downed-tree.jpgWith more rain and hail forecasted to pelt the Bay Area this weekend, the San Francisco Department of Public Works is encouraging residents to batten down the hatches and prepare for winter storms.

The high winds and drenching rain typical of winter Bay Area storms can down tree limbs and cause property damage, and preparation for winter storms starts with a tree assessment by a licensed, certified arborist, according to the department.

To minimize the potential for localized flooding, the department recommends regularly clearing sidewalks and catch basins of debris–especially leaves, which can be composted or discarded in green curbside waste bins.

Residents can receive free compostable leaf bags to help manage yard waste when they sign up for the City’s Adopt-A-Street program, the department said.

Although the public works department is responsible for the care and maintenance of city streets, including plants and street trees, some residents have maintenance responsibility for trees adjacent to their property.

Additional guidance on how to care for trees is available in the department’s recently issued pruning standards and guidelines for ensuring the structural stability and good health of street trees.

More information about tree maintenance, adopting streets, and other educational campaigns related to composting yard waste can be obtained by calling 311 or visiting

Patricia Decker, Bay City News

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