Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Lakeland?
- 2 Does the City of Lakeland Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Lakeland?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Lakeland?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Lakeland?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Lakeland?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Lakeland?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Lakeland?
Most of us enjoy the beauty and shade of trees on our properties, paying them little attention…until they cause a problem. In general, with a bit of regular care and maintenance from our tree experts, many trees can be worry-free and provide us decades of benefits. Unfortunately, some situations are out of our control, and these are most likely to cause problems for trees around Lakeland.
Storms and Severe Weather
One of the most common causes of tree problems in Lakeland, and the rest of Florida, is storm damage. Whether it’s the hurricanes and tropical storms of summer and autumn, or any sort of severe weather, the strong winds that accompany such weather play havoc with our trees. Surveying the damage after a large storm is often a journey through mangled and fallen trees. Even those that remain standing may have broken or torn away limbs like an invitation to insects, bacteria, and fungi to damage our beloved trees.
Non-native, invasive trees, such as the Australian pine, Camphor trees, and Melaleuca trees, may tend to take over and crowd out our native trees. Unfortunately, while they often grow aggressively, they are not necessarily well-suited to our terrain and soil. They may form weaker root systems, making them more vulnerable to blowing over in strong winds.
Storms, poor growth patterns, environmental stresses, inappropriate pruning, or other causes cause damage to trees and make them more susceptible to infestation by insect pests. Mealybugs, boring beetles, and various common pests such as tent caterpillars and gall wasps can make trees less attractive and can further weaken them. In some cases, insect infestations can cause a tree enough harm over time that it can’t survive and will fall, or you need to remove them.
Our warm, humid climate is a haven for all sorts of bacteria and fungal diseases that afflict trees, many of which focus on specific species of trees. Laurel wilt has affected many of our favorite landscaping and agricultural trees since reaching Polk County in 2010. It most commonly attacks redbay, avocado, sassafras, and other members of the laurel family, browning their leaves and ultimately causing most infected trees to die. Citrus greening, also called Yellow Dragon Disease, has had a devastating effect on citrus crops, so vital to our Florida economy. It is incurable, spreads quickly, and damages trees so that they die within a few years of infection, either directly from the condition or as a result of insect pests like mealybugs taking advantage of weakened trees. Lethal Bronzing Disease is another common but destructive tree disease that affects many types of palm trees, including our state tree, the sabal palm. Once a palm displays any symptoms of this incurable infection, such as browning leaves and early fruit drop, you can’t save the infected tree, and the sooner you call us to remove it, the more likely it is that you can keep the neighboring trees.
Does the City of Lakeland Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
The City of Lakeland is responsible for nearly 60,000 trees reflecting over 300 species, growing in public spaces from parks and recreation areas to lining our streets and sidewalks. In addition, our Parks and Recreation Department maintains trees in public spaces. They will also prune, trim, or remove trees and plantings within a certain distance of utility lines to help ensure safety. Permits may be required from the City of Lakeland to remove trees on both residential and commercial property, as well.
Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Lakeland?
As you’d expect, the City of Lakeland is responsible for maintaining and removing trees on public property, including those along streets and sidewalks and those in our community spaces such as parks, playgrounds, and many lakeshore paths. The City of Lakeland and Lakeland Electric are also responsible for tree removal after natural disasters and, in some instances, will also trim or prune trees on private property if they pose a hazard to the public. Of course, you may be billed for such services if you failed to respond to a Code Enforcement Department request to take care of any problematic trees on your property. In Florida, the law indicates that responsibility for fallen trees on a private property depends, in large part, on a tree’s health when it falls. Well-maintained, healthy trees are generally the person’s responsibility on whose property the tree falls. Damaged, dying, or unhealthy trees are usually the person’s responsibility on whose property the tree grows. Whether you are responsible for your tree or are cleaning up after a neighbor’s tree has come down, be sure to contact our professional licensed tree removers to ensure tree removal is done safely and effectively.
If You’re a Homeowner?
