Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Decatur?
- 2 Does the City of Decatur Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Decatur?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Decatur?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Decatur?
- 6 What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Decatur?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Decatur?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Decatur?
Trees face a wide variety of diseases, pests, and environmental concerns that can jeopardize their health. Some of the most common concerns that Decatur property owners should be aware of include:
Decatur, Georgia, and the surrounding area can face intermittent seasonal droughts that damage trees’ root systems. When trees don’t have access to enough water, their anchoring roots can’t grow as far; the tree prioritizes foliage growth over root growth. This destabilizes affected trees and makes them more vulnerable to falling over in strong wind storms. Trees are particularly vulnerable to drought during Decatur’s dry seasons: spring and early autumn. Property owners can mitigate the effects of droughts by watering their trees in compliance with local water restrictions.
At the same time, Decatur trees may face root rot. Because the soil is often thick and has poor drainage, moisture can build up against roots and make them too soft or weak. Unfortunately, root rot isn’t directly visible. Shriveled and small leaves can be the first visible sign that a tree’s roots are starting to rot. Along with the moisture that lingers in poorly draining soil, trees may face an additional risk of root rot from exposure to adjacent pipes and air conditioning units.
Trees in Decatur are vulnerable to multiple different types of cankers, but cankers from the fungus Seiridium Unicorne are among the most prevalent. Symptoms of this disease include visible cankers, reddish or dark splotches on the bark with visible resin in the cracks, and withering leaves. There are no chemical treatments for this fungus, and severely impacted trees will need to be removed before the fungus spreads to adjacent trees.
Japanese beetles target approximately 300 types of trees, consuming leaves and flowers in the spring and summer months (especially June). Infested trees can’t effectively photosynthesize and slow their growth. We can use insecticides to treat infested trees, and there are preventative sprays to deter the beetles. Other similar pests in the area include aphids, pine beetles (which attack pines), and ambrosia beetles (which attack damaged or drought-affected trees).
Does the City of Decatur Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
DeKalb County provides residential and special collection services for the removal of twigs, tree branches, and cut portions of tree trunks that are sized appropriately for collection (at less than 50 pounds and shorter than four feet in length). While Decatur does not offer financial assistance for removing trees on private property, the county provides resources and guides to help property owners take the right risk assessment and treatment steps.
DeKalb County requires property owners to provide a Notice of Tree Removal if you’re planning to remove five or more trees. This helps ensure property owners stay in compliance with local tree requirements and ordinances. However, this requirement is waived if a tree is dead, diseased, documented as a potential risk by an arborist.
Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Decatur?
Georgia law presumes a duty of care regarding trees, and it presumes that the property owner of the land surrounding the base of the tree’s trunk is the owner of the tree itself. However, that doesn’t mean the owner is responsible for all fallen tree removal. Let’s look at common scenarios:
If you’re a homeowner?
If you own residential property with a tree and that tree falls onto your property due to natural events or tree damage, you’re responsible for arranging the tree’s removal. However, your home insurance provider may cover some or all of the costs. Depending on the particulars of the policy and the reason the tree fell, it may be covered.
If you’re a renter?
If you rent a home or apartment, your landlord is responsible for removing any fallen trees. We recommend you report the fallen tree and any resulting structural damage to the property owner. If any of your personal property is damaged by the tree, your renter’s insurance policy may partially or fully cover the replacement costs.
If you’re a landlord?
Because you own the property, you’re generally responsible for removing (or arranging the removal of) fallen trees on the premises. If the tree causes damage to the structure of any buildings on your property, then your insurance provider may cover the costs of the damage. However, you are generally not responsible for covering the replacement costs for your tenants’ belongings that may have been damaged.
If you’re a neighbor?
This situation can be complicated. However, if your neighbor’s tree falls onto your property, it becomes your responsibility to remove it. Your insurance provider may cover some or all of the costs of removing the tree.
There is one exception: if the tree fell due to negligence on the part of the tree owner, they may be held responsible for tree removal or liable for any resulting damage.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Decatur?
The soil in Decatur and most of DeKalb County is loamy soil and has varying degrees of drainage quality. Loamy soil is composed of clay, silt, and sand, and it has plenty of nutrients to encourage healthy plant and tree growth. These soil conditions generally ensure that trees have access to the minerals they need to minimize the risk of chlorosis, so the trees are strong enough to withstand many opportunistic diseases and infestations.
However, some regions across Decatur are home to poorly draining loamy soil. This increases the risk of root rot, which can cause significant damage and shorten the healthy lifespan of the tree.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Decatur?
Decatur has a humid subtropical climate, with hot and humid summers and cool winters. Because of hot temperatures and vulnerability to drought, the area’s climate can lead to underdeveloped tree root systems. Intermittent droughts in loamy soil can also make dried soil pull away from the roots, leading to even more stability and vulnerability to strong winds. The driest portions of the year are spring and early fall, so we recommend that property owners inspect the soil around their trees during these seasons and water the tree bases to the extent allowed under local water conservation restrictions.
While winters are typically cool rather than cold, there can be snowstorms. Snowstorms that weigh down trees with ice or snow can lead to broken branches and felled trees.
Decatur falls in the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 7b. If you’re planning on planting new trees on your property, look for trees that have optimal growth conditions in 7b and are resistant to both drought and moisture damage.
What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Decatur?
Dead trees and broken branches that land on power lines can disrupt power distribution and cause outages. This can happen during severe wind storms or if trees overgrow around power lines. Trees can conduct electricity, so if you come across a tree leaning against power lines, shuffle (rather than walk) quickly away from the area to reduce the risk of injury.
Georgia Power is one of the primary utility companies providing services to Decatur, Georgia, the other being Walton EMC. Both organizations actively maintain safe operating conditions around distribution power lines by pruning trees away from power lines. Walton EMC also replaces threatening trees that they have to remove to protect the power line. If you observe dead trees near or touching power lines, we recommend that you report the problem to your utility company or notify the city on a non-emergency line. It’s important that you stay away from the tree and don’t attempt to remove it yourself.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Decatur?
Tree removal costs vary depending on the particular factors of the job. Is the tree tall? Is it near power lines or other structures? How healthy is the tree? Decatur tree removal can range from $400 to $1,700. Let’s look at some common factors that can affect the cost of your project.
The Size of the Tree
Bigger trees are more expensive to remove. Both the height of the tree and the girth of the trunk should be considered. Taller trees make tree removal riskier, especially if there are structures nearby. We may need to use a crane and other specialty equipment for tall trees.
The size of the tree trunk and foliage also affect the total cost. If the tree has a full, thick foliage, that may require additional disposal trips and cleanup. Thicker trunks may also need to be cut into smaller portions to fell the tree and remove it from the site safely.
The Condition of the Tree
Trees that have already fallen typically have a smaller price for removal. Also, trees that are rotten or dead are easier for us to cut into sections and remove. Healthy trees (especially if they are still standing) take more time to cut. However, if the tree is being removed because it’s infected with a disease or fungus or infested with pests, it may incur more costs for proper disposal to limit the spread of the problem. Our tree specialists can assess the health of the tree and any underlying complications that may affect the health and safety of other trees on your property.
As part of your tree removal project, you may want us to perform additional services such as tree trimming or stump grinding. When trees are removed, their trunks are cut close to the ground; however, that doesn’t include removing the base of the tree or the root system. During stump grinding, our team can grind away the tree trunk until it’s relatively level with the ground; we can also grind down obtrusive root systems that may be a tripping or safety hazard on your property.