Drought and bark beetle infestation has killed thousands of Twain Harte's majestic pine trees over the last two years. As we mourn the change of our beautiful landscape, we also become aware of the potential dangers that tree mortality brings to our community. Many dead trees have already been removed, but the number of dead trees seems to outpace removal. It seems like a problem too large to tackle, but our residents and local agencies are banding together to help keep our community safe.
What is our District Doing?
The District received California Disaster Assistance Act (CDAA) funding to pay for 75% of the costs to remove dead and dying trees that threaten at-risk water and sewer infrastructure. We have contracted with Chriso's Tree Trimming and Traditional Tree Service to remove approximately 425 trees. Work is nearly complete; however, we will do one more round of inspections to catch any trees that have died this summer before we wrap up the project in September.
CDAA funding requires property owners to sign a right-of-entry form before the District can mark trees, remove trees or access trees across private property. Nearly all of the trees are on private property. Some of the work is being held up because right-of-entry forms have not been completed. If you have not completed the form that was sent to you, please complete the form as soon as possible.
What are Other Agencies Doing?
Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E)
PG&E has removed more than 30,000 trees in Tuolumne County and continues to mark and remove trees that threaten powerlines at a fast rate. Their contractors, Mowbray's Tree Service and Trees, Inc. are currently working across the Twain Harte area to remove thousands of marked trees. PG&E has also implemented a debris management program to help remove eligible logs after falling. It is important to note that log removal may occur up to four months after trees are felled. Contact PG&E at 1-800-743-5000 if you believe you have dead tress that threaten powerlines.
Tuolumne County is undertaking CDAA funded projects all over the County to remove dead and dying trees that threaten County roads and other County facilities. They have sent right-of-entry forms out to many residents in Twain Harte and hope to soon begin tree removal projects along Twain Harte Drive, and Middlecamp Road. For more information on the County's work and on tree mortality work in our County, click HERE.
Tuolumne Utilities District (TUD)
TUD is undertaking CDAA funded projects to remove dead and dying trees that threaten their high risk water and sewer facilities. They have already completed tree removal projects near high risk tanks and are currently working toward tree removal along the ditches in Twain Harte.
Caltrans recently completed a hazard tree removal project that removed approximately 9,000 trees along the Highway 108 corridor.
Tree Mortality Assistance Progam
The Sonora Lions Club, Sunrise Rotary, Sonora Kiwanis, Sierr Non-Profit, Highway 108 Fire Safe Council, Yosemite Foothills Fire Safe Council and Area 12 Agency on Agining have teamed up to create a program to help seniors over 60 years old and disabled adults without sufficient financial resources remove dead and dying trees. For more information, call (209) 532-6272, Ext. 208.