Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Stone Mountain?
- 2 Does the City of Stone Mountain Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Stone Mountain?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Stone Mountain?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Stone Mountain?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Stone Mountain?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Stone Mountain?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Stone Mountain?
When people think about Stone Mountain, Georgia, they often picture in their mind the tall rock that takes up approximately 5-miles in diameter and reaches 1,686-feet tall at its summit. Admittedly, it is an impressive sight to see since it is the largest exposed mass of granite in the world.
However, residents of Stone Mountain know that it is much more than a mountain. The City of Stone Mountain is a suburb of Atlanta’s bright lights. Though they share a name, the town does not hold the actual mountain.
It does hold more than 6,300 people, nice, quiet neighborhoods, and all the conveniences of a small town in Georgia. It is an excellent step away from the concrete and asphalt of Atlanta, just 20-miles away, where you will find an abundance of trees and greenery.
With all the trees around the area, it isn’t surprising that there are threats to them. Some of the most common tree health issues are:
- Spider Mites: These are prevalent pests in North Georgia. They are insects that build webs on the underside of leaves and are impossible to see with the naked eye. As they feed on the bottom of the leaves, the topside will turn brown.
- Powdery Mildew: Because Georgia is so hot and humid during the summer, many trees develop white dust on their leaves. If left untreated, it can lead to death for the infected leaves and a reduced growth rate for the tree.
- Moth Grubs: This insect attacks mainly fruit trees. They can hide in the tree throughout the winter months and attack the new growth and fruits as they start to develop.
- Black Knot: This causes abnormal bumps on the tree limb. It causes the tree to bend in unusual ways, especially if they aren’t treated.
- Oak Leaf Blister: This is a disease that stems from hot and humid weather conditions. The leaves of an affected tree will develop what appears to be blisters. It is not “harmful” but can make a tree less beautiful.
Does the City of Stone Mountain Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
No designated “tree removal programs” are available in DeKalb County or the surrounding area. However, this does not mean you are on your own.
Georgia offers a variety of tree replacement assistance programs like Georgia ReLeaf and the Georgia Tree Council. These programs are great if you have lost a tree due to storm damage or other natural occurrences.
If you have a severe problem with your trees, you can visit or contact the Georgia Forestry Commission. They may be able to offer advice when you need it most.
If you are clearing your personal property and need to have many trees removed, you may consider selling your timber. This program is best suited for land clearing.
Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Stone Mountain?
DeKalb County requires people to have their trees inspected before they are removed in certain situations. The responsibility for filing Notice of Tree Removal forms or permits, site plans, and photos of the tree you want to remove is the tree owner’s responsibility. If they are unable to do it, they can choose a certified arborist to handle it.
Beyond that, Georgia’s tree laws are complex if a tree falls by natural occurrences.
If You’re a Homeowner?
Tree ownership is determined by where the roots of a tree are located. If the tree has its roots and trunk mostly on your property, you are the owner of it. However, if it falls, you are not always responsible for the damages. Legally, for you to be liable for damages or injuries, you would have to know that it was diseased or dead before it fell for you to be held accountable. The proof can come from having your neighbor tell you it was dead or being advised by the County that you should remove it.
If high winds take down a healthy tree, you will not be liable. You will be responsible for cleaning your property. If part of the tree lands in your neighbor’s yard, they must take care of it.
If You’re a Renter?
Under the “Visitors’ and Tenants’ Use of the Rental Unit” of the Georgia Landlord-Tenant Handbook, a section titled “Altering the Unit.” This section states that you, as a renter, cannot substantially or permanently alter the property. This means you should not cut down or remove a tree without permission in writing from your landlord. If it falls naturally, your landlord, as the property owner, will be the one who needs to handle it.
You should tell your landlord if you suspect that a tree is diseased or dying. Prior notice will allow them to take care of it before it falls when possible.
If You’re a Landlord?
In Georgia, as a landlord, you are responsible for keeping a rental unit safe and habitable for your tenant. Therefore, if a tree on the property is causing concern or one that falls, you will need to remove it.
You must keep the unit and access to it safe for your tenants. Repairs to the structure are your responsibility. If you fail to do any of the above, your tenant may be able to move out without having to worry about breaking the lease agreement with you.
