Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Birmingham?
- 2 Does the City of Birmingham Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Birmingham?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Birmingham?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Birmingham?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Birmingham?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Birmingham?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Birmingham?
Birmingham’s residents know that they can expect long, muggy, and hot summers and short, cold, and wet winters. Native trees do well in hot and humid conditions, but sadly so do insects, bacteria, and fungi. Some of the most common tree issues we see in Birmingham include pine beetles, anthracnose, and Phytophthora root rot.
There are several types of beetles in Birmingham, but the southern pine beetle is one of the most damaging insects to trees in the south. Pine beetles lay their eggs underneath a tree’s bark, and the eggs release chemicals that protect them from a tree’s defense mechanisms and also prevent the tree from absorbing nutrients it needs to grow and stay healthy. After a pine beetle lays their eggs, a female also emits a pheromone that attracts other pine beetles and encourages them to also lay eggs on that same tree.
It can take a year for symptoms to show up, but after a tree is attacked by pine beetles, it’s as good as dead. Pine beetles serve an important ecological function, as they often clear out dead or dying trees, but they sometimes attack healthy trees too. If you see odd, “S” shaped markings, your tree has probably been under attack for quite some time. Pine beetles can easily spread from tree to tree, so it’s important to contact our arborists right away to see what steps you can take to protect surrounding trees from the same fate.
Many Birmingham residents have seen oak trees in their neighborhood with strange spots on their bark, and these are known as oak cankers. Oak cankers are caused by the fungus, Hypoxylon atropunctatum, and once the fungus takes hold, there is no cure. By the time you notice the symptoms of oak cankers, like fungal masses or bark that is sloughing off, it’s important to get help from our trained arborists who can help you save other trees in your area.
Once fungus fruiting bodies emerge, they can spread spores to nearby trees that will also get infected. When you see a tree with oak cankers, the only thing you can do is to try to prevent it from taking over other trees in your yard by keeping them healthy and strong.
Phytophthora Root Rot
Phytophthora root rot is a fungal infection that has been a major problem for trees in the south for many years now, and trees like oaks and maples are particularly susceptible to it. Phytophthora species grow and spread most easily in hot and humid climates like Birmingham, and many mighty trees have been killed because of it.
It can be difficult to spot root rot, especially when roots aren’t exposed, and you aren’t specifically looking for it. Root rot can also show up as yellowed leaves, stunted growth, limb death, and leaf loss. Unfortunately, once the problem gets bad enough for these symptoms to show, it’s probably already too late to save the tree. If you notice a tree that seems to have root rot, it’s important to contact our arborists right away. Phytophthora root rot can spread to other trees and plants quickly,
Does the City of Birmingham Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
Yes, the City of Birmingham can handle fallen trees or hazardous trees that sit on city property. If a fallen tree is lying on a public road or in a public park, you can call 205-788-8733 to report it, and the city will send out a staff member to investigate the issue and determine the next steps. If a tree falls on your personal property, you will be responsible for hiring a tree removal service to handle the situation for you.
Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Birmingham?
When you own a property, you become responsible for the trees on your land. If a tree falls on your land, you will have to pay to have it removed in the vast majority of cases.
If you’re a homeowner?
When you own your home and its surrounding property, you are the one that has to call in a crew to remove a fallen tree. This is true unless there is a tree that fell on public property like a road or in a public park. In most cases, however, you will have to hire someone to remove a fallen tree on your property.
If you’re a renter?
In some rental contracts, it’s the renter’s responsibility to perform common yard chores, such as mowing the lawn or picking up fallen leaves. When it comes to fallen trees, however, renters usually don’t have to worry about getting them taken care of. Unless it explicitly states that a renter is responsible for fallen trees, that duty falls to the owner of the property.
If you see any trees that look like they have a disease or could fall any day now, it’s best to let your landlord know so that they can get them taken care of.
If you’re a landlord?
When you own a piece of land, even if you rent it out to another party, you will most likely have to foot the bill when it comes to getting a fallen tree removed. If a tree on your property falls on a renter’s car, you won’t have to pay for those damages in most cases, unless you had neglected to take care of the tree when it clearly looked like a hazard.
If you’re a neighbor?
A fallen tree can result in debates among neighbors, but generally speaking, the person who owns the property that a tree fell on is the one that is responsible for getting it cleared away. It’s usually a good idea to discuss these matters and reach an agreement with neighbors before they happen. Some neighbors even decide to share the costs when a tree from one neighbor’s yard falls into another’s property.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Birmingham?
Soil can greatly affect trees in Birmingham, which is why it’s always a good idea to get a soil test done on your property if you notice a change in the growth and appearance of your property’s trees. If your property’s soil is too acidic or alkaline, or if it lacks key nutrients, your trees may become weak and more vulnerable to storms due to their inability to absorb nutrients.
There are a few simple ways to fix imbalanced soil, like adding sulfur, lime, or fertilizer, but it’s important to have your soil tested before you add anything to it, as you may otherwise make the problem worse.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Birmingham?
The weather definitely affects trees in Birmingham. Birmingham has hot and humid summers, and the city also experiences plenty of droughts during the hottest time of the year. Trees can easily get dehydrated and stressed, and this makes them much more susceptible to pest infestations and other diseases. You can help keep your trees strong during droughts by giving them an inch of water per week, and by adding organic mulch material over root zones.
Wintertime is Birmingham’s rainy season, especially in the month of February, which averages about five inches of rainfall. If trees in Birmingham have been subjected to long periods without rain followed by a sudden rainstorm, trees are more likely to develop root problems. This is especially true if your trees sit in soil with high clay content, as clay can absorb large volumes of water and keep roots too moist, making them vulnerable to fungus.
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Birmingham?
Alabama Power, the local utility company, trims trees located near main power lines on a regular basis. If you notice a dead or hazardous tree near the main power line, you can call them or fill out their online request form. If there is a dead tree or hazardous limb near the line that goes from a pole to your home, you will be responsible for getting it trimmed, but Alabama power can disconnect your service line while a tree trimming company takes care of that tree or branch.
If you see a tree that has come in contact with a power line, do not approach it or come in contact with it. You can call Alabama Power at 1-800-888-2726, or you can call the local fire department for help.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Birmingham?
The average cost to remove a tree in Birmingham is about $600, though you may be charged much more or much less depending upon several factors within your unique situation. The three largest factors in determining the price of a tree removal service are the size of the tree, the location of the tree, and whether additional services are needed after it is cleared away.
Size of Tree
If the tree that you are getting removed is small, both in height and diameter, it will take a lot less time and staff to clear it away. This will yield a smaller bill for you in most situations. If the tree you need to be removed is several stories tall and multiple feet in diameter, it will probably take more staff to cut the tree down safely, and it may even require special equipment.
Location of the Tree
When a tree is located out in an open field, it’s usually a relatively straightforward job to remove it for tree professionals. When trees are located near houses or other property, the whole situation can get a bit more complicated. When a tree has the potential to fall onto a house, it may need bracing, or our staff may have to resort to other more complicated techniques, and this can make your bill higher too.
Other Services Needed
Some trees need removing because they are dead or pose a hazard to the property. Other trees have to be removed because they carry fungal or bacterial infections, and these can easily spread to other trees even after the infected one is removed. When this is the case, our tree removal crew may need to apply fungicide, or use other methods, to prevent other trees on your property from also meeting the same demise.