Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Seffner?
- 2 Does the City of Seffner Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Seffner?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Seffner?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Seffner?
- 6 What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Seffner?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Seffner?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Seffner?
Located just outside Tampa, Seffner is a beautiful little community surrounded by towering oak trees and picturesque lakes. We have a population of just over 8,000 and our proximity to nearby cities makes it easy to stay connected while still enjoying the natural beauty of the area. In fact, the Eureka Springs Park is just a few miles up the road and is packed full of lush tropical plant life.
Unfortunately, the trees in this area are not immune to pests and diseases. Here are a few of the most common tree problems we see in Seffner.
Lethal Bronzing Disease
The lethal bronzing disease was first identified in Hillsborough County in 2006. It is spread by insects that pierce the trunk of the tree to feed on the sap, introducing damaging bacteria in the process. Lethal bronzing disease impacts many species of palm trees. The first symptom is often fruit falling prematurely from the tree, but if the tree is not producing fruit, the first sign of this illness will be leaf discoloration. Once symptoms begin appearing, it is too late to save the tree. Removal is necessary to prevent the spread of the disease.
This disease impacts pine trees across the southeast, often targeting loblolly pines in particular. It is easily identifiable by the oblong cankers that will form on the trunk and branches of infected trees. Research indicates that certain pines have genetic resistance to this disease, which means that it is possible to plant more resistant trees in areas that are impacted by fusiform rust.
Ganoderma Butt Rot
This disease is lethal to palms and can present as wilting, a general decline in tree health, and a hard structure called a conk that may appear on the bottom of the palm’s trunk. There is no known cure and the tree should be removed immediately if it is diagnosed with this disease. Additionally, as the disease-causing fungus can survive in the soil, we do not recommend planting another palm in the same area.
Does the City of Seffner Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
Seffner is an unincorporated community, meaning that Hillsborough County will be responsible for supplying permits and removing trees that have fallen on public property. If a tree or its branches have fallen in the public right-of-way, you can submit an online request or contact the County’s customer service center at (813) 635-5400 to request that they remove it.
However, Hillsborough County will not provide assistance in removing trees from private property. In most cases, you will need to apply for a permit in order to remove a tree from your yard. The application fee is $81.65 and if you have over five acres of land you will need to pay an additional $24.93 per acre. However, if the tree on your property is completely dead and is not located in an environmentally sensitive area, you will not need a permit to remove it. The County recommends taking pictures and having our arborists examine your tree before removal so that you can definitively prove that it was dead.
Hillsborough County provides residents with a Residential Tree Removal Guide, which can be very beneficial in answering any additional questions you may have. You can also check to see if your tree is exempt from tree removal permits. Exempt trees include:
- Orchid tree
- Australian pine
- Cherry laurel
- Queen palm
Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Seffner?
Most of the time, the person who owns the property will be responsible for fallen tree removal. However, sometimes the situation isn’t as clear-cut, and trying to figure out who should remove the tree is simply another added stress. To simplify things, here’s what you should do based on the following common scenarios:
If you’re a homeowner?
As a homeowner, you will be responsible for removing a fallen tree from your own property. If the tree was healthy when it fell, you may be able to receive assistance from your insurance. If, on the other hand, the tree was dead or diseased, its falling could be classified as negligence. If this is the case, your insurance is unlikely to provide reimbursement. According to Florida Fence and Property Law, if the tree fell due to negligence you may also need to pay for any damages inflicted on your neighbor’s property.
If you’re a renter?
Renters are not generally responsible for the removal of fallen trees, as they do not own the property. Hillsborough County recommends doing a walk-through of every property before you move in and documenting any damages for your landlord. You can pay particular attention to the health of the trees, so you know your landlord has advanced warning of any problems.
If the landlord does not promptly remove a fallen tree, you may have the right to withhold rent if you send a Certified letter seven days in advance. However, the County recommends discussing this with a lawyer first to ensure you are within your rights in your specific situation.
If you’re a landlord?
As a landlord, you are responsible for following all building and health codes on your properties, even if you do not live there. If you become aware that a tree has fallen on one of your properties, you should arrange for its removal as soon as possible.
If you’re a neighbor?
If your neighbor’s tree falls onto your property in Seffner, responsibility for removal will depend on why the tree fell. Florida Fence and Property Law stipulates that as a general rule, you will be responsible for the tree’s removal if it was healthy before falling, while your neighbor will be responsible for its removal if it was dead or severely diseased. However, this is not a hard and fast rule, and you may need to contact a lawyer to resolve disputes.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Seffner?
The soil in Seffner tends to be sandy, with subpar drainage. This type of soil, called Myakka, is only found in Florida and covers most of the state. Because it does not hold nutrients particularly well, sandy soil can have a negative impact on plants that are not well-suited to this environment. Adding fertilizer can increase the amount of nutrients in the soil, helping maintain plant health. Trees that do well in sandy soil include:
- Red oak
- White pine
- White cedar
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Seffner?
Hillsborough County has a subtropical climate, with frequent winds from the Gulf of Mexico. Summers here tend to be very humid, while winters are shorter and milder. This area experiences frequent thunderstorms, with an average annual rainfall of approximately 50 inches. Although the area can experience hurricanes, the intense rains tend to cause more damage than the wind. As such, trees in this area must be able to withstand high amounts of moisture and subtropical temperatures.
What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Seffner?
Dead trees near power lines pose a significant safety risk, as they can become energized and cause fires or even potential electrocution. Electric utility companies therefore closely monitor power lines to ensure that hazardous trees or branches can be rapidly removed. According to OSHA guidelines, only qualified line-clearance tree trimmers are allowed to trim trees within ten feet of a power line.
In Seffner, Tampa Electric is in charge of trimming hazardous trees near power lines on public property. They utilize a Vegetation Management program to improve the security and reliability of power lines throughout Hillsborough County. In fact, their dedication to safely trimming trees led Tampa Electric to be recognized as a “Tree Line USA” utility by the National Arbor Day Foundation.
If you spot a hazardous tree or tree limb, you can report it to Tampa Electric by filling out this form. In an urgent situation where you see sparks or have lost power, you should call the customer care line directly at (813) 223-0800.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Seffner?
In Seffner, homeowners can generally expect to spend anywhere from $350 to about $2,100 on tree removal, with average costs of approximately $600. However, there are several factors that can influence these costs, including:
Location of the Tree
Trees located on sloping ground or near other structures are much more challenging to safely remove, as they require more of our crew members and equipment. When trees are on flat ground and have a fair amount of space around them, prices will generally drop.
Height and Width of the Tree
Trees shorter than 20 feet tend to be easier to remove, and will therefore not cost as much. Larger trees, on the other hand, require more time and equipment and leave behind a fair amount of debris. As such, the price of labor will rise. Larger trees are also more likely to require a permit to remove. In Seffner, Hillsborough County instructs residents to measure the circumference of the tree and divide this number by 3.14 to determine the tree’s Diameter at Breast Height (DBH). The larger this number is, the more likely it is that you will need a permit for its removal. For example, if you live in a single-family home and the tree in your yard has a DBH of 12 inches or more, you will need to apply for a permit and pay the application fee. If you need assistance, you can contact our specialists to do the hard work for you!
The Tree Is a Grand Oak
In Seffner, Grand Oaks are an incredibly valuable tree and are protected by stricter regulations. To be designated a Grand Oak, a tree must meet a number of size requirements and be in good condition. If you would like to remove one of these trees, you must obtain approval from Hillsborough County. You will also be required to pay to replace it, thus creating additional expenses.