with "R1, R2, R3 or R4" in orange paint to facilitate identification. The numbers refer to the size of the tree.

Information about California's Tree Mortality Task Force, the "permission to enter" process, tree hazard zone maps and answers to frequently asked questions is available at: http://www.dot.ca.gov/treemortality/index.html.

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Hazardous tree removal is scheduled for 2018.

Source: Caltrans