Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Hot Springs?
- 2 Does the City of Hot Springs Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Hot Springs?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Hot Springs?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Hot Springs?
- 6 What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Hot Springs?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Hot Springs?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Hot Springs?
Hot Springs is surrounded by the forest-covered Ouachita Mountains. However, the mountains contain a lot of non-native trees, and programs are underway to restore the forest to something closer to its pre-settlement state.
A number of tree pests are present in the area. Emerald ash borer has been confirmed in the area for several years. This is an invasive beetle that kills ash trees, and Garland County is within the federal EAB quarantine zone. This means that wood may not be removed from the county to use as firewood. You should talk to us about disposing of ash wood properly or treating it so it can be safely transported and used. Symptoms of EAB infestation include canopy thinning and crown dieback, new growth at the base of the trunk or on main branches, increased damage from woodpeckers (who find the beetles quite tasty), D-shaped exit holes, and S-shaped galleries beneath split bark. Infected trees generally die within 2 to 5 years and should be removed and properly disposed of. While it can be treated, it is expensive and often involves trunk injection.
Bagworms are another problem common in Arkansas. They are not worms but are, in fact, a species of moth caterpillar that creates bags in which to feed. A bagworm infestation can defoliate a tree and may kill weakened trees. Bagworms infest a variety of trees including juniper, cedar, cypress, pine, hemlock, spruce, apple, basswood, black locust, boxelder, elm, honey locust, maple, oak, persimmon, sycamore, wild cherry, and azalea. Bagworms should be suspected if you have leaf damage and defoliation in the upper part of your tree during the summer. Applying insecticide in the spring can effectively treat bagworms, and the best way to get it under control is to look for the bags in the winter when they are often easier to see, and then treat those trees in April and May when the caterpillars start to hatch.
Another common issue is specific to hackberry and sugarberry, which are common landscape trees. They can be infested with the Asian wooly hackberry aphid. The aphids won’t kill your tree, but they produce so much honeydew it can cause a fungal growth that then interferes with photosynthesis and weakens the plant. Additionally, their honeydew can be a nuisance and will coat your outdoor furniture, your car, and anything else under the trees. Hackberry and sugarberry trees can be treated with imidacloprid in the early spring. While the aphids are just a nuisance, they are ones you don’t want to have to deal with.
Does the City of Hot Springs Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
Hot Springs is a city with a strong urban forestry program, and they have given trees away to residents for planting in the past. Public trees are considered assets and can only be pruned by the city. All removals in the city rights-of-way require permits. The tree code also requires that if you own a tree, you must prune it so overhanging branches don’t obstruct the street, but also that if you have a tree that is harboring a disease or insects that present a threat to other trees, or if they cause a hazard to life or property, you must get the tree removed promptly. This may mean it is not legal to attempt to treat it for emerald ash borer rather than removing the tree.
The urban forestry department will assist in pruning branches that are obstructing the right-of-way. However, they do not offer assistance for the removal of trees on private property (they will remove hazardous or dead trees in the right-of-way).
Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Hot Springs?
Public trees are the responsibility of the urban forester. Trees on private property are the responsibility of the landowner. The ownership of a tree is determined by the location of the trunk. In some cases, especially in a heavily forested area where trees may not have been deliberately planted, conflict can happen when the trunk of a tree straddles property lines.
If you’re a homeowner?
You are responsible for the removal of fallen trees from your property. In most cases, the expense should be covered by your homeowners’ insurance policy, but it’s best to check well in advance of any issues.
As already mentioned, you are required to remove trees that have become a hazard to life or property or which may have a contagious infestation. Because of this, we tend to be more likely to recommend removal more often than we might in other areas. Emerald ash borer is a particular concern.
If you’re a renter?
Arkansas does not have particularly strong landlord-tenant laws, and unlike in many states, landlords are not required to do maintenance except as required by the health code. For renters in single-family homes, this likely means you are responsible for tree removal unless otherwise specified in your lease and should make sure that your insurance covers it.
