Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Saint Petersburg?
- 2 Does the City of Saint Petersburg Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Saint Petersburg?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Saint Petersburg?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Saint Petersburg?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Saint Petersburg?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Saint Petersburg?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Saint Petersburg?
Located between the Gulf Coast and Tampa Bay, Saint Petersburg is known as the “Sunshine City” and holds the record for most consecutive sunny days (768). There are also multiple different tree species seen throughout the area. While Saint Petersburg generally sees warm weather due to its location on the Gulf of Mexico, the city also sees hurricanes, which is not usually great for trees. Additionally, the abundance of fruit trees can attract insects and other diseases.
- Hurricanes and heavy rainfall cause the majority of tree issues in Saint Petersburg. The annual rainfall is around 51 inches, with 45% occurring in August alone. Interestingly, while this is higher than the national average of 36 inches, it is lower than many areas in Florida.
- Insects, parasites, and other tree diseases affect the many fruit trees in the area. Tropical fruit trees, such as mango, papaya, and avocado, do well in the tropical climate, but the flip side is the insects that come with the trees.
- You can only remove protected trees and trees considered Grand or Signature if they are deemed hazardous. Protected trees include large shade trees with a diameter of four inches or more, such as Cypress and Oak trees, and understory trees with a diameter of eight inches or more, such as Cedar and Plum trees. Grand trees are any protected tree wider than 30-inches in diameter, except Laurel Oak trees. A Signature tree is any tree that is non-native and is significant to the area due to size, prevalence, or history. These include Banyan and Jacaranda trees.
Does the City of Saint Petersburg Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
Yes, the City of Saint Petersburg does provide some assistance. Typically, this is only for trees that are considered hazardous or on nonresidential property. Additionally, most tree removal requires a permit, and you can only remove certain trees if they are deemed dangerous. This guideline generally excludes damage from hurricanes. The city does assist with tree removal and cleanup from major storms, but you should keep in mind that you will not be the only person impacted by a storm, so tree removal may not happen quickly. Unless the tree is near a power line or blocks public roads and buildings, it may be quicker for you to facilitate tree removal by calling in our experts.
Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Saint Petersburg?
Except for falling trees due to hurricane damage, the person responsible may not always be straightforward when a tree falls and needs to be removed. If your tree fell into the street, are you or the city liable? If your neighbor’s tree falls into your house, are you responsible, or are they? If you are a renter, are you accountable or your landlord? If you are a landlord, is your renter responsible, or are you? If a tree falls and nobody is around, does it still make a sound? Let’s find out.
If You’re a Homeowner?
If a tree falls in your yard, you are generally responsible for removing it regardless of where it came from. If your tree falls into the street, you are responsible for contacting the city, and they may or may not provide financial assistance. Additionally, suppose the tree that falls was diseased or already dead when it falls. In that case, you are responsible for removal, no matter where it falls, and most homeowner’s policies will not pay for it if they can determine you knew there was a problem. A tree that falls into your neighbor’s yard would not be your responsibility unless it were your fault. However, this is a situation where helping your neighbors is probably the right thing to do.
If You’re a Renter?
Generally, if you are renting your home, you cannot remove a fallen tree. You should read your lease carefully to make sure you did not agree to be responsible for any fallen tree removal. Renters insurance will usually cover costs to personal property associated with damage from the tree. It is your responsibility to call your landlord as soon as possible if a tree falls on your house or anywhere else on the property. If you are responsible for the tree falling, maybe you backed into it by mistake. Your landlord will likely come to you to pay for the damages and removal of the tree, and your renter’s insurance will probably not pay for any damages in this situation.
If You’re a Landlord?
As the property owner, your responsibilities are similar to a homeowner, in that you are responsible for removing any fallen trees. Promptly communicate with your renter and the City if needed to assess damages and facilitate removal. If you find that your renter was responsible for the tree falling, and you can prove this, you are generally within your rights to require the renter to pay for the removal of the tree and any damages.
If You’re a Neighbor?
If a tree falls on your property, unless you can prove your neighbor knew the tree was dangerous and failed to do anything about it, you are responsible for having the tree removed. Generally, though, your homeowner’s policy will cover the damage and costs. If you have any concerns about your neighbor’s trees, it is a worthwhile idea to discuss these concerns before the tree falling, but unless there is something wrong with the tree that makes it dangerous, the law will not require them to remove it.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Saint Petersburg?
The soil in Saint Petersburg is mainly sandy, with various drainage levels. This type of soil is looser and does not retain moisture very well, making it more difficult for trees to access nutrients. Palm trees and Cypress trees typically do well in this type of soil, which is why they are so common in Saint Petersburg and other tropical climates. Unfortunately, this soil is also more prone to erosion, particularly in hurricane-prone areas, like Saint Petersburg.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Saint Petersburg?
Yes, even though the sun and warm climate are beneficial for many trees, hurricanes and heavy rains are not. And because of Saint Petersburg’s location right along the Gulf of Mexico, it is a prime hurricane zone. Additionally, the tropical climate is only conducive to specific trees and can lead to problems from wind, insects, and heavy rains. An interesting note on Cypress trees, they are beneficial during storm season because they aid in stormwater drainage.
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Saint Petersburg?
Dead trees near power lines are hazardous, and you should not attempt to remove them on your own. Because Saint Petersburg sees a large amount of rain and hurricanes every year, unfortunately, trees and tree branches falling on power lines is a common occurrence. According to Florida Public Utilities, their Tree-Line Maintenance Program is responsible for monitoring and maintaining trees that are near power lines. If you see a tree touching a power line, they ask that you call them immediately. They routinely do preventative trimming and clean up any debris, though they note that it may take a few days for this to happen. Before removing trees on your property, they will attempt to contact you, except in emergency cases. If they have to remove trees from your property and are unable to notify you prior, they will leave a note on your door.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Saint Petersburg?
Because every tree is different, and every removal is different, there are generally no set prices. On average, in Saint Petersburg, it can cost between $200 and $1,300 to remove the tree. Your homeowner’s insurance may cover some or all of the cost, minus a deductible, depending on what the reason for removal is. Because the city of Saint Petersburg requires most tree removals, this will add to the cost of removal. We can supply or help you apply for the needed permits.
Height and Circumference of Tree
The taller the tree and the wider the tree, the higher the cost is to remove it. The amount of time and resources needed increases significantly, which increases the cost. Saint Petersburg also has a very high population density, making tree removal more difficult.
Removing a tree is much easier in a more rural area than in a densely populated city. However, most of Saint Petersburg is not rural, and therefore more caution and planning are needed before removing trees near structures and personal property. The added planning required makes tree removal more expensive and requires more time and people.
Protected trees and trees that are considered Grand or Signature are almost impossible to remove unless the City deems them hazardous. You are not only required to have a permit to trim these trees, but you must also obtain a Tree Report from a Certified Arborist or a Landscape Architect before trimming or removing these trees. If you remove any of these trees without a permit, and it was not deemed hazardous, the penalties can be expensive. In addition to a fine and an after-the-fact permit, you will generally have to pay for replanting. Even if you cannot replant a tree, the city will still charge you a fee in-lieu of onsite replanting. The example used by the city involves the removal of a 30-inch Grand Tree, and the charge for replanting alone is over five thousand dollars. The fine and an after-the-fact permit add about fifteen hundred dollars.