We have a giant Monterey Pine tree in the corner of our back yard. It’s about 110 inches diameter and 35 feet tall – It’s HUGE. It has provided enjoyable shade for our house, BUT it is located right in front of a power pole. The safety rules for PGE’s trimming is that they should not allow any growth to come within 10 feet of the high-power lines on the top of the poles. But the fact is that PGE has shaved this tree over the years to give a 10-foot radius of clearance around the power lines, making it look ugly from any of our neighbor’s viewpoint. It has also made the tree grow in a somewhat unstable manor, making it lean over our home and the house next to us for many years.
What I did not fully understand when we bought our home 6 years ago, but now am very familiar with since becoming a licensed Realtor, is that it is the homeowner’s responsibility to take care of all the trees on our property regardless of what PGE has done. San Jose has a City ordinance that requires all homeowners to bear responsibility for maintenance of trees on their property. When we moved in, I thought this meant watering the trees and trimming the branches once in a while.
What I now realize is that my homeowner responsibility as the ‘tree caregiver’ is much more serious. Our Monterey Pine tree has become diseased, either from age or from the PGE trimming, and it must now come down. The expense for removing a tree of this size is substantial – on the order of several thousand dollars.
I’m going to bring you with me on the tree removal journey through future postings as the process unfolds so I can show you what it takes to remove a big tree in San Jose and you will know what to expect.
ps. Please check out PG&E’s Tree Maintenance Program website for more information.