Beware of Spooky, Dangerous Dead Trees That Can Fall Over or Burst Into Flames

By Nancy Needham (

Halloween is over. Time to get rid of the spooky dead trees that are haunting backyards throughout the county.  The dead trees do not pass for dormant trees that have lost their leaves because it's autumn. The lifeless ones are not only unsightly, they can be dangerous.

Dead trees can fall down without warning. The big, old ones can weigh a lot and do great damage. A person gardening in their backyard or a child playing on a swingset can become a victim of a falling limb or even an entire tree tipping over. There's no time for anyone to yell, "Timber!" Old trees can just come crashing down.

According to Ventura Fire Department Capt. Ron Oatman, a brush fire can send burning embers a mile away. Some of those embers can ignite a dead tree and burn down an entire neighborhood, he said.

City codes do not allow dead or neglected trees within public view. Thousand Oaks Code Compliance Manager Geoff Ware said his city gets involved because of the potential of personal injury and property damage from a dead tree along with "the negative visual impact."

To report a dead tree to Thousand Oaks Code Compliance Division, call 805.449.2300.

To report a dead tree to Simi Valley Code Enforcement, call 805.583.6753.

Camarillo Code Enforcement can be contacted at 805.388.5360.

Ventura Code Enforcement is reached at 805.658-4711.