News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

ODOT will remove hazard trees along highways

Dead and dying trees will be removed in coming months along Highway 20 and 126 east of Sisters. The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) will cut down trees that are deemed a hazard.

Peter Murphy, spokesman for ODOT, told The Nugget, that trees in the right-of-way are being evaluated now, and when they are determined to be a hazard, “we will remove them through our hazard tree removal process.”

This process does not include testing to see if the trees were affected by the herbicide Perspective, which was named as the culprit in a large tree die-off that led to the removal of some 2,100 trees along Highway 20 west of town in 2019.

“There’s an expense associated with that,” Murphy said.

It’s not only trees in the highway right-of-way that are dying. Private property owners have seen trees close to the road die off. These trees may be removed by ODOT as well.

“On private property, the property owner would have to ask us for an evaluation,” Murphy said.

“We will have our forester involved in the evaluation,” Murphy said.

Evaluation is currently underway, and Murphy told The Nugget that he expects that hazard trees will come down before winter.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture severely restricted the use of the active chemical in Perspective in the wake of the earlier Highway 20 corridor die-off.

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Jim Cornelius, Editor in Chief

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Jim Cornelius is editor in chief of The Nugget and author of “Warriors of the Wildlands: True Tales of the Frontier Partisans.” A history buff, he explores frontier history across three centuries and several continents on his podcast, The Frontier Partisans. For more information visit


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