Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Port St. Lucie?
- 2 Does the City of Port St. Lucie Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Port St. Lucie?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Port St. Lucie?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Port St. Lucie?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Port St. Lucie?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Port St. Lucie?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Port St. Lucie?
In Port St. Lucie, we love our trees, as shown by our designation as Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation each year since 2005. Port St. Lucie is a beautiful place to grow plants with our warm climate and plenty of moisture to keep them hydrated. While these are excellent conditions to encourage plants and trees to thrive, unfortunately, they are ideal conditions for insect pests and many plant diseases to spread. Most of our area’s tree issues are related to pests and diseases or severe weather.
Storms and Severe Weather
Whether you’re new to Port St. Lucie or have been here since Hurricane Gerda hit in 1969, you know our part of Florida is at a very high risk of experiencing the strong winds and heavy rains of hurricane season. Of course, along with severe weather comes the risk of damage to our trees when the weather fells them, property damage, and injuries to ourselves and our neighbors. Even standing trees can suffer damage that leaves them more vulnerable to infestation by insects and diseases.
Port St. Lucie’s tropical climate is a paradise for so many of us and one of the main reasons people flock to our gorgeous area of the Florida coast. Unfortunately, this also makes it the perfect place for insect pests to thrive. While many insects can damage our trees, some are more harmful than others, such as pine bark beetles and the ficus whitefly. Several kinds of pine bark beetles populate our area, and they can prey on damaged or stressed pine trees, often causing these trees to die. Ficus whiteflies prey on many of the types of ficus (fig) trees we have in Port St. Lucie and the surrounding area, including banyan trees, weeping figs, and strangler figs, causing leaves to yellow and fall, and, in some cases, affected trees to die.
This same beautiful weather, particularly the humidity, makes a very welcoming environment for many fungal and bacterial tree diseases. Like the Bacterial Leaf Scorch, some can be fatal to our many deciduous trees such as sugar maples, sycamores, oaks, and even evergreen laurels. Laurels are also vulnerable to Laurel Wilt, which commonly affects red bays, avocados, sassafras, and many trees. Citrus trees in the Indian River Citrus District are also vulnerable to the incurable and highly contagious Huanglongbing (Citrus Greening) disease. This disease causes fruit on affected trees to produce poor quality fruit and often die within a few years of infection.
Does the City of Port St. Lucie Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
The City of Port St. Lucie takes responsibility for trees in public and community spaces such as streets, sidewalks, parks, and other public areas. Because our city has made such a solid commitment to celebrating the many benefits our trees provide, the Port St. Lucie Tree Protection and Preservation Ordinance protects the trees in the City. In general, it saves trees that have a DBH measurement (the diameter at a little over 4 feet from the ground) of twelve inches or more. Specific regulations about tree protections on private property vary depending on landscaping requirements and other factors. Still, in general, trees that are large enough to be considered protected trees will require a permit to remove. Of course, special situations such as storm damage, emergency removal, routine trimming and maintenance, and utility work will often be an exception to the permit requirement.
Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Port St. Lucie?
If you’re dealing with a fallen tree, whether it’s yours, your neighbor’s, or a tree that was growing on public property, you are probably concerned about who has to foot the bill to have the fallen tree removed. According to Florida law, that depends mainly on the condition of the fallen tree. If a tree was in good health and was generally well-maintained at the time it fell, the property owner where the tree has fallen is usually responsible for the costs of its removal. If a fallen tree was in poor health, dead or dying, or otherwise at greater risk of falling, it is usually the property owner’s responsibility on whose land the tree was growing. If the tree has caused property damage in falling, property owners’ insurance policies are likely to come into play as well.
In most cases, the same rules will apply, depending on the tree’s health before it fell. Trees that grow across property lines are usually the responsibility of all property owners on whose land the tree is growing. Removing a shared tree requires the consent of all responsible property owners. It’s essential to be aware that many insurance companies won’t pay out on a claim if a property owner can be proven to have known about a tree in poor health or otherwise at risk of falling and neglecting to take action. The risk of not being covered by your insurance underlines the importance of keeping an eye on the trees on your property and arranging for professional inspection and removal with our arborists, if needed, to help protect yourself from liabilities.
