Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Merritt Island?
- 2 Does the City of Merritt Island Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal In Merritt Island?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Merritt Island?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Merritt Island?
- 6 What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Merritt Island?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Merritt Island?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Merritt Island?
Merritt Island is perfect for residents who love long, hot and wet weather, with short winters that at the most get cool and windy. The perfect months for outdoor activities are between March and May because it’s the perfect middle ground after a cool winter and just before an oppressively hot summer.
This is also the perfect time for planting and caring for plants in recovery since they’ll see faster growth in warmer weather than the cool breeze of fall and winter. Although Florida weather is suitable enough to plant all year round if you really want to.
Some of the best native trees accustomed to our Merritt Island, FL, climate include:
- Bald Cypress
- Florida Elm
- Florida Maple, Red Maple
- Florida Pines
- Flowering Dogwood
- Live Oak
- Longleaf Pine
- Southern Magnolia, Sweetbay Magnolia, Magnolias
However, just because they are native doesn’t mean they don’t need regular watering and care. Particularly when it comes to the prevention and treatment of common tree diseases in our Merritt Island area. Some of the most common diseases to look out for include the following:
Citrus Greening (aka Yellow Dragon Disease)
Arguably one of the most serious plant diseases in the world, citrus greening refers to a tree disease that is spread by an infected insect called an Asian Citrus Psyllid and damaged the produce of the plants attacked by it.
If your fruit tree or plants show signs of green discolorations, bitter tastes, and all-around unsuitable for sale — it’s likely this disease has taken hold of your landscape. Infected trees only last a couple of years after infection, and as of right now, there is no known cure for treating the problem.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has said, “While the disease poses no threat to humans or animals, it has devastated millions of acres of citrus crops throughout the United States and abroad… [putting] the future of America’s citrus at risk.”
Brown Spot Needle Blight
This disease is caused by the fungus Mycosphaerella dearnessii and affects a great number of pine trees around Merritt Island. Because it thrives in tropical and temperate zones, much of Florida battles Brown Spot Needle Blight.
CABI recommends keeping an eye out for needles on the lowest branches as they’re more susceptible to the disease and check for abnormal colors, premature falling, fungal growth, and necrotic areas to detect the problem early.
This way, we can treat the infected trees with fungicides to prevent further infection and thereafter in the spring to protect needles from the previous year.
Hungry tree pests
There are several little critters in the Florida landscape that threaten our trees regularly. This is because they often spread diseases from tree to tree or feed on them so much that they weaken and damage their exterior to the point of death (or make them vulnerable to nearby diseases). According to USDA APHIS, these are some of the most common insects suitable to our habitat and what they feed on:
- Asian Gypsy Moth — North American tree and shrub species.
- Asian Longhorned Beetle — hardwood trees, national forests.
- Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle — palm trees, including coconut, date, and oil palms.
- Emerald Ash Borer Beetle — ash trees.
- European Cherry Fruit Fly — Sweet and tart cherries and other environmental hosts such as honeysuckle and dogwood.
- European Gypsy Moth — trees and shrubs.
- False Codling Moth — plants, fruit trees, and field crops.
- Spotted Lanternfly — fruit, ornamental, and woody trees.
As for dangerous diseases put in federal quarantine to prevent their spread, common pests like the Asian Citrus Psyllid, Giant African Snail, and Imported Fire Ant are all common problems in our area too.
Does the City of Merritt Island Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
The City of Merritt Island does not provide any assistance in tree removal for private property owners. For this reason, you must call a professional like Tree Triage to take care of the problem at your own expense. They do, however, come out (or send a third party out) to take care of trees that need to be removed on public property.
With that being said, the Brevard County Code of Ordinances also states that you must immediately take care of trees that pose a “threat to the health, safety, and welfare of the property owners or the public. Before doing so, you are required to document the threat by:
- Taking photographs of the tree(s), including any areas that may be damaged, diseased, or infested
- Approximate measurements including tree height, spread, dbh, etc.
- Distance to structure(s) or other immovable target(s) if felled.
Furthermore, “The Natural Resources Management Office shall be consulted if removal would eliminate, destroy, or damage existing native vegetation, wetland habitats, floodplains, required erosion control or stormwater management systems, or endangered or threatened species or their habitats.”
Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal In Merritt Island?
