Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Jacksonville?
- 2 Does the City of Jacksonville Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Jacksonville?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Jacksonville?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Jacksonville?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Jacksonville?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Jacksonville?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Jacksonville?
Jacksonville is a city that has a combination of history, nature, and sports. Its laid-back beaches, beautiful waterways, and ecological preserves are the perfect place for family outings. When you’re ready for some sports action, you can take time to watch the Jacksonville Jaguars play at the TIAA Bank Field or hit the green on one of the many local golf courses. If you’re looking for something more artistic to do, then the Jacksonville Symphony or Jazz Festival will meet all your needs.
Jacksonville is also home to many trees, and there are many laws about tree conservation, ranging from what trees you can plant to whether you are allowed to cut them down. Jacksonville firmly believes in preserving the ecosystem and is very protective of its local greenery. If you are going to cut down a tree, there needs to be a good reason, such as damage due to storms, disease, poor health, splitting or cracking trunks, growing too close to major structures like power lines, disrupting the growth of other plants, or becoming infested by pests and insects.
The most common reason why we need to cut down trees in Jacksonville is due to storms. Hurricane winds can be brutal on the plant life and can leave a path of destruction in its wake.
The other top reason for tree removal is disease. In 2019, a condition called Lethal Bronzing was killing palm trees. A plant hopper known as a palm cixiid spread it. We should remove diseased trees, and we should remove those we cannot treat to prevent the spread of the disease.
Does the City of Jacksonville Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
Jacksonville isn’t very enthusiastic about removing trees, but there are a few occasions when it helps out. If there is a risk of damaging power lines, trees that have already fallen on power lines, or trees that are in roadways, the JEA or the City of Jacksonville Department of Public Works will remove the tree. Those are the only situations that it will do so, however. Any other scenario, including downed trees due to storms, falls to either you or your neighbor.
Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Jacksonville?
Figuring out who is responsible for removing a fallen tree isn’t always a straightforward answer. There are many factors to consider, such as the location, whether the tree is living or dead, what caused the tree to fall, and the leasing agreement.
If You’re a Homeowner?
If a tree falls in your yard, then you are responsible for getting it cleared away. It’s possible that you can file an insurance claim, and your insurance provider will cover the cost of having the tree removed, as well as paying for any damages. What you can claim with your insurance depends on what type of coverage you have, however.
If You’re a Renter?
The scope of your responsibility depends on your leasing agreement. In most cases, the landlord is responsible for removing fallen trees since it is their property. It can be written into the lease for you to cover some of the damages, however. Your contract will usually limit your responsibility to keeping the yard looking nice, but you should always read your lease carefully. Some renters’ insurance will cover the cost of damage to the home if a tree falls, such as a tree limb busting out a window.
If You’re a Landlord?
In Jacksonville, Florida, it is typically the landowner’s responsibility to remove any fallen trees and cover the damage. It’s the property of the landowner, after all. Homeowner’s insurance should cover the costs of repair.
If You’re a Neighbor?
According to the University of Florida, if your neighbor has a tree with limbs hanging over your property, it’s your responsibility to pay for getting them trimmed back. You can only trim the tree up to the property line. On the other hand, if a dead tree falls on your property, then it is the responsibility of the tree’s owner to pay for having it removed. To win a claim for a dead tree falling on your property, you will need to have established notice of the existence of the dead tree before it fell. Establishing notice can be tricky because if it’s your tree and someone notified you that the tree was dead and did nothing, your insurance company may not cover the claim.
On the flip side, if a live tree fell, it’s the neighbor’s responsibility. No one can hold you responsible for a living tree falling, mainly if storm damage causes it. Your neighbor will have to pay for any expenses accrued from having the tree removed and cleaned up. Their insurance should cover this if they have the right coverage.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Jacksonville?
There are 38 different types of soil in Jacksonville. Most of this is a wide variety of sand, but other types of soil exist in the area, like loam, pits, muck, and clay. The types of soil can affect the types of trees you can grow. While it might seem like only palm trees could grow in Jacksonville, that’s not quite the case. There are over 56 species of trees that enjoy calling Jacksonville home. These include the White Fringetree, Sweet Olive, Star Magnolia, and Flowering Peach. Several varieties of pines aren’t protected and can be cut down more readily than some other types of trees.
The soil affects the trees by determining where you can plant specific species of trees. While the palms can grow almost anywhere, other trees favor more loamy soil. The soil will determine how easily a tree will grow and how hard it will be to cut down.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Jacksonville?
Weather plays a significant role in the health of trees in Jacksonville. The Jacksonville area is often in the path of tropical storms and hurricanes. After each storm, there are often dozens of downed trees that we will need to remove. It can often take months for trees to be cleared away after a significant storm.
Florida ranks third in the nation as far as the state with the most tornadoes. It is the fourth state with the most deaths due to tornadoes. February, March, and April are the worst months for tornadoes to hit, and storms knock down many trees during this time.
June 1st through November 30th is when hurricane season starts. Hurricane season is typically when most trees will fall due to weather-related events. Heavy rain can also cause soil erosion which can lead to trees falling.
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Jacksonville?
The Florida Power and Light Company (FPL) is responsible for regularly pruning all trees near power lines. The FPL has a schedule of when they will come out, inspect the trees closest to the line, and prune them. For most trees, this requires a simple trim. If a tree looks diseased, grows rapidly, or is an exotic weed tree, the FPL will altogether remove it. The FPL will come out within 24 hours of the removal to clear up the debris. If a tree is close to the power lines but not so tight that the FPL will trim it, it becomes the property owner’s responsibility to maintain it. How close is too close will be determined by the FPL.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Jacksonville?
There’s a wide price range for removing a tree in Jacksonville, Florida, depending on several factors. At the lower end of the scale, you’re looking at $300. For higher-priced jobs, it can cost as much as $1,400 or more. Most homeowners tend to pay around $648-$880. On average, it costs homeowners about $764 to have a tree cut down.
To cut down a tree in Jacksonville, you may need to get a permit. The application costs $25. However, it’s not quite as simple as filling out the application and getting permission to cut the tree down. There are laws to protect the ecosystem regarding which trees you can cut down and can’t.
According to Jimerson Birr, “Having recognized the important role trees play in our ecosystem, Jacksonville, Florida has enacted tree removal laws to protect against the over-destruction of trees. In sum, these laws require a permit to remove “protected” trees, require mitigation for removed trees, and empower the City to enforce civil fines and criminal punishment for violation.”
In many cases, you will be encouraged to have the tree relocated rather than cutting it down, as this helps protect the environment and keep Jacksonville looking green. Trees that you can cut down at will are unprotected. These can be cut down without a permit and are usually some type of pine. Trees that are protected require that you get a permit. There are several factors used to determine if a tree is protected or unprotected. The elements are the size, the species, and the location. Failure to get the required permit could cost you as much as $10,000. Our tree expert can tell you if a permit is needed or if they can begin working without one.
The size of the tree will play a significant role in how much you pay. If it’s a smaller tree, the cost will be significantly less than a much bigger tree. The trunk is easier to cut through, the roots aren’t as entrenched, and grinding up the stump takes less work. The City of Jacksonville will also be more willing to issue a permit. In some cases, the City may not even require a permit if the tree is small enough. If this is the case, you’ll not only save $25.
Believe it or not, the time of year you decide to have a tree removed may affect the cost. This is because cutting down trees in the spring and summer are when the trees are actively growing. Eliminating the roots will often be significantly harder during this time and will leave your landscaping more damaged. On the other hand, removing the tree and repairing the landscaping is much easier during the fall and winter.