As we just explained, homeowners will generally foot the bill (along with their insurance companies) for healthy, well-maintained trees that fall on their property, regardless of where the trees grew. Instead, damaged, dying, or otherwise unhealthy or compromised trees are usually the person’s responsibility on whose property it grew. Additionally, suppose you have a tree in poor condition, and it falls. In that case, if the other party can prove that you knew about it and you neglected to take action, your insurance company will very often be unwilling to pay any claims as a result of any damage it causes to your property or your neighbors’, let alone contributing to the cost of tree removal.
If You’re a Renter?
As with many primary property upkeep and repair concerns, fallen tree removal is usually the responsibility of your landlord unless your lease specifically states otherwise. It’s a good idea, though, to alert your landlord to any trees you notice that might need attention, either on the property you rent or on neighboring lots.
If You’re a Landlord?
Landlords are usually responsible for fallen trees on the properties they rent out in the same fashion as homeowners. Landlords are generally accountable for healthy trees that fall onto the property they rent out (regardless of who owns the tree) and for unhealthy trees that fall from the property they own onto other lots. Landlords are usually not responsible for a healthy tree falling from a property they own and rent out onto neighboring properties.
If You’re a Neighbor?
Keeping your property in good shape and trying to prevent problems such as a dead tree in your yard falling on the house next door is just part of being a good neighbor. It’s also part of limiting your liability since you are generally responsible for dead, dying, or damaged trees that fall from your property. Your neighbor is usually allowed to prune branches and roots from a tree in your yard that extends into their yard.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Lakeland?
Lakeland and surrounding Polk County are part of the unique soil type found in Florida, called Myakka. This soil which varies from somewhat sandy in our area to more peaty closer to the Everglades, is designated as our state soil. Myakka soil in our area is generally pretty good for building on and for agriculture and other landscaping purposes. Traditionally, it has supported native trees in our area, including slash pines, longleaf pines, and saw palmetto. In our urban areas, it continues to support those trees along with the multitude of species growing in our neighborhoods, parks, and along our streets and sidewalks.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Lakeland?
If there’s one thing people often think about Florida, it’s the weather — from our well-earned nickname as the Sunshine State to our dubious honor in being hit with more hurricanes than any other state. These two weather opposites also tend to have opposite effects on tree health here in Lakeland and throughout Florida. Lots of sunshine and a high water table (water close to the ground surface) mean our trees have all they need to grow well and plenty of sunny weather to do so. Unfortunately, hurricanes, tropical storms, and other severe weather also mean that our trees are more vulnerable to being blown down or damaged when that weather hits. If you are planting new trees, selecting more wind-resistant species such as sand live oak, southern magnolia, live oak, bald cypress, crape myrtle, and sabal palm will aid your success. You may also notice that the trees that continue to thrive despite hurricane weather tend to be native trees rather than exotic imported species.
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Lakeland?
Lakeland Electric typically trims trees along utility rights-of-way on a three-year cycle with clearance measurements following the National Electrical Safety Code. Pruning the trees helps limit storm damage and outages caused by falling limbs and trees. Faster-growing trees and those prone to more rapid decay, such as laurel oaks and cherry laurels, are often replaced with slower-growing or smaller species.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Lakeland?
Knowing a tree must be removed, especially a larger tree or one close to a home or power lines can strike fear into the hearts of many homeowners (and their wallets). Many of those same homeowners are pleasantly surprised to know that most Lakeland area tree removals typically cost from $475 to $675, with an average-sized, reasonably straightforward tree removal costing about $575. Unfortunately, not every job is an average-sized, easily accessible tree, so some aspects of a tree removal job will affect the price and can raise it to over $1,500.
Tree and Location Specifics
Large trees (height or diameter), hardwood trees, those with complicated structures, and trees close to buildings, landscaping features, power lines, and other elements we must be careful to protect can add to the time, labor, and complexity of a job (and its cost).
Additional Work and Equipment
More complicated tree removals and those requiring special equipment or a larger crew will add to the cost. Any additional work you request, such as stump removal and grinding, limb chipping, or other extras, will also increase the price.
Permits and Fees
Some Lakeland tree removals require a permit, and you may also need other code and regulation compliance fees to complete your tree removal, adding to your cost.