There’s not much that’s more frustrating than dealing with a fallen tree and being unsure who is responsible for taking care of it. To help you and the parties involved, we have the responsible-party breakdown for residents in Merritt Island.
If you’re a homeowner?
Becoming a homeowner is arguably one of the most incredible steps in a person’s life. However, with that wonderful euphoria of owning your own home comes a significant amount of responsibility — including removing fallen trees on your property.
Some scenarios will take some responsibility off of your shoulders. For instance, if the tree is on multiple properties at once, you are responsible for the portion on your end, and other property owners are responsible for the portions on their end (including the city if the tree falls onto city property).
More scenarios are mention in the ‘neighbors’ section.
If you’re a renter?
If you’re a renter, you’re in luck. As a renter, you do not have the responsibility of removing trees from the property on your shoulders. That duty is given to your landlord. You should still keep an eye out for signs of tree health decline and dying parts to ensure your landlord knows immediately. This will help prevent any potential damages or injuries.
If you’re a landlord?
Being a landlord, you have a lot of the same responsibilities as a homeowner, including tree removals on your property. You should note, however, that you have the responsibility of your tenants too. Meaning taking care of your trees and being diligent about removals and/or treatments is pertinent to avoid any harm to them or, in the long run, your finances.
If you’re a neighbor?
According to Florida’s Fence and Property Laws, “The health of the tree may determine which landowner is responsible for damages to property. A secondary source called ‘Florida Jurisprudence’ provides that where a dead tree falls on an adjoining property and damages that property owner’s home, the landowner who owns the property where the tree originally was located is responsible for damages.”
On the other hand, “Florida Jurisprudence provides that where a live tree falls on an adjoining property and damages that property owner’s home, the adjoining property landowner is responsible for damages.”
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Merritt Island?
The type of soil in your landscape can differ for several reasons, but the soil in Florida is primarily sandy. The state soil is Myakka fine sand – which is defined by Soil Series as consisting of “very deep, very poorly or poorly drained, moderately rapid or moderately permeable soils.”
What this means is Myakka soil doesn’t drain water very well, so some plants and trees may have difficulty with saturation/overwatering and are generally good at transmitting water and air. Since soil can vary by area and human deposits, it’s always better to get a soil test done before planting to ensure its compatibility with the tree you intend to grow.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Merritt Island?
Weather is always a big factor to consider when thinking about what may affect your tree’s health. When our Merritt Island summers get insufferably hot, we aren’t the only ones who need more water — make sure to water your plants regularly at these times!
Moreover, we may not have to deal with volcanoes or earthquakes, but tornadoes make their way in our area more than we like. When they do, we often lose our stronger, healthier trees to their attack. Merritt Island’s tornado index is well over the U.S. average (although right on par with Florida’s average).
What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Merritt Island?
If you notice a dead tree near a power line in Merritt Island, you must immediately let your electric company know. This includes any live trees closer than 15 feet and/or overhanging trees. You should never do the job yourself as it is considered very dangerous.
According to Florida Power and Lights (FPL), they do not charge for services that include protecting their lines and equipment “since it is our responsibility.” They do, however, remove “select trees, palms and other fast-growing vegetation that cannot be managed effectively by pruning or trimming” when necessary — and can do so without permission.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Merritt Island?
In Merritt Island, the cost of removing a tree from your property is actually about $100 less than the national average, with most residents spending around $765 on the service. The average minimum is usually around $259 and the average maximum can hit as much as $1,975.
What you end up paying, however, depends heavily on the following cost factors.
Tree height is an important cost factor to keep in mind because the taller the tree, the higher your bill will be. This is because it will take us much longer, more people, and more tools to get a tree bigger than 30 feet cut down compared to taking down a tree much smaller. It should also be noted that a tree that has already fallen over will also cost nearly 50% less because most of the job is already done.
Additional Services — Land and Lot Clearing/Tree Protection
You should also think about the additional services that are available to you. Land and lot clearing refers to our professionals cleaning up all the tree and shrub brush on your property and properly disposing of it. While it can cost you as much as $1000 more in expenses, it is popular for its convenience — particularly because there are so many rules and regulations that go along with disposing of yard waste.
On the other hand, you may also be interested in a service like tree protection which consists of giving tree trunks injections to help protect them against common tree diseases. This service usually goes for about $50 per trunk injection and is useful for surrounding trees you are afraid may have been infected or newly planted one.