If You’re a Homeowner?
As mentioned, if a tree is in good condition on your property, you’re usually not responsible if it falls on your neighbor’s property. Still, you are accountable for your property. If, however, the fallen tree was damaged or unhealthy, you’re probably on the hook no matter where it’s fallen. Even worse, if your neighbor or insurance company can prove you knew about the tree’s poor condition but didn’t do anything about it, your insurance company may refuse to pay any related claims.
If You’re a Renter?
Unless your rental agreement states otherwise, your landlord is generally liable for tree removal costs on the property you rent. It’s a good idea, though, to alert your landlord if you notice dead or dying trees there or on neighboring lots.
If You’re a Landlord?
Landlords are usually the responsible parties for fallen trees on the properties they rent out unless rental agreements specifically state otherwise. Proactive maintenance and tree care can improve landlord-tenant relations and protect your investment as well.
If You’re a Neighbor?
If your neighbor’s healthy tree falls onto your property, you (and your insurance company) are generally responsible for its removal. If that tree was unhealthy, dying, or dead, the neighbor whose property it grew is most likely accountable instead. Alerting neighbors of trees that appear to be in poor shape and properly maintaining your trees is a wonderful way to be a good neighbor.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Port St. Lucie?
Our soil has a high sand content with our proximity to the coast, generally giving our area what’s called sandy loam soil. That means it’s a combination of a good quantity of sand mixed with some grains of rock (usually some type of quartz and feldspar) and a little bit of clay, too. Loamy soils are one of the best for growing things, though the higher sand content and high water table (water close to the land surface) remove some of the nutrients more quickly than in other soil types. In general, though, our soil combined with our tropical weather makes for an excellent tree-growing environment, as our Botanical Gardens so stunningly display.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Port St. Lucie?
Warm, humid weather and a full-year growing season mean optimal conditions for tree growing. The only major downside comes with hurricane season. With the hurricane season seeming to arrive earlier and last longer each year, our trees can be subject to more frequent bouts of buffeting winds that come with this severe weather. Preventive tree maintenance and checking trees after storms for signs of damage or weakness can help protect them (and you) from harm when the next storm blows through.
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Port St. Lucie?
Florida Power & Light (FPL) has a regular trimming and removal schedule to keep tree growth away from power lines and remove dead or damaged trees and limbs from the vicinity. On average, this utility company clears main power lines every three years and attends to neighborhood lines every six years. FPL suggests property owners keep trees healthy and well-maintained to reduce damage and outages during severe weather. They also encourage the use of their Right Tree, Right Place guidelines, along with the University of Florida’s Trees and Power Lines Guide when choosing and maintaining trees for your property.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Port St. Lucie?
Homeowners often postpone tree removal, expecting that the job will be too expensive. You may be pleased to know that in Port St. Lucie, tree removal costs are generally quite reasonable, ranging from $475 to $675 on average. Most removals fall between $200 and $2,100. Standing trees will cost more to remove than trees that have already fallen. Of course, every tree and its location are unique, and several factors can affect the cost of tree removal, including:
Permits and Other Compliance Costs
Because Port St. Lucie often requires a tree removal permit and landscape adjustments to mitigate that removal, additional fees and expenses may need to be added to our quote to comply.
Size of the Tree and Location Details
In most cases, small trees cost less to remove than larger trees. Still, many other details are at play when considering a tree’s location, including access to the tree and the presence of other structures, landscaping, power lines, and other details which can complicate a tree removal for our specialists.
Additional Work and Equipment Needed
Larger trees or more complex removals may require specialized equipment and a larger crew, which can all add to your cost. In addition, if you choose additional services such as log splitting, stump removal, stump grinding, limb chipping, and other optional work, your tree removal will generally be more expensive.