Hazardous Trees Causing Problems in Sacramento County
Hazardous trees are causing problems in Sacramento County due to the recent inclement weather. Storms have caused both trees and tree limbs to fall. It has also led to power outages and in some areas, flooding. As trees are uprooted, the chances of danger to residents are increased. In locations along the American River Parkway, 31 trees have been recognized as hazardous, and park officials are saying they will have to be removed.
The hazardous trees are found along the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail between mile marker 4 and Discovery Park, according to county regional park officials. Cottonwood trees have already fallen in the area of the trail. They noted that the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail will remain open with periodic closures as trees are cut down. In order to make sure the trees needed to be felled, an arborist was brought in on a consulting basis.
Does Excessive Rain Result in Hazardous Trees?
It would seem that rain is healthy for trees. While all trees need a sufficient amount of rain, too much can do damage, increasing the risk of hazardous trees. Three harmful things that happen to trees from excess rain are:
- Inadequate oxygen: When the amount of rain is excessive, it prevents oxygen from reaching the tree roots. When this happens, the roots will begin to die back. Not having a solid root system can result in making the tree less stable, ending in the tree falling over or weakening the branches.
- Decreased nutrients: Rain can effectively remove nitrogen from the soil. The absence of nutrients can affect the tree’s sustainability and make its roots weak. This can lead to a tree’s instability.
- Fungal disease: Fungus grows and spreads in damp conditions. With excessive rain, it can kill a tree. A dead tree is more likely to cause damage if a storm erupts.
Tree Inspections and Responsibility for Damages
Homeowners are obligated to inspect their trees to see if they pose a hazard to others. If so, the owner must attend to the tree by trimming branches or remove it if it has become hazardous. Under California Civil Code 833 and 9834, the owner of the property the tree stands on is responsible for it. Keeping the tree in a healthy state removes the risk of injury to both a person and the property of another. Even if the roots of the tree grow into the next door neighbor’s property, a nonowner is not permitted to destroy the roots because of the risk of harming the tree under California law. However, if an injury occurs, a negligent property owner will be responsible for paying medical costs, lost wages and property damage. In the event that the tree is on both properties, then the owners are equally responsible.
Checking to See If a Tree Has Become Hazardous
If a tree in your yard is hazardous, it could cost you thousands of dollars if someone is injured by it. The following are signs that a tree is unsafe:
- Bark that is missing: The area where the bark is missing is called a canker. There is a greater risk the tree will snap at this location. This goes for deep cracks also, according to home inspector authorities.
- Holes in the tree: After a branch snaps off, a hole can form in the tree. This may or may not increase the likelihood the tree will break.
- Tree that leans: If the tree is leaning more than 15 degrees, it might need to be removed. Check with an arborist, a person that is trained in the science of maintaining trees and caring for them.
- Dead branches: When branches die, it is a sure sign the tree can no longer feed itself. Dead branches are a significant cause of injury to people and property.
- Root rot: Since this is below ground, it is difficult to see. Telltale signs are fungus or mushrooms growing at the tree’s base.
Negligence and Property Liability
Property owners, such as home and commercial building or city or state agencies, have a duty to make sure the premises are safe for others. When that duty is neglected, particularly after a deluge or a bad storm, the owner is responsible for the damages. An injury lawyer can inspect the area, retain an arborist to give their opinion about whether the tree should have been removed and speak with witnesses to build a strong case.
Injury From Hazardous Trees
Injury from hazardous trees can be significant. A heavy falling limb can result in broken bones, traumatic brain injury or spinal damage. If the tree falls, it can result in death. In addition, a tree can fall across the roadway and cause a serious accident. Debris from fallen trees can also contribute to a collision. On other occasions, the tree can crash into a home causing property damage and injuries to those inside.
Sacramento Tree Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento tree injury lawyer. If you or your loved one has been injured by hazardous trees, you have a right to be compensated for the financial loss you have suffered. Contact me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice. You can also reach out to me online at AutoAccident.com, the website I founded and own.
I’ve been awarded membership in the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. This organization only grants membership to those attorneys it believes provide legal excellence to clients. I am also a member of the Million Dollar Advocates. We are a nationwide forum of lawyers who have won more than $1 million for a client.
If you would like to know more about my practice, go to the following pages:
Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/photos/tree-uprooted-tornado-winds-damage-14340/
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