If you’re a landlord?
Landlords are generally not responsible for ongoing repairs in Arkansas, with most properties being rented “as is.” However, you are likely responsible for trees in common areas (not associated with a particular unit), and you may prefer to take on tree maintenance yourself.
If you’re a neighbor?
Your neighbor is responsible if a tree growing on their property falls onto your side of the fence. If trees straddle the line, you should communicate to establish responsibility and you should also communicate about the pruning of overhanging branches, particularly if they are affecting your view or dropping fruits or nuts.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Hot Springs?
Garland County, where Hot Springs is located, is within the Ouachita Mountains physiographic area. This means that the area has basins of shale, chert, and impure sandstone and ridges and peaks of novaculite and pure sandstone. This results in relatively little soil variety, with almost all of the soil being considered gravelly due to the erosion of underlying rock. Loamy soils tend to form in alluvial sediment in the flood plain. The rest of the soils tend to be very well-drained and suited most to conifers and hardwoods.
It’s best to get your soil tested so you know exactly what your trees are dealing with. Free soil testing, which should be done in the fall or the spring, is available to all Arkansans through the University of Arkansas. There is an extension office in Hot Springs, on Woodbine, to which you can bring your sample. A soil test will determine what type of soil you have and help you better understand what your trees might need in the way of fertilizer or mulch to stay healthy. If you are considering planting trees, it’s strongly advised to test your soil first so you can plant trees that will lead long and healthy lives.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Hot Springs?
Hot Springs has a warm, temperate climate with significant rainfall. Winters are mild, with temperatures seldom dropping below freezing, while summers are warm verging on hot.
The biggest weather concerns are summer thunderstorms, which can be severe, and tornadoes. While tornado risk is lower than in less mountainous parts of Arkansas, it is still very high. Tornadoes can cause significant damage to trees as well as structures. Thunderstorms often result in downed trees. Healthy trees are more likely to resist storm damage. When planting trees, you should choose ones that can withstand high winds easily. Native trees that have evolved to deal with these storms are typically the best option. However, no tree can handle a direct hit from a tornado.
Pruning branches back from your house and your power lines can help avoid structural damage from falling branches during a summer storm. Unfortunately, tornadoes are something of an unavoidable hazard to living in this part of the country.
What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Hot Springs?
It is common for dead trees or branches to be on or near power lines after a storm, and this is a significant cause of outages. Any trees that are touching or threatening power lines should be reported to Entergy Arkansas. Entergy recommends that you stay well clear of downed power lines and areas of debris, and this includes dead trees.
Trees that are threatening power lines will need to be removed, and you should call Entergy before we come to do the removal. That way they can de-energize the line and ensure our safety while we deal with the issue. Bear in mind that after a major storm, we may have a lot of work to do, and it can take some time for us to get to you.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Hot Springs?
The typical cost for removing a small tree is between $125 and $450, while a medium-sized tree will run you anywhere from $450 to $900. Very large trees can total closer to $2,000. There are various factors that can affect how much we charge for tree removal, including such things as whether you want the stump removed.
Obviously, it costs more to remove a larger tree. Some large trees may cost as much as $2,000 to remove due to the heavy gear we will have to bring in and the increased labor.
It will also cost more if we need to remove more than one tree, which can happen if you have a contagious disease spreading through your trees.
Emergencies and Storms
After a major storm, demand for our services tends to be high. This means that costs may peak as we have to pay overtime on our people or potentially rent extra equipment. If your fallen tree is not threatening property or power lines or causing a major inconvenience like blocking your driveway, consider waiting a few days to have us come over.
Emerald Ash Borer
When we remove a tree infested with emerald ash borer, we have to take particular care to ensure that the disease does not spread to other trees. The wood also has to be disposed of or treated properly. This can increase the cost, although we will do our best to help you come up with the best option for getting rid of the diseased wood.
We do not generally recommend treating EAB-infested trees in Hot Springs due to the legal requirement to remove diseased trees.