Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Long Beach?
- 2 Does the City of Long Beach Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Long Beach?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Long Beach?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Long Beach?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Long Beach?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Long Beach?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Long Beach?
Magnolia and Tuliptree Scale Infestation
Of nearly 7,000 Magnolias in Long Beach, over 2,000 have some level of tuliptree infestation. Tuliptree scales affect both tulip trees and magnolias. These insects feed on tree sap, causing damage, dieback, and defoliation that can eventually lead to the death of the tree. They also produce honeydew, a sticky substance that is known to coat sidewalks, vehicles, and streets.
Asian Citrus Psyllid
These insects feed only on citrus trees and cause Huanglongbing (HLB) disease, also known as citrus greening disease. Early symptoms include blotchy mottling of leaves, twig dieback, and yellow shoots. Fruit is lopsided, bitter, and hard with a dark, aborted seed, and often remains green when ripe. Stunted trees losing foliage may bloom off-season.
Beetles that bore into the bark of trees and feed on the pulp beneath are common. However, Shot Hole Borers carry a disease called Fusarium Dieback (FD), which is spread by pathogenic fungi. This disease causes branch dieback, foliage loss, and in some cases, premature tree death. Often, when trees don’t die from the disease, they are weakened considerably by the loss of canopy, making them more susceptible to other threats.
Citrus Leaf Miner
Another invasive pest that attacks citrus trees, the citrus leaf miner causes distorted, contorted leaves to appear on afflicted trees. The larvae tunnel beneath the surface of leaves, destroying the ability to photosynthesize. This damage eliminates a tree’s ability to gain nutrients. The pests rarely kill trees on their own. However, they cause crown dieback and declining tree health that can limit fruit production and make trees vulnerable to other threats. The effects of drought can make these trees more susceptible to the damage caused by these pests.
Like most areas in California, Long Beach is susceptible to the dangers of wildfires. Long periods of drought, water-starved trees, Santa Ana winds, and extremely hot temperatures create perfect conditions for raging wildfires that can take out acres of trees at a time. Steep terrain and changing wind directions make these fires particularly difficult to fight, and the right conditions mean fires often spread quickly and rage on for weeks. To help avoid the spread of wildfires, it’s essential to avoid planting trees too close together and near homes or other structures. To reduce these threats, the Long Beach ordinance for tree planting includes these requirements:
- No tree shall be planted closer than twenty-five feet (25′) to another tree.
- Trees can’t be closer than fifteen feet (15′) to any utility pole or light standard.
- Trees must not be nearer than five feet (5′) to any fire hydrant, water meter, or gas meter.
- Trees cannot be closer than twenty feet (20′) from the curb radius centers of any street intersection.
Santa Ana Winds
The Santa Ana winds that blow through Southern California can cause downed power lines and toppled trees. Depending on the speed of the wind, and the condition of local trees, many trees can be lost in a single event. While many cities experience strong winds due to storm events, Santa Ana winds typically arrive during long periods of drought, are unaccompanied by rain, and can produce gusts up to 80 mph. Drought conditions make trees particularly vulnerable to branch loss and toppling during Santa Ana wind events. Harsh winds combined with dry conditions pack a double punch with the likelihood of sparking wildfires.
Does the City of Long Beach Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
An inspection and a permit are required for the removal of street trees in Long Beach. If the inspection reveals the need to remove a hazardous public tree (including those in owner-adjacent parkways), removal is completed by the City. However, the City of Long Beach does not assist in private tree removal.
Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Long Beach?
It is the responsibility of property owners and/or their tenants to carefully care for and maintain trees within their parkway. Damaged or diseased trees should be reported to the Public Works Department for inspection and consideration for removal. The Director of Public Works or their designee is authorized to approve or deny all tree removal requests. The determination of a tree’s condition and removal will be made by a City-employed Certified Arborist. The City provides removal of a street tree at no cost to the adjacent property owner under the circumstances outlined in the Public Works Department-Tree Maintenance Policy.
If you’re a homeowner?
