Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Wilmington?
- 2 Does the City of Wilmington Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Wilmington?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Wilmington?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Wilmington?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Wilmington?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Wilmington?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Wilmington?
The most common tree species in Wilmington include the Norway maple, the Northern white cedar, and the tree-of-heaven. The majority of these trees are healthy and ready to provide the city with beautiful foliage and tree canopy for years to come. However, when a tree does require removal, it’s usually because of one of these issues:
Many tree diseases in Wilmington are due to invasive pests. Some of the most common pests are the emerald ash borer, the Asian longhorned beetle, and the gypsy moth. These pests usually feed on the inner bark of the tree, which acts as the tree’s circulatory system. Once damaged, the tree cannot get the nutrients it needs from the roots to the upper part of the tree. You’ll start to see the leaves change color out of season and branches dying back. If you catch a pest invasion early enough, it’s possible to treat the tree. However, sometimes the best option is to remove the tree so the pests can’t spread. This will also prevent the tree from becoming weakened and becoming a safety risk to the surrounding area.
Wilmington has a pretty temperate climate, but we can experience our share of extreme weather. Tropical storms, hurricanes, and flooding are all common occurrences in the area. These weather conditions can severely damage trees, from destroying the crown of the tree to uprooting mature trees entirely. You’ll want to inspect your trees after a big storm and assess the damage. Get your trees trimmed annually, too. That way, we can spot any structural weaknesses and advise you if it’s time to remove the tree.
Out of Place Trees
It’s tough to tell a tree which direction to grow. It’s even more difficult to stop a mature tree from outgrowing the space you have for it. Trees can quickly become a nuisance and may even become dangerous if they are growing in a space you don’t want them to be in. This might be near power lines, too close to the foundation of your house, or in an area of your land you wish to develop. Clearing these trees can lower your repair bills, increase the value of your property, and give you more area to build or landscape.
Does the City of Wilmington Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
The city’s Urban Forestry Division maintains all the trees on public property. However, the city of Wilmington does not assist in tree removal on private property including street trees, which are the trees along the street between the curb and your sidewalk. Those trees are the responsibility of the property owner.
If you wish to trim or remove a street tree, you’ll have to apply for a permit first.
If you have a dispute with a neighbor about tree removal, you’ll need to resolve it through the legal system.
Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Wilmington?
Fallen trees are messy, expensive, and can cause extensive property damage. So who is responsible for the aftermath? It may surprise you what Delaware state law has to say.
If you’re a homeowner?
If your tree falls onto your neighbor’s property, are you responsible for the removal and clean-up? In most cases, no. Many states, including Delaware, have a provision that protects property owners from paying out when the fallen tree isn’t their fault.
However, if you had prior knowledge that the tree was a safety risk, then you could be liable for the damage and removal. Your neighbor would have to prove that you were negligent in the care of your tree.
If you’re a renter?
Renters occupy over 14,000 households in Wilmington, which is about half the houses in the city. Good news if you are one of those renters: you aren’t responsible for the removal of a fallen tree on the property that you rent. The responsibility falls to your landlord or property management company. Just get in contact with them to let them know the tree fell. If any damage was done, you can file a claim on your renters insurance.
If you’re a landlord?
Landlords retain responsibility for the trees on their properties, even in long-term leases. So if a tree falls, your renter should contact you or your property manager to have it removed. Be aware that you may liable for damages if your tenant can prove that you were negligent in the care of the tree, so inspect your trees regularly.
If you’re a neighbor?
If your neighbor’s tree falls onto your property, there is a good chance that you’ll be responsible for the removal. That’s because most states protect property owners, ensuring that they don’t have to pay for something that wasn’t their fault. However, if you can prove that they knew the tree was diseased or damaged before it fell, they may be liable. It can be a long and costly process to go through the courts, though, so you may be better off coming to a compromise.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Wilmington?
The majority of the soil in the Wilmington area is from the Neshaminy soil type. This soil is deep and well-drained, and it’s a type of soil that you’ll often find in woodlands. Oaks and hickory trees love this kind of soil because they can send their roots down deep without worrying about root rot. If you have a tree that’s struggling, it may be due to the high acidity of Neshaminy soil. You can try to reduce the acidity by adding lime to the soil around the tree.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Wilmington?
Delaware can experience severe weather and even extreme weather conditions like hurricanes. Hurricane Irene hit the Wilmington area in 2011, and the top wind speeds of that storm reached 121 mph. Those powerful winds can not only rip branches off of trees, but they can also uproot a mature tree entirely and send it flying.
It’s not just hurricanes that can have an impact on our tree population, though. Heavy rains, severe winds, and heavy snow can all damage trees. The most common form of damage is the loss of branches and limbs. These can cause damage when they leave the tree, and the resulting wound can make the tree more vulnerable to disease in the future. You should inspect your trees after every storm to ensure there is no serious damage or structural weaknesses.
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Wilmington?
There are several electricity providers in Wilmington, including Delmarva Power. In a non-emergency situation, you should contact your electricity provider to report a dead tree. Each electrical company in the area is responsible for maintaining its own power lines. This includes trimming overgrown trees and removing dead ones. Your power company will dispatch their contractors to the area to evaluate the tree after you report it.
For emergencies, such as a tree that’s already fallen onto the power lines, you should call 911. The dispatcher will contact emergency services which can turn off the power and remove the tree. In the meantime, you should stay out of the area, as it could be dangerous.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Wilmington?
When it comes to the cost of tree removal, there is a huge range in what you may pay. Homeowners will pay anywhere from $250 to $2,100 for tree removal, with the average cost being around $800. The reason there is such a range in the cost is because of these three factors:
Bigger trees cost more to remove. Height plays an important role as tall trees require more safety equipment, heavy machinery, and manpower to remove. A Norway maple, one of the most common trees in Wilmington, grows to about 50 feet tall. This will put you in the $800 range for its removal. Trees that edge closer to the 100-foot mark will cost significantly more. Keep in mind that trees with a big spread (or canopy) and especially thick trunks will also cost more.
The healthier your tree is, the more it’s going to cost to remove. That might be counterintuitive, but the truth is that healthy trees are just more work. They have more branches, more leaves, and are more resistant to efforts to take them down. Fallen trees are usually the least expensive to remove, as they require the least amount of machinery and manpower.
Ease of access will also impact the cost of removing your tree. Some trees, especially those in large yards, are easier to remove. Trees that are growing close to structures, like your home or garage, are a lot harder to take down, so are trees that are growing near power lines. A tree’s location can present a unique challenge, and our team will need to take more time and use more equipment to safely remove it.