Phone: (925) 687-9961

Clubhouse: (925) 825-0250


Winter 2023 Tree Care Information

Winter 2023 Tree Care Information

Hey CHOA! Given the state of the recent storms, we wanted to provide you with an update going over planned tree care for 2023.

Your Board of Directors met last Wednesday in a special open meeting to specifically discuss the plan for tree care going into 2023. To provide all owners with some context, over the past few years, CHOA tree care work has been handled like this:

  • The Board interviews prospective vendors and selects one to create a plan and perform the tree maintenance
  • The vendor then provides a proposal for this plan based on budget feedback from the Board, and completes the work as approved

This method is efficient, because a single point of contact is creating the plan and then performing the work; there is little room for disagreement over scope or responsibility if something got missed or was done incorrectly. It also allowed the Board to have an idea for what the next few years of tree work might look like (for budgeting purposes). The Board went with this method because it believed the Association needed a stronger, more robust and proactive plan for how to deal with the hundreds of mature trees throughout the greenbelt and south slope.

One significant downside to this plan, however, is that you are relying on a single vendor to create the plan and bid the work. As you might expect, it didn’t provide many opportunities for cost savings or bid comparisons.

For 2023, the Board decided to make some adjustments to how tree care will be handled moving forward. Towards the end of last year, the Board entered into a contract with an arborist who will act as, for all intents and purposes, “the Association’s arborist” and create a tree care plan as well as scopes of work for maintenance. In December, the arborist completed a full inspection of all trees and created several scopes of work for winter 2023 tree care. These scopes were then sent to multiple vendors to obtain apples-to-apples bids for all proposed work. This plan has been effective thus far for two main reasons:

  • The individual creating the scope of work is independent from the company performing the maintenance, and thus has no skin in the game or incentive to upsell or oversell (as the sales side of tree-care work is often commission-based)
  • We are now able to obtain multiple competitive bids for all tree care work, which should help keep pricing aggressive as the jobs are not guaranteed to go to a single vendor

Our arborist is maintaining the inventory of trees and performing frequent inspections. Another benefit to us is that this individual will be able to perform quality control work on our behalf after all trimming is complete, to ensure it was all performed according to the approved scope.

A total of four vendors submitted proposals for winter 2023 tree work, and these proposals were reviewed by the Board at their meeting on January 4th. The Board ended up selecting one vendor to perform all trimming/pruning work, and another vendor to perform tree removal work. By divvying it up this way, the Board saved more than $25,000.00 when compared to the cost of simply selecting a single vendor to perform both trimming and removal! This new approach has already yielded a significant cost savings to the Association.

Tree trimming is scheduled to start later this month – either next week or the week following – so that it can be completed before the start of nesting season. There are also several trees that will need to be removed due to safety concerns or issues related to the tree’s health. We will provide more specific information related to the trees scheduled to be removed in the upcoming February Signal.

You will likely see trimming crews on site in the coming weeks, so please be vigilant when walking the greenbelt when the crew is at work. The crew will do its best to control traffic whenever there are potential risks of limbs coming down, and will be putting out cones, signage, and caution tape wherever necessary.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Business Office for more information!