California’s severe drought from 2012 to 2016 led to unprecedented tree mortality. Over 129 million trees died by 2017, 95% of which were in the Sierra Nevada. Mortality was heaviest in the central and southern Sierra, from Tuolumne County south to Fresno County. Trees died from a combination of bark beetle outbreak and drought.
State and federal cost share programs were developed to assist with tree removal and disposal through the Governor’s Tree Mortality Task Force, but these mostly focused on assisting local jurisdictions and owners of 20 acre parcels or more. Owners of small parcels who lost trees had little assistance or information on what to do after removing dead trees.
Read about: UC Master Gardeners catalyze response to unprecedented tree die-off in California | View Other Stories