Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Fort Walton Beach?
- 2 Does the City of Fort Walton Beach Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Fort Walton Beach?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Fort Walton Beach?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Fort Walton Beach?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Fort Walton Beach?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Fort Walton Beach?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Fort Walton Beach?
Those who live in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, already know it as a laid-back small beach town, yet trees are still essential to the citizenry. First-time visitors may not know Fort Walton Beach is a Tree City USA. It’s been designated for almost two decades, with trees usually planted in local parks on Arbor Day.
Typical to the area, many of the trees here include Trident Maple, Florida Privet, Crapemyrtle, Flowering Nectarine, and Sparkleberry. All of these are unique to the region, considering the more beach-like environment. And, of course, palm trees are still prevalent.
Being located near a beach makes these species more vulnerable to various elements of nature. A few of the most insidious tree insects in the region include the Tent Caterpillar, Green Worms, and Treehoppers.
Unfortunately, Treehoppers (known as American palm cixiid) have been gradually killing many palm trees throughout the Florida Panhandle. The spread of other tree diseases also still goes on, despite the best efforts of local arborists.
Lethal bronzing is what’s killing palm trees due to the above Treehopper insects. However, Fusiform Rust is an additional significant problem, not including Brown Spot Needle Blight and Laurel Wilt.
Does the City of Fort Walton Beach Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
Back in November 2020, the City of Fort Walton Beach extended its annual bids toward hiring contractors and tree removal experts like Tree Triage to remove problem trees. They opened the bids then because of the overly active storm and hurricane season.
When trees are an issue on our city streets, parks, right-of-way areas, or golf courses, the City does its best to get them removed. Contracting with tree care services like us is a way to get the job done with real experts rather than city workers.
Of course, no tree is removed unless it has to be. Arborists are sent to examine the tree first before it’s determined the tree is beyond being saved.
To submit bids for tree removal, tree service companies and contractors need to provide a cover letter with the proper bid amount. Then the bidder needs to provide certification credentials, plus a list of four references.
All of this is strictly for trees posing dangers on city property. For trees on private property, things are a bit different.
Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Fort Walton Beach?
Owning a home with trees surrounding the property can mean more enormous responsibilities than a tree on city property lines. Sometimes the City requires private property owners to remove a tree if it appears it could pose a risk of disrupting public utilities.
Otherwise, it’s worth looking at the legal aspects of taking care of a fallen tree if a homeowner, a renter, a landlord, or a neighbor. Steps can be taken to avoid potential legal repercussions.
If You’re a Homeowner?
All homeowners should look to see where the property lines are concerning trees on their property. Right-of-way trees owned by the City can sometimes fall near private property lines. Also, trees can be right on the line of two different properties owned by homeowners.
If a tree exists entirely within the lines of a homeowner’s property, that resident is altogether responsible for cleanup if the tree falls. Our team works with homeowners all the time in Fort Walton Beach to clean up trees usually going over due to windstorms.
Keep in mind a tree falling on a divided property line means the two separate homeowners take responsibility for the tree cleanup. When the tree causes property damage to the lone homeowner, homeowners’ insurance policies help cover the damages.
If You’re a Renter?
Renting property here in Fort Walton Beach is a common procedure, especially along the beach. Trees in those areas can quickly go over after storms, bringing confusion by renters on who’s responsible for cleaning up the debris.
Look at the rental agreement to find out. The landlord might stipulate that the tenant is responsible for tree cleanup if they planted the tree there themselves. Otherwise, renters should expect the landlord to take responsibility since they’re like homeowners owning the land where the trees are.
If You’re a Landlord?
Like most states, landlords have to put in preventative maintenance for the trees on the properties they own. If they don’t, they might face legal challenges.
It’s rare if a landlord forces a tenant to do yard maintenance on trees. Many tenants wouldn’t agree to pay a substantial rent unless rent breaks are given in the process.
If You’re a Neighbor?
