Tree Mortality

On October 30, 2015 Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. proclaimed a state of emergency due to the extreme hazard of the dead and dying trees throughout the State and specifically listed 10 Counties most effected, to include Placer County. Following the State’s Proclamation, Placer County proclaimed a Local Emergency due to tree mortality conditions on December 8, 2015.

Placer County created the Placer County Tree Mortality Task Force in March of 2016 as an inter-agency forum for information sharing/gathering and coordination of plans and resources that included representation from local, state and federal partners. On September 27, 2016 the Board of Supervisors approved the Hazardous Tree Removal Plan (HTRP) which outlined the steps needed to address the identification and removal of hazardous trees that threaten County infrastructure as well as the coordination and management of this process. Since then, Placer County has contracted with Mountain G Engineering (MGE) to assist in the implementation of the Hazardous Tree Removal.

For additional information on the tree removal project, please view the Frequently Asked Questions  document.

View the letter (PDF) from former District 5 Placer County Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery explaining the project and its importance.

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Dead & Dying Trees

Placer County, along with much of California, is facing an unprecedented threat from the millions of dead and dying trees in our forests. Successive years of drought have stressed the trees, which has enabled native bark beetles to proliferate and kill stands of once healthy trees. While the record precipitation from the winter of 2016 to 2017 has helped, many affected trees will not recover and remain vulnerable to bark beetles; most foresters say the massive die-off is likely to continue for several more years.

Placer County is one of 10 counties included in the State of California’s tree mortality declaration of emergency. Statewide there are more than 129 million dead or dying trees as a result of the lethal combination of drought and bark beetles. That number is projected to keep growing. Placer County saw an additional 709,000 trees die in 2017 bringing the cumulative total in the county to 1.5 million.

State Tree Mortality Task Force

Placer County is an active participant in the State Tree Mortality Task Force. We have also declared a local emergency and formed our own county Tree Mortality Task Force. The Task Force coordinates efforts between local, private and public partners in dealing with the problem. In addition to local governmental agencies, we are also partnering with the state and federal governments.

Recently, tree surveys from the road (windshield surveys) have been completed in most of the higher elevation areas and Right of Entry forms are being mailed out. If you received a door hanger and want to complete the Right of Entry form (PDF) now, you can do so online using an electronic signature or by downloading forms and mailing them in as directed.

Foresthill Pilot Area

Crews completed marking trees for removal on properties where permission was granted through the Right of Entry process. Each tree was marked with the letters "PC" and a number identifying that tree as a part of the Placer County Tree Mortality Removal Project. For those that signed a right of entry form and noticed the marking in red paint, those trees have been identified as ones which will be cut and removed by the contractor from your property. Trees marked using green paint will be cut and left on the property for disposal by the land owner. 

If you notice a tree with white paint on it, it means that the tree died prior to the emergency being declared and is not eligible through the emergency funding. However, CalFire has approved additional funding to remove trees which have died prior to the emergency and that pose a potential fire threat to residences or communities. Trees marked with white paint will be submitted to CalFire for approval and if approved will be remove in coordination with the emergency project. The Pilot area will go out to bid early summer and once the contract is awarded, tree removal operations will begin. Property owners will be notified when the contract is awarded and provided with the name of the contractor.

Trees which are stressed or diseased, but have not reached a point where they cannot recover, are being recorded and monitored for the life of the project to determine if they require removal at a later date.

Lake Tahoe Basin Area

Marking in the Lake Tahoe Basin area will be performed this summer.

Tree Mortality Map

View a map of tree mortality in California.