Vegetation Management

vegetationJackson County's vegetation management program controls roadside vegetation using a variety of methods. Maintenance includes control of grasses, shrubs and trees on county-owned properties, and county rights-of-way.

Uncontrolled vegetation has the potential to limit visibility at intersections, driveways, and curves; obstruct traffic signs; and account for excessive accumulations of ice, snow, water, and debris on the road. It may also interfere with the safe movement of tall vehicles or present a hazard to a driver that runs off the road.

In an effort to assure efficient, effective, and environmentally responsible methods of vegetation management, Jackson County follows a planned approach using integrated roadside vegetation management practices. These practices are based on sound ecological principles and are responsive to the current regulations and recommendations from the state and other stakeholders.
What methods are used to manage vegetation?
Grading of shoulders, flail mowing of brush, cattails and grasses, mechanical ditching, manual brushing, and chemical controls are all used to control the growth of problem vegetation.
Who applies the herbicides?
Herbicides are only applied by trained and state-licensed technicians who use the utmost care when applying chemicals. For example, they alternate herbicides so plants don't develop a tolerance, which means lower application rates can be used. They also use herbicides with short residual activity. Areas where grasses are beneficial are treated with "selective" herbicides that leave the grasses unaffected.
Even so, what if I don't want herbicides sprayed near my property?
You may sign a "No Spray" agreement. This agreement requires you to control the vegetation to county standards on the county right-of-way in front of your property. However, the county may resume control if you fail to meet the standards. Call Jackson County Roads for an application at (541) 774-8184.
What if I don't want the county cutting or pruning trees or shrubs on the right-of-way in front of my property?
Roads is legally required to give a property owner 30 days written notice when the county wants to remove or alter any "marketable" tree or "ornamental" shrub that is causing a problem. The property owner can then obtain a permit from Roads to do the work him or herself. If the work isn't done within 30 days, the county is obligated to do it. If the county removes a tree, it may be retained to defray the cost of its removal. If it's a "firewood" type tree, not otherwise ornamental or marketable, the 30-day notice doesn't apply. The county in this case may remove or prune the tree and give the wood to the property owner. The county may remove or alter any tree or shrub on the right-of-way without notice if it's determined that a hazard exists because of its condition or location. Don't forget, you must get a permit called a 'special permit' to work within the right-of-way for this purpose or you may receive a citation.
Who decides if a tree or shrub is "marketable", "firewood," or "ornamental"?
The Road's Director or their designee.
What if I don't agree that the tree has to be removed or altered?
You may appeal to the County Board of Commissioners within the 30-day time limit.
What training do the people pruning trees and shrubs for the County receive?
They attend an annual workshop presented by the Oregon State University Extension Service and/or local professional arborists.
I'd just like to plant some shrubs and ornamental trees in front of my place to enhance my property.
That may be possible even if your work is in the right-of- way. Apply for an encroachment permit from Roads and we will review your plan. It's possible that your request can be conditionally approved. Permit fees apply and are referenced via the preceding link. 
Who does the cut down wood belong to?
Most of the time, the cut wood belongs to the property owner who fronts the road in the area the tree was cut.  Because the majority of county roads are constructed on easements, this general rule applies even when the tree was considered to be in the right-of-way. Typically, only when the property owner declines the wood will it be available to others.