Threatened by storms, ‘hazardous’ trees near Discovery Park are coming down, county says

After recent heavy storms downed trees and power lines across the region, Sacramento County parks officials have identified 31 trees along the American River Parkway that will be removed as a precaution over the next few weeks.

The marked trees are located between Discovery Park and mile marker 4 on the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail, where two cottonwood trees have already fallen, Sacramento County Regional Parks said in a news release last Friday.

The county says the trail will remain open, with periodic delays as the trees are felled. Removal will begin Tuesday and continue for about three weeks.

The county identified 31 trees as “hazardous” and consulted with an independent arborist to confirm, according to the release.

“We wanted to get a second opinion from an independent arborist to make sure we aren’t removing trees that we absolutely do not have to,” Regional Parks Director Liz Bellas said in a statement. “Unfortunately, tree removal is sometimes necessary to ensure the safety of trail users and park patrons.”

Parks staffers have checked the hazardous trees and confirmed that there are no nesting birds living in them, the news release said.

So far in 2019, storms passing through Northern California have exemplified the danger posed by falling trees. A driver in Loomis was sent to the hospital after a tree fell on her SUV on Valentine’s Day. Fallen trees blocked Sacramento Regional Transit tracks at least three times in two days last month.

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Michael McGough anchors The Sacramento Bee’s breaking news reporting team, covering public safety and other local stories. A Sacramento native and lifelong capital resident, he interned at The Bee while attending Sacramento State, where he earned a degree in journalism.