Based on Florida Jurisprudence, a diseased tree falling from a neighbor’s property over into a fellow neighbor’s property can result in a lawsuit of negligence. The reason is if the neighbor warned the other neighbor about a tree that was diseased or dead, negligent behavior is a compelling legal argument.
Only if the tree was healthy and fell due to an Act of God would there be no legal responsibility by the neighbor. If the tree was healthy, the neighbor where the tree fell is ultimately responsible for cleaning it up. A judge ultimately has to make the final determination on what constitutes negligence in the case.
Common law duty of care is an important legal concept to keep in mind for anyone owning a property with potentially dangerous trees. Our tree care team helps residents take care of risky trees every day before they become diseased or die.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Fort Walton Beach?
Not every resident bothers to check how healthy (or unhealthy) their soil is before taking care of existing trees. There is a lot to learn here, yet doing a soil survey is always essential to know how the ground might affect future tree growth.
Going by Fort Walton Beach’s soil survey, the most prominent soil in the area is generally a mix of sand and clay. In the panhandle where Fort Walton Beach is, clay is found more than any other soil in surrounding areas.
Finding clay here might surprise some who’d think it was entirely sand around a beach environment. Clay helps the growth of local trees since it holds water better and drains slower as a result.
Since this area can also be scorching during the summer, clay soils need more attention to prevent them from drying out. Adding organic materials and mulch at the beginning of the summer is a good idea to keep it healthy. Regular irrigating is also essential, something easier done with automatic sprinklers.
Just be aware of flooding, which can happen after hurricanes. Clay soil types don’t handle excesses of water well.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Fort Walton Beach?
The risk of hurricanes in Fort Walton Beach doesn’t even have to be reiterated. Hurricanes and tropical storms cause various types of damageto local trees and property every year.
Local arborists and residents lament any tree lost in a hurricane here. Anyone can say the same when a tornado hits, something potentially more common and destructive to trees in many ways.
Floods are also common during those storm events, as noted by the City’s website. Preparation is always put in place, if not preventing the worst disasters from happening. Vulnerable trees can easily topple over as well when overwhelmed by water.
Hard work is continually put in to protect trees from these elements. Nothing can be done to protect from strong winds other than making their root systems as robust as possible to avoid them from quickly falling over.
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Fort Walton Beach?
The area’s local power utility (Gulf Power) can sometimes become overwhelmed when a hurricane sweeps through and knocks trees over on power lines. Beyond the inconvenience of knocking power out for long periods, the time it takes to remove tree pieces from power lines takes extra (and expert) work.
Our team usually works with Gulf Power to ensure these cleanups are done with the proper care. It means making sure they turn the power off first before we begin any work.
Residents sometimes attempt a cleanup independently, especially if their trees topple onto power lines within the vicinity. No one should do this alone based on the extreme dangers.
Whether working with the City or the power utility, let our professionals handle this job.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Fort Walton Beach?
There isn’t any way to accurately estimate what the final cost of tree removal is in Fort Walton Beach due to the variables involved. Based on weather extremes and other factors, it could be a reasonable price or very expensive.
Average costs for tree removal here run around $562, with the lowest being $175. Some might have to pay as high as $2,149 if the tree is overly large or dangerous.
Take a look at a few other cost issues:
How Diseased the Tree Is
The spread of tree disease can be a big problem, sometimes spreading to humans and nearby pets. No one but tree care professionals like us should handle a diseased tree.
Doing so takes extra time, and it might mean more than one day of labor time.
Trees Surrounded by Extra Brush
Accessibility issues are always going to factor into how much the bill is. A fallen tree might be surrounded by many brushes and other trees needing removal, even on flat land. This means using extra equipment and taking hours of more work to reach the tree in question. When in hilly environments, it becomes even more complicated.
Removing the Stump
Should the stump of a diseased tree be removed? It’s usually treated as a standalone task, requiring extra time and cost. If the stump isn’t removed, it goes strictly by how much leaving the stump in place would become a public hindrance.