As a homeowner in Long Beach, you’re responsible for the maintenance of private trees on your property and street trees in the adjoining parkway. When street trees meet the qualifications for hazardous tree removal, removal is provided by the City. The removal and any associated costs of private trees on your property are your responsibility. Additionally, the cost of street tree removal for unapproved trees falls to the property owner.
If you’re a renter?
As a renter, tree cleanup isn’t typically your responsibility. However, if you have a specialized lease agreement that requires you to take care of storm damage or tree removal, you’ll need to follow the terms of your agreement. If you are not responsible for tree removal, the cleanup of debris also falls to your landlord.
If you’re a landlord?
A landlord who owns the property is responsible for the removal of trees that fall on the property. However, if you’re a property manager, your working contract should explain whether you’re responsible for the removal of a tree and related debris.
If you’re a neighbor?
Unfortunately, in most situations when your neighbor’s tree falls on your Long Beach property, you are responsible for its removal. However, there may be an exception if your neighbor knew the tree was dead or in poor condition before falling. If you told your neighbor that a dead or dying tree was a hazard to your property and no action was taken, your neighbor may be responsible for damages and debris removal on your property.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Long Beach?
The soil in Long Beach varies widely. Some areas have clay and a high water table, while others are a silty loam. However, most soils in Southern California are alkaline soils. Under normal conditions, many trees and plants are unaffected by a high pH in soil. Yet, it can limit the ability of trees to absorb nutrients. Drought conditions aggravate the condition, making trees more susceptible to foliage yellowing, wilting, and premature leaf loss. The best way to ensure trees will thrive in the soil on your property is to consult our certified arborists before planting.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Long Beach?
You could say that Long Beach is plagued by beautiful weather. With plenty of sunshine and very limited rainfall, drought is the major weather culprit that affects the trees in Long Beach. The city is plagued by droughts that weaken the structure of trees and cause root and branch dieback. Since trees become accustomed to water from sprinklers and routine maintenance, roots are often near the top of the soil. When rains do arrive, tree roots affected by fungus die out and winds topple large trees with limited roots. Long-term drought causes general tree health decline, making mature, healthy trees vulnerable to pests and disease as well.
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Long Beach?
South California Edison (SCE) takes care of routine trimming and removal of trees affecting power lines in Long Beach. Still, it’s common for trees to occasionally interfere with power lines. Only certified professionals can work near power lines. If you hire a professional to remove trees near power lines, you must first contact SCE. Additionally, SCE offers a “make safe” tree program and will assess and remove parts of a tree to make removal safe for tree professionals. Any time you encounter a tree that is an electrical hazard, stay away from the hazard and immediately contact SCE customer support.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Long Beach?
The cost of tree removal in Long Beach can vary considerably depending on the conditions of your removal and the size of the tree to be removed. Average costs of removal range from $180 to $2,110, with an average cost of around $700. The cost of stump removal can add another $100 to $300 depending on the diameter of the tree. While tree size and the complexity of removal have the biggest impact on your tree removal cost, these additional cost factors might impact the amount you pay for tree removal in Long Beach.
Stump and Debris Removal
In the event of the removal of a street tree that isn’t considered a hazard, the landowner is responsible for the cost of removal. When this situation arises, the city requires the property owner to have the stump and all debris removed as well. Stump removal is not a part of the typical cost of tree removal. If you need the stump removed the additional cost will increase the price of your tree removal.
If you need a street tree removed from the parkway adjacent to your property, you must follow certain requirements. This includes the requirement to cover the cost of one 15 gallon replacement tree to be planted elsewhere in the city. This cost is approximately $75 and isn’t provided with our tree removal services.
Many of the threats to trees in Long Beach make removal conditions more dangerous. For instance, drought often impacts the health and structure of trees, leaving standing “skeleton trees.” In areas near homes, these trees are a threat to homes, structures, and can cause injuries to people. It’s our goal to keep individuals safe from the dangers created by unhealthy trees. However, hazardous tree removal often required the use of specialized tools and requires a slower removal process. For this reason, hazardous tree removal is more expensive than that of other trees.