Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Sussex County?
- 2 Does Sussex County Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Sussex County?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Sussex County?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Sussex County?
- 6 What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Sussex County?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Sussex County?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Sussex County?
With so many incredible trees in this area, it is important to protect them by being aware of the potential problems they might face. Trees can be negatively impacted by improper care, diseases, and pests. The latter two can be best controlled by planting a wide variety of different tree species rather than clustering similar tree types close together where they might all become infected. These are a few of the biggest tree issues we see in Sussex County:
Bacterial Leaf Scorch
Bacterial leaf scorch appears as an orange or brown tinge on the tips of leaves. It is caused by bacteria clogging the vascular system of infected trees, preventing the flow of water within the tree. This disease is a particular problem for red oaks. There is no known cure for bacterial leaf scorch; impacted trees will often die within a few years. You can work to prevent this disease by reducing any stress your tree may be experiencing. In particular, be sure to keep your tree well-watered during droughts, and fertilize it as needed.
Emerald Ash Borer
The emerald ash borer (EAB) first became widespread in Sussex County in 2018. During its larval stage, this pest will consume the inner bark of ash trees, causing significant damage and eventual death. EAB is particularly problematic due to the fact that the damage can take years to be visibly noticeable, at which point the tree may be difficult to save.
Although ash trees do not make up a significant portion of Delaware’s forests, they are very commonly used as street trees in urban areas. If you have an ash tree on your property, signs of EAB infestation include branch dieback, vertical splits in the bark, and sparse foliage.
Although diseases and pests can cause significant damage, it is important not to overlook common issues caused by improper tree care—particularly if you are planning to plant a new tree on your property. In urban areas of Delaware, overly compacted soil is one of the most common causes of tree failure. To avoid this problem, it is vital to loosen the soil around the tree before planting it, as compacted soil is difficult to fix once the tree has already been planted. This type of preventative care can keep your tree healthy, saving a significant amount of time and money in the long run.
Does Sussex County Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
Because Sussex County is so expansive, there is no single point of contact for assistance with tree removal problems on public property. The appropriate officials to contact will depend on where you live within the county, as it will often be the responsibility of your town’s public works department to provide assistance with these matters. Information on how to contact your local public works department can typically be found on your town’s government website.
If you’re unsure whom to contact, however, there are a few numbers you can call for assistance. For general information on public works within Sussex County, contact (302) 853-1340. To report a potential hazard in a state park, contact (302) 739-9200.
It is important to note that city officials will typically only provide assistance for the removal of hazardous trees on public property. If you would like to remove a tree on your own property, you will need to arrange for it yourself. However, if you are planning to plant a new tree after this removal, you may be eligible for state assistance. The Delaware Forest Service offers numerous options, such as cost-share programs and low-cost seedlings, to encourage property owners to plant more trees.
Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Sussex County?
The person responsible for fallen tree removal will vary depending on who owns the property and why the tree fell. Since this type of situation tends to be very stressful, here’s how you can easily figure out who is responsible based on the following common scenarios.
If you’re a homeowner?
Since you are the owner of the property, you are also legally responsible for the trees on your property. This means that if one should fall, you will be the one who must arrange for its removal. Fortunately, your insurance will often help in this situation, particularly if the tree damaged your home when it fell. It is important to note, however, that insurance will usually only provide assistance if the tree fell due to an act of God—that is, a storm or other uncontrollable event. If the tree fell due to untreated disease or decay, you may be held liable for damages.
If you’re a renter?
In the majority of cases, your landlord will be the person responsible for fallen tree removal on your property. The only reason you may be responsible is if your lease has a clause that puts you in charge of landscape maintenance. This is fairly uncommon, and it is more likely that you will need to contact your landlord to remove the fallen tree.
If you’re a landlord?
As the owner of the property on which the tree fell, it is your responsibility to arrange for its removal. It is also a good idea to regularly maintain your trees to reduce the risk of them falling due to preventable causes. After all, trees are an excellent asset; they can increase the value of a home by up to 10 percent.
If you’re a neighbor?
Even if the tree did not belong to you, it becomes your responsibility as soon as it falls onto your property. While this is frustrating, you can take comfort in the fact that you cannot be held liable for any damages. Be sure to file an insurance claim right away to receive assistance in this situation.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Sussex County?
Due to its coastal location, the majority of the soil in Sussex County is classified as sandy loam. Drainage tends to be fairly poor, meaning that the trees which perform well here are native wetland hardwoods and some pines. Good options include:
- Swamp maple
- Loblolly pine
Although its drainage is not ideal, the soil in Sussex County is fairly easy to work with so long as the gardener is sure to create drainage outlets where necessary.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Sussex County?
The Atlantic Ocean moderates the weather in Sussex County, preventing temperatures from becoming too extreme. This area is in USDA Hardiness Zones 7a and 7b, meaning the average minimum winter temperature will range from 0° to 10° F. Hardiness Zone 7 supports a vast array of different tree species. However, as occasional droughts do happen during the summers here, it is important to keep trees adequately watered to maintain their health.
What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Sussex County?
Any tree located too close to a power line is a serious safety hazard. When a tree comes in contact with an active power line, it runs the risk of becoming energized. If this happens, the tree may electrocute anyone who touches it, and it could even catch fire. Dead trees near power lines are even more hazardous, as they are likely to fall and bring the power lines down with them. This can result in widespread power outages and exposed live wires.
It is the responsibility of the local electric company to monitor the power lines in their areas of service and prune or remove trees that are becoming hazardous. In Sussex County, you may receive power from Delaware Electric Cooperative or Delmarva Power. You can report a hazardous tree to Delaware Electric Cooperative at (855) 332-9090 or Delmarva Power at (800) 375-7117.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Sussex County?
Costs of tree removal tend to vary with every project, making them challenging to predict. On average, homeowners in Sussex County pay around $700 for removal, or anywhere from $200 to $1,800 or more. Here are a few factors that will influence the cost of your tree removal.
The Size of Your Tree
Sussex County is home to plenty of towering hardwood trees. These are beautiful but costly to remove. Large trees with wide canopies will often need to be removed in sections, necessitating more of our crew members and equipment. This type of project typically takes longer and leaves more debris behind. Smaller trees, on the other hand, are usually much faster and more affordable to remove.
The Condition of Your Tree
Healthy trees tend to be structurally sound, making it easier to safely remove them. However, trees that are sick require much more cautious removal, as they are weaker and more prone to unexpected breakage. Even after a diseased tree has been removed, there are often additional steps we must take to safely dispose of the wood in order to prevent the disease from spreading. These extra precautions are very important, but will typically increase the cost of removal.
Ease of Access
The more challenging a tree is to access, the more expensive it will be to remove. Trees that tend to be particularly difficult to work with are those located on hills, in very small yards, near buildings, or close to power lines. However, if a tree is located on flat ground and far away from any other structures, it is much easier to access and safely remove.