Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Smyrna?
- 2 Does Smyrna Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Smyrna?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Smyrna?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Smyrna?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Smyrna?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Smyrna?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Smyrna?
Living in Smyrna, Delaware, residents have to be well accustomed to generally warm and muggy summers and particularly cold and windy winters. The end of summer, and close to fall, tend to be the most pleasant times to explore our Woodland Beach and Blackbird State Forest, but the whole year round is just right for most of us.
This goes for trees in Smyrna, too. Some thrive in the Smyrna climate much better than others, which is why residents in the area should always be careful to keep to more native trees over ones that have no chance of survival. According to the U.S. DOT, the following trees are some options native and well-suited for Delaware landscapes:
- American holly, Christmas holly
- White cedar, Eastern red cedar
- Shortleaf pine, Pitch pine, Virginia pine
- Red maple, Sugar maple, Silver maple
- Witch hazel
- Green ash, White ash
- Cherry birch, River birch
Nonetheless, even the best trees for Delaware and Smyrna are vulnerable to tree issues that are also common in the area. Of the most common ones to Smyrna, you should keep a lookout for the following at least.
Bacterial Leaf Scorch
If you weren’t already aware, Bacterial Leaf Scorch is on Forest Health Alert in Delaware. This is because it has made its way around all of the state’s cities and towns, taking some of our finest oaks (particularly red and pin oaks) with it.
Since there is no known cure for the disease, you will likely lose your tree, which will have to be removed. However, this is typically years after infection. Signs of BLS infection include a look recognized as “scorching” and tips and edges, yellow bands between green and brown areas of your leaves, and an obvious decline in health over time.
Due to the widespread problem affecting all of Delaware, the Delaware Forest Service says, “Since pin and northern red oaks are most affected in urban areas, planting other trees is a good idea. Willow oak does not appear to be affected by BLS in Delaware at this time. This tree survives fairly well in urban areas and is an attractive street tree, and could be substituted for pin and northern red oaks.”
Another threat to our precious oaks is a fungus disease called Oak Wilt. It is often spread via insects and root grafts, with symptoms including leaf discoloration, yellow bands like BLS, root issues, premature falling of leaves and twigs, and even death as soon as 6 to 8 weeks after signs appear.
On the bark, you’ll also notice fungal spores and possibly an odor of rotting fruit between cracks in the trunk. Fortunately, there are treatments for this disease, and they often consist of fungicide injections, although they aren’t always 100% effective.
To manage prevention and treatment, the University of Delaware recommends reducing plant stress by following proper planting guides, watering during droughts, mulching, and avoiding any damage to trees.
Pest Infestations Common to Delaware Trees
Tree pest infestations are another problem we often deal with in Smyrna. This is an issue for our trees because most of these insects burrow and feed on our trees until they’re too weak to ward off bigger, more problematic diseases that eventually take their life.
According to APHIS, you should watch for the following since they are well-suited to our habitat:
- Asian Gypsy Moth — feeds on North American tree and shrub species.
- Asian Longhorned Beetle — feeds on hardwood trees, national forests.
- Emerald Ash Borer Beetle — feeds on ash trees.
- European Cherry Fruit Fly — feeds on sweet and tart cherries and other environmental hosts such as honeysuckle and dogwood.
- Imported Fire Ant — feeds on buds and fruits of crop plants.
- Spotted Lanternfly — feeds on fruit, ornamental, and woody trees.
It should also be noted that the European Gypsy Moth, which feeds on trees and shrubs, is also common to the area. It is also under federal quarantine for the damage it can and has done to our landscapes.
Does Smyrna Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
The Town of Smyrna does not provide any assistance in tree removal for private property owners. Therefore, if there are any tree issues you need to be taken care of on your property, it is required that you hire a tree professional like Tree Triage to address them. However, public trees are the town’s responsibility, so the Town of Smyrna will take care of their regular maintenance, care, and removals.
On the other hand, tree limbs that are overhanging the street or pose any kind of threat to residents or public property (or has a risk of falling on right-of-ways, streets, etc.) will be handled by the town’s staff. In fact, the Town of Smyrna reports that the “Town’s ordinance requires its staff to inspect and trim non-compliant trees and bill the property owner for all costs.”
Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Smyrna?
There’s nothing more stressful than dealing with an unexpected fallen tree, especially if you’re unsure who is responsible for what. So, in an attempt to make things a little easier for you, we have the tree removal responsibility breakdown in Smyrna for you.
If you’re a homeowner?
As a homeowner, you are inherently responsible for removing your trees when they fall on your private property, just as you would be responsible for any other big projects on your home and property.
However, some scenarios may change this. For instance, if the healthy tree falls onto multiple properties, property owners are all responsible for the portion up to their property line, including the Town of Smyrna if the tree falls onto public property. More scenarios are discussed in the “neighbor” section.
If you’re a renter?
Good news for you! As a renter, the expensive responsibility of taking care of a fallen tree is not on your shoulders. In fact, they are your landlord’s responsibility in Smyrna. Although, we do recommend that you discuss any potential problems or signs of decay to prevent trees from falling.
If you’re a landlord?
Much like homeowners, landlords are also responsible for big home and property responsibilities, including removing any fallen trees. It also includes taking care of your trees to prevent them from falling so that your renters are all safe.
If you’re a neighbor?
In these cases, the health of the fallen tree plays a significant role in who is responsible for the tree removal. If a healthy tree falls from your neighbor’s yard and onto yours, it is your responsibility to take care of the damages and removal (and vice versa). However, if the tree already had signs of death, decay, damage, or decline, then it is your neighbor’s responsibility to take care of any expenses associated with the fallen tree.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Smyrna?
There’s no denying the effect our soil has on our trees, especially since our trees are rooted right into our soil. Not to mention, it is also where they get their nutrition. Delaware’s official state soil is Greenwich loam, a series of soils described by the USDA as consisting of “very deep, well-drained, moderately rapidly permeable soils that formed in sandy marine and old alluvial sediments overlain by a thin mantle of sediments that have a high content of silt.” This means our soil does not hold water very well, which can be a good thing for trees vulnerable to saturation. But, on the other hand, it can be bad for trees that need an abundance of water.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Smyrna?
It’s inevitable for weather in Smyrna to affect the health of our trees. Even the most accustomed trees in our area can’t handle a rainfall heavy enough to take down leaves and branches or a temperature that is so high it dehydrates our landscapes.
According to Prepare DE, towns and cities in Delaware are susceptible to several natural hazards that can affect the health of residents and trees alike. The most common in our area are floods, hurricanes, winter storms, severe thunderstorms, and tornadoes. Any one of these can damage our trees by pulling them out of the ground, breaking off branches, weakening their health, and more.
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Smyrna?
Dead trees near power lines pose a serious hazard no matter what city, state you’re in. For this reason, it is recommended that homeowners leave it to professionals like Tree Triage to handle maintenance, trimmings, and removals closer than 15 feet from power lines.
In fact, the Town of Smyrna emphasizes on their site that “in the interest of safety,” no resident should ever take care of trees near power lines. Instead, you should direct any concerns or issues to the town’s electric department, which “will inspect and clear wires at no cost.”
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Smyrna?
In Smyrna, residents pay, on average, $675 for a tree removal service, with people paying as little as $175 and as much as $1,900 or more. However, this doesn’t mean that you should expect to pay this exactly as that number can change substantially depending on the three following cost factors.
First and foremost, you should always consider the additional services you may be interested in when determining how much you’ll owe after a big project. For instance, many residents also obtain Land and Lot Clearing services when they get a tree removed. This is because our professionals clean up all the years waste from your property and take care of all the appropriate disposals according to laws and regulations.
In Smyrna, the cost for this service can go anywhere from $1,200 to $2,500 depending on factors like property size, amount of yard waste, and more.
Tree height is another factor many don’t consider when determining the cost, but certainly should. A tree much taller than 30 feet will cost you hundreds more than one that is well under 30 feet.
This is because the task at hand is much more difficult and involves more of our workers, equipment, and time. It’s also a more dangerous job to remove large trees.
Finally, you should consider the hourly rate involved in removing your tree. We charge around the national average per hour, but complicated removals near homes or other structures require more care and, consequently, more time.