Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Stuart?
- 2 Does the City of Stuart Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Stuart?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Stuart?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Stuart?
- 6 What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Stuart?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Stuart?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Stuart?
Like many areas in Florida, Stuart is characterized by lush green plants and a variety of trees. However, the trees in Stuart aren’t free from problems and threats. When trees suffer from threats that seriously undermine their structure and strength, they might require removal. These are some of the most common issues affecting trees in Stuart.
While there are a variety of plants thriving in Stuart, not all of them are good for the ecosystem. Many types of plants that aren’t native to the area can cause damage to native trees. For instance, invasive vines that grow quickly can take over large areas and grow over tree trunks and branches. These vines become so heavy they break branches and damage trees. Invasive tree species that aren’t native to Stuart may have shallow root systems and be susceptible to toppling and damaging other trees in the process. Other fast-growing invasive trees are vulnerable to wildfires which damage native trees, as well. Common invasive trees in Stuart include:
- Old World Climbing Fern
- Melaleuca Tree
- Australian Pine
- Rosary Pea
Diseases that affect trees can cause poor health, declining appearance, and premature tree death. There are several tree diseases that affect trees in Stuart. Most often, the diseases are caused by pests and fungus. The most common tree diseases in the area include:
- Fusiform Rust: One of the most destructive tree diseases in the southeast, this disease is caused by a fungus. Symptoms include galls on the main stem of the tree that form yellow-orange blisters. Spores are discovered when the infected trunk or branch breaks open.
- Laurel Wilt: Spread by the non-native redbay ambrosia beetle, laurel wilt is a fungal disease affecting redbay, swamp bay, and avocado trees, as well as other trees in the Laurel family. Symptoms include wilted canopy, dark streaks beneath trunk bark, and tiny holes and sawdust tubes, eventually leading to tree death.
- Dutch Elm Disease: A fungal disease spread by the elm bark beetle, Dutch Elm Disease affects the vascular system of trees. Symptoms include yellowing and wilted leaves, early leaf drop, branch death, brown streaking in sapwood, and premature tree death.
- Brown Spot Needle Blight: A fungal disease that affects longleaf pines, this disease can kill seedlings. Older trees are affected by yellow or brown spots on needles and dying needles.
- Ganoderma: Caused by a pathogen, this disease aggressively attacks tree roots. Symptoms include wilting and yellowed leaves, decaying sapwood, and the appearance of fruiting bodies on the lower tree trunk, leading to premature tree death.
Many types of insects feed on tree bark, wood, and leaves. These insects can infest trees, leading to extensive damage and even premature tree death. Insect infestations that don’t kill trees still lead to tree stress that can allow disease and other factors to inflict further damage. The most common insects that impact trees in Stuart include:
- Elm Bark Beetles: These beetles dig holes in tree trunks and lay eggs beneath the bark. When eggs hatch, the larvae feed on the wood inside the tree. Damage from Elm Bark Beetles occurs with the spread of Dutch Elm Disease.
- Sri Lanka Weevil: These pests attack a wide range of host trees including many tropical fruit trees. Adult insects feed on the leaves while larvae feed on the roots. Feeding inhibits tree growth and can lead to its death.
- Mealybugs: Ornamental and landscape trees are often affected by these insects. Mealybugs feed on the juices of trees and plant sap. The damage injures trees and plants and can lead to premature tree death.
- Southern Pine Beetles: Typically a scavenger of dying pines, these beetles become a danger to living trees when their population increases. Adult beetles attack stressed trees and tunnel beneath the bark to lay egg galleries. These galleries are often shaped in the letter S patterns. This tunneling leads to rapid tree death within months of infestation.
Like many areas in Florida, Stuart is no stranger to severe storms. Thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes bring about high winds, hail, driving rain, and lightning. These types of storms inflict major damage to trees of all types and sizes. Tree damage from storms may include:
- Uprooted trees
- Broken branches and tree trunks
- Lightning damage
- Fractured tree structure
- Trees that affect power lines and buildings
Does the City of Stuart Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
While the city of Stuart doesn’t specifically provide tree removal services, Martin County provides assistance for right-of-way tree removal in areas of Stuart that are maintained by the county. This may include dead or dying trees, those that create a visibility issue for motorists, and trees that create a safety hazard.
Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Stuart?
Unless otherwise noted in a lease or caretaker agreement, property owners are generally responsible for tree removal in Stuart. The city ordinance regarding solid waste states “The owners, custodians, agents, lessees or occupants of real property within the city shall not permit the accumulation thereon of dead and dying trees and limbs.”
If you’re a homeowner?
As a homeowner, you’re responsible for removing fallen trees and the resulting debris on your property. If you were informed that the tree was dead, damaged, or otherwise a hazard before the tree fell, you may also be responsible for damage and debris on your neighbor’s property.
If you’re a renter?
Unless it’s noted on your rental or lease contract, you’re not responsible for tree trimming or removal. Fallen tree removal is usually the responsibility of the property owner, so contact your landlord to discuss the removal of fallen or hazardous trees.
If you’re a landlord?
Often, as a landlord in Stuart, you’re also the property owner and are responsible for removing fallen trees. If you’re a property manager instead of the owner, your contract should outline your responsibilities regarding tree removal.
If you’re a neighbor?
This question comes up frequently after severe storms in Stuart. Florida law states that property owners are generally only responsible for damage and debris of fallen trees on their own property. The exception occurs if your neighbor was notified of a dead tree on the property and did nothing to take care of the danger before the tree fell. If your property is affected by the fall of a tree your neighbor was aware was dead, your neighbor is responsible for damage and debris removal.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Stuart?
In many Florida counties, acidic soil affects trees in a variety of ways. However, coastal cities like Stuart typically have alkaline soil with a high pH. Alkaline soils cannot be permanently changed. Therefore, it’s best to search for trees that thrive in alkaline soil. Trees affected by soil alkalinity may experience chronic long-term issues characterized by chlorosis, low vigor, poor growth, and stem dieback. These trees are often missing nutrients like iron or manganese.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Stuart?
Yes, severe storms are the main weather culprits affecting trees in Stuart. Severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes affect the area, causing significant tree damage. The residents of Stuart see more than their fair share of hurricanes, typically noting the effects every two or three years. Additionally, thunderstorms with high winds and hail are common during the spring and summer months. These storms have the following effects on trees in the area.
- Trees uprooted by high winds
- Hail and heavy rain damage to foliage
- Damaged and broken branches
- Damaged trunk and tree structure
- Fallen and uprooted trees on power lines and buildings
- Damaged trees creating potential safety hazards
What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Stuart?
While Florida Power and Light encourages customers to maintain trees and other vegetation before they grow close to power lines, the company warns against cutting hazardous trees near or touching power lines. If you observe dead trees near power lines in Stuart, contact FPL immediately.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Stuart?
While costs of tree removal can vary, costs in Stuart usually range between $200 and $1,750, with an average cost of $520. Certain factors can make removal more complicated and increase the cost of removal.
Inspections and Permits
A permit is required to remove protected trees in Stuart. The city of Stuart outlines an extensive list of city trees and flowering trees that can only be removed under certain conditions. The ordinance also outlines requirements for specimen trees and heirloom trees as follows.
- City trees over 4.5 inches in diameter are protected.
- Slash pines over 8 inches in diameter are protected.
- Flowering trees over 6 inches in diameter are protected.
- Historic Trees are those that have achieved fifty percent (50%) or more of the DBH of the Florida Champion of the spec Mangrove Protection.
The cost of permit inspections, applications, or other costs associated with acquiring a permit from the city may increase the cost of your tree removal. The cost includes materials and labor but may exclude other costs like sales tax and inspection fees.
Trees affected by storms can create dangerous conditions for removal. In these instances, our team is required to take certain precautions to remove damaged trees safely. This can mean extra time is required for removal and specialized equipment may be required as well. While our team works hard to keep the properties of our customers safe following dangerous storms and hurricanes, the extra requirements for hazardous removal may reflect a slight increase in removal costs.
The Size and Location of the Tree
Large trees require more time and tools for removal than smaller trees. These trees are more likely to endanger buildings and adjoining properties than smaller trees. Additionally, trees that are difficult to gain access to can increase the cost of removal as well since they can make it difficult for our professionals to bring in essential equipment.