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Placer County Tree Mortality Task Force

A grove of bark beetle-killed trees near Interstate 80 in the Dutch Flat/Alta area

What can property owners do?
Know who is responsible for dead or dying trees. Dead or dying trees on private property are typically the responsibility of the property owner.

How can property owners get additional information?

If property owners are unfamiliar with tree harvesting practices, they should consult with a licensed professional forester or arborist. The Placer County Resource Conservation District has tree professionals available for consultation and inspections. Additionally, there is a state forest stewardship assistance available.

When should dead or dying trees be removed?
Dead trees need to be removed as soon as possible. They create a fire hazard and standing dead trees will rot, becoming unstable, and will eventually fall, especially during winter storms. The longer a tree is dead, the more difficult and expensive it can be to remove.
What can a property owner do with the downed timber?
Felled trees can be left or removed. If left, they need to be properly handled. Felled wood can be used for firewood, but needs to be stored correctly. Wood from bark beetle-infested trees should be covered with plastic, following a specific technique to kill the beetles, and left covered for several months. If wood is not going to be used for firewood, then it should be chipped and used as mulch. For additional information on how to correctly store bark beetle-infested firewood, click this link: FIREWOOD
Can logs from infested trees be sold?
While anyone with downed wood is free to contact lumber mills, at this point there is a glut in the wood market, reducing the amount of wood that mills can take. Downed wood can also be sold as fuel for biomass power generation.


 Link to CalFIRE's Tree Mortality Viewer


What is Placer County doing about the tree mortality problem?
Placer County has formed a Tree Mortality Task Force, which is an inter-agency effort to coordinate all aspects of the tree mortality issue, such as public outreach, resource and A stand of dead trees near Foresthillfunding identification and procurement, and landowner assistance. In September, the Placer County Board of Supervisors approved the county’s hazardous tree removal plan, and funding for tree removal using state funds for a portion of the work. This will allow the county to remove trees that threaten county infrastructure. Dead trees on private land that could directly affect county infrastructure if they fell may qualify for some funding under the county plan.

Are there other agencies or organizations that will remove trees?
Local, state and federal government and utilities may remove trees from both public and private land if those trees pose a hazard to infrastructure (roads, buildings, power and water conveyance systems, etc,). CAL FIRE is removing dead and dying trees adjacent to Interstate 80 from the West Paoli exit to Donner Summit.
Where can property owners get additional information?

  • The Placer Resource Conservation District is available to answer questions and/or conduct property assessments to provide site-specific advice. The district can help determine eligibility for various funding assistance programs.916 -600-3061. PRCD 
  • The district also operates a low-cost, curbside chipper program. 530-889-0111 Ext. 3. CHIPPER
  • A forest stewardship helpline is now available for information on tree mortality. 1-800-738-8733 (TREE).   STEWARDSHIP
  • The Placer Tree Mortality Task Force is working to identify what funding may be available to assist landowners.
  • If you own at least three acres of forestland property and have a minimum of four dead conifers per acre, you may qualify for cost-share assistance through U.S. Department of Agriculture’s NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program. NRCS 
  • If you are at a verifiable very low income annual income level INCOME and/or elderly, you may qualify for very low interest (1%) loans or grants (Age 62 & up) through U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Section 504 Home Repair. FACT SHEET 
  • If you own at least 20 acres of forestland property, you may qualify for forest management cost-share assistance through CAL FIRE’s California Forest Improvement Program . This may not include dead tree removal. FIP 
  • PG&E is removing dead trees along powerlines. Contact PG&E to see if you qualify for assistance. Pacific Gas & Electric is also operating a debris management program for dead trees. Click here for additional information PG&E 
  • Visit the Placer County Tree Mortality Task Force website.
  • CAL FIRE has information available online: BARK BEETLES 
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture has an informative brochure available online: Bark Beetles in California Conifers
  • Placer TMTF is working to identify solutions for biomass removal and treatment.
  • See the Placer County landowner assistance Frequently Asked Questions. FAQ  
  • Placer County Fire Safe Alliance: The Alliance provides community assistance, information and assistance, information and educational programs to help reduce wildfire risks. The Alliance goal is to have informed, educated, and fire defensible communities through a collaborative approach in a fire prone environment. Fire Safe Alliance 

stands of dead treesHow to keep your property fire safe

Be proactive. Create 100 feet of “defensible space,” the natural and landscaped area around a structure that has been maintained and designed to reduce fire danger;

Remove dead trees, especially around your home;

Maintain trees by thinning overgrown trees and watering as necessary; and

Plant a diversity of tree species, including drought tolerant species of trees native to the area.