Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Windsor?
- 2 Does the City of Windsor Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Windsor?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Windsor?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Windsor?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Windsor?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Windsor?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Windsor?
Sonoma County, like the rest of California, has to deal with the holy trinity of natural disasters: wildfires, earthquakes, and flooding. The trees in Windsor are vulnerable to these events, which may be one (or three) reasons the town takes such extreme measures to ensure that the existing trees are healthy.
Aside from the acts of God that happen so frequently here, the trees face other whammies from Mother Nature, namely wood-destroying pests.
Bark beetles are a worthy opponent for any tree-loving community as they are extremely difficult to eradicate once they’ve gotten into a tree. The beetles burrow into the tree bark and produce a fungus that interferes with the tree’s circulation. When this happens, the infected tree can’t get the nutrients it needs, and the affected branches begin to die off. If a tree is healthy, it has natural defenses that protect it from bark beetle colonization, forcing the insects out of the tree through pitch tubes, which are tunnels of sap the tree produces to evict the beetles. But when the tree has already been infected and a colony is already in place, the tree is already stressed to the point that it can’t fight off the infestation, and there’s no other option but to remove the tree to save its neighbors from the same fate.
If you see any of these markers for bark beetles on a tree, call the city and let them know, then call in our specialists who can determine if the tree can be saved.
Pitch tubes are reddish or white bubbles on the exterior of the bark. White pitch tubes are sap bubbles, which indicate the tree has won this round and evicted the beetles. If the tubes are reddish-brown, the tree is infected. Flaking bark and holes are other bad signs which mean the beetles have done their damage and left the proverbial building. If the tree is suddenly very appealing to woodpeckers or other local birds, it’s a sign that it’s weakened. Brown or yellow leaves are the final sign that your tree is ailing.
Ambrosia Oak Beetles
Ambrosia oak beetles look a lot like the bark beetle. They are 3-5 mm long and either black or brown. They tunnel through the stems and trunks of trees, leaving tunnels or galleries in their wake. But unlike the bark beetle, the ambrosia oak variety burrows deep into the healthy sapwood. There, they dine on the fungus that lives on the gallery walls, like an art museum run amok. Again, a healthy tree can defend itself against ambrosia oak beetles, but once there is any stressor for the tree, it has a hard time fighting off the pest.
The signs of an ambrosia oak beetle infestation are sometimes confused with an influx of carpenter bees. When sawdust builds up around the base of the tree and tiny stacks of sawdust poke out of the tree bark, let the Windsor tree department know about these signs.
The latest crop of deadly pests to invade the merry trees of Windsor are gypsy moths. The moths lay their eggs in the trees and the larvae feed on the leaves. Recently, they have laid enough eggs to create mass defoliation throughout Sonoma County. To give you an idea of the destruction these moths can cause, one larva can eat up to one square foot of leaves every day. And as with other invasive pests, an infestation makes trees vulnerable to other pests that come calling.
You’ll know if you have gypsy moths in your trees because you’ll be grossed out by the hairy, teardrop-shaped egg masses, and yes, that’s what those disgusting things are. If you miss that, the tree will be full of brown or black hairy caterpillars munching through the foliage. As a result, the tree loses its leaves in a fit of defoliation.
If and when this happens, notify the town and then call in our specialists.
Does the City of Windsor Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
Windsor maintains trees within 33 feet of the middle of a public road. Any trees outside of that distance on your property are your responsibility to remove and maintain.
Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Windsor?
California law says that the property owner is responsible for any damages incurred by one of their trees. If the tree’s trunk or roots have encroached over the property line, the tree belongs to both properties involved.
If you’re a homeowner?
Homeowners are liable for their trees, regardless of who planted them. When neighbors own a tree jointly, both must agree to any major pruning or removal.
If you’re a renter?
Tenants are not liable for tree maintenance unless the lease specifically requires it. If any trees on a rented property are deemed hazardous or diseased, the tenant should let the town and the owner know as soon as possible.
If you’re a landlord?
This is as easy as it gets in contract law: your property, your trees to maintain. Keep in mind that while some maintenance isn’t cheap, a healthy landscape does improve your property value.
If you’re a neighbor?
Any tree branches that hang over your property from your neighbors’ trees are yours to remove, as long as you don’t damage the value of the tree with aggressive pruning. A fallen tree may be your responsibility or your neighbor’s depending on why the tree fell. If your neighbor’s healthy tree falls on your home in a storm, you’re responsible for removal. If it falls because of negligence, they should be responsible.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Windsor?
Windsor’s location in the Russian River Valley means that it’s great for growing grapes. The grapes that thrive here, Zinfandel and Pinot Noir, are fond of the local soil and climate as are the many oaks. The region has loamy sand with some clay mixed in, which is about perfect for any type of tree. The loam allows for good drainage, while the clay helps retain moisture during dry spells.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Windsor?
The weather here is just about perfect. We have a Mediterranean climate, with winters that are warm and a bit wet, and hot, dry summers. The winters are cool enough to encourage trees to shed their leaves and go dormant for spring, so they grow at a steady pace. Summer storms can threaten the tree canopy with lightning strikes and wind, but overall, the trees in Windsor are happy in the climate.
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Windsor?
Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) will remove or trim back trees that are hazardous to power lines. You should always call them immediately if you see a tree growing toward or leaning on power lines.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Windsor?
The cost of having a tree removed is tough to pinpoint until our arborist has a chance to physically inspect the damaged tree. However, the average cost in Windsor is $575, and the typical range is from $150 to about $2,100. Here are the three primary cost factors:
Both height and diameter are factors; a thick, tall oak will cost more than a small one, but a skinny, tall tree will cost more than you might think. If our crew can’t climb it, they’ll need more equipment to take it down.
The location of the tree on your property is the second consideration. If the tree is wedged in between the driveway and the garage, it’s probably also hanging over the roof and the roots are under concrete. This kind of project involves lots of specialized equipment and a good-sized crew to bring the tree down safely. On the other hand, if it’s out in the yard without any encumbrance, it will cost less.
Scope of Work
What’s the scope of work? You’ll not only need the tree removed, but the stump also has to be ground down, with the tree either being chipped or turned into mulch or firewood – neither of which are included in the estimate for tree removal. Our arborists can perform these services for an additional cost.
The final thing to consider is tree replacement. Windsor is quite particular about the trees you can choose to replace the missing one, with rules about size and species. So when you’re budgeting for tree removal here, don’t forget to include the replacement.