If you cannot do it, you and your tenant can work out an agreement called “Repair-and-Deduct.” This agreement allows your tenant to hire a professional like Tree Triage to remove the tree out of their pocket. Then, that total is subtracted from the rent they owe you for rent. You and your tenant must put this agreement in writing, and it should only cover the removal of the fallen tree.
If You’re a Neighbor?
In Georgia, if a healthy tree falls toward your property from your neighbor’s lawn, they are not obligated to pay for the removal or damages. Your homeowner’s insurance should pick up the cost. If you have reason to feel the tree is dead or dying, you should take photographs of it and tell your neighbor of your concerns in writing. Putting it in writing protects you in case the tree does fall. You will be able to prove they knew about the problem and ignored it. They will then be liable for the damage to your property.
Keep in mind that you can trim the tree limbs that concern you if they extend over your property. It is best to consult with the tree owner before doing it. We suggest that you get the agreement in writing before you touch it. It will allow you to trim their tree, hire our experts to cut it, and make sure that the time of year is right not to damage it.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Stone Mountain?
Stone Mountain, Georgia, is in an area known as a Piedmont. This means that the soil in this area is mostly clay and sandy loam with some granite. The topsoil is generally Cecil soils, which gives the ground a gray, brown, or reddish soil color.
At approximately 12-15 inches under the surface, you will find red clay or saprolite. It is common all over the Piedmont area and is caused by weathering over time. The red coloring is created with a mixture of silicon, iron oxides, and aluminum. This type of clay soil can erode quickly, making trees a necessity to prevent erosion.
Unfortunately, the clay may become tightly compacted with all the sand on top of it. The compaction can pose a problem for some tree species. It can also cause root rot because of how well it holds water. To avoid issues with your trees, you are urged to choose trees native to North Georgia and the Piedmont region. The best trees are:
- Southern Magnolias
These trees have roots that are built for the Piedmont area. They protect the soil and get all the nutrients they need from it.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Stone Mountain?
North Georgia’s climate can be challenging for trees. There are long hot summers and sometimes severe storms that come in off the Gulf of Mexico. Tornadoes, hurricane damage, high winds, and drought are all possible. Each of these weather types can bring even healthy trees down. Then you have to deal with diseases that come from all the heat and humidity. The worst are powdery mildew and oak blister diseases.
There is an average of 50 to 60 inches of rain each year. The amount of rainfall is excellent for growing plants and trees. However, it is predicted that climate change will alter Georgia’s Piedmont area and increase the risk of droughts and severe storms.
The winter months are mild in Stone Mountain. On average, there is only a couple of inches of snow each year and average low temperatures around 30- to 40-degrees. The mild weather makes it easy for trees to go through their natural cycles and transition from dormant to growing at the right times of the year.
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Stone Mountain?
If you notice a dead tree in Stone Mountain, you should contact your local electric company first. For some people, this means calling Georgia Power. When you call, make sure you have the exact location of the tree or the limb, and someone will come out to remove it as soon as possible.
This service does not apply to power lines and trees that are on your property. For this, you can contact Georgia Power. They can turn off your power and allow you the time to get a professional tree trimmer like Tree Triage to remove the problem.
If you feel that the tree poses an imminent danger for yourself or others, you can call 911 and get help quickly. However, you are urged to contact the power company first and warn others nearby to avoid the area if you can do so safely.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Stone Mountain?
Without seeing the tree first, you should expect your tree removal to cost between $270.00 and $2,150.00. Most homeowners average around $560.00 total. Your cost could be higher or lower depending on several factors that you must consider.
Small trees will cost less to remove. They have less bulk and smaller root systems. It takes us less time to bring them down and clean up afterward. Large trees, such as those taller than 10-feet, will be more complex and cost you more.
The condition of the tree plays a huge role in the price of its removal. Healthy trees are most manageable and cheaper for us to remove.
A dead tree is often more dangerous than a live tree. This can mean that it has to be brought down in sections, which will require more time. Diseased trees are challenging since the last thing you want to do is spread the disease to nearby trees.
If your tree is near power lines or buildings, then your price could go up. This is because it takes more skill, time, and equipment to bring it down without damaging anything else. A tree that is not near other structures will be cheaper.