Spring Cleaning Time!

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Sky Ridge Realty, Lake Arrowhead, CA

It's time to start thinking about cleaning up for spring.  I'm not talking about your house.  I'm talking about your yard.  I had quite a few clients hit last year with fines for not completing their yard clean up properly.  Apparently, there have been guidelines in place for many years that they never enforced.  All of a sudden last year the county started up without giving homeowners a heads up.  We all know to clear the pine needles and brush away but they also want trees trimmed and small trees and shrubs removed.  Here is how the county ordinance reads:

         (1) All foliage and branches within six feet from the ground on trees over 12 feet in height that stand within 100 feet of structures.  Limbs should be cut no less than 1/4 inch from the trunk of the tree to preserve the health of the tree.

          (2)     All trees that are within 30 feet of structures that are smaller than four inches in diameter that stand within ten feet from other trees, not to include low energy release deciduous ornamental trees that are pruned and free of dead or damaged foliage.

          (3)     All shrubs that are within 15 feet of structures that produce high-energy-release components and are considered high fire fuels, not to include low energy release deciduous ornamental plants that are well-pruned, well-spaced and free of dead or damaged foliage.  High-energy-release shrubs include, but are not limited to, Manzanita, Service Berry, Mountain Whitethorn, Sage, Ironwood, Juniper Shrubs, Spanish Broom and other species as determined by the County Fire Chief/Fire Warden or their designee to constitute a fire hazard.

          (4)     All high-energy-release shrubs that are spaced together less than double the size of the height of the tallest shrub and stand within 30 feet of structures, (e.g. a four-foot high shrub should be spaced eight feet or more away from the next shrub, providing that the four-foot high shrub is the tallest of the two shrubs), not to include ornamental plants that are well-pruned, well-spaced and free of dead or damaged foliage. Planting of native, fire-wise, drought-resistant species is encouraged for the health of the forest.

          (5)     Lower foliage measured at least 18 inches up from the ground and all leaf litter and dead vegetation on and under all shrubs that stand within 100 feet of all structures.

          (6)     Dead branches and leaf litter in and under all plants, trees, foliage and shrubs and all flammable vegetation at all heights within 100 feet of all structures.

          (7)     Tree limbs (not trunks) less than ten feet away from chimneys and stovepipes.

          (8)     Grass over four inches in height.

          (9)     Pine needles, leaf litter or chipped/ground mulch on the ground over two inches in depth.

          (10)     Trunks or branches on the ground less than four inches in diameter, not including split and neatly stacked fire wood.

    These items are supposed to be taken care of by June 1st so make sure you get it taken care of ahead of time.  If you need references on reliable individuals that perform yard clean up, please don't hesitate to contact me (909)336-7902. I'm happy to help.  Happy Cleaning!

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