Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Ames?
- 2 Does the City of Ames Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Ames?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Ames?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Ames?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Ames?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Ames?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Ames?
We all know what a great place Ames is to live, and apparently, the rest of the world is learning about us, too. In recent years, we’ve been in the top rankings for numerous awards, including Best College Town, Best US Job Market, Most Fitness Friendly Cities, Healthiest Cities in America, Best Cities for Entrepreneurs, and, our favorite, Best Places to Live. From our reasonable cost of living and beautiful, vibrant neighborhoods to a thriving dining scene and plenty of opportunities to get outdoors, we have a little of everything for everyone. Tree-lined streets and shady yards aren’t just appealing and good for the environment, trees can improve home value by as much as fifteen percent. Unfortunately, with all those trees comes the responsibility of caring for them, which sometimes means having a tree removed. Most of the time, the trees we’re called to remove are the victims of diseases, insects, or weather-related damage, including:
- Oak Wilt: One of the most harmful diseases of oak trees, oak wilt affects red oaks most aggressively and can kill infected trees in a matter of weeks, sometimes. This fungus is spread by insects, grafted roots, and careless transport of firewood from affected trees. Affected trees should be removed as quickly as possible to prevent its spread.
- Bur Oak Blight: Causing leaves to fall prematurely and worsening over time, bur oak blight is a fungal infection affecting primarily bur oaks and swamp white oaks, and can eventually be fatal.
- Dutch Elm Disease: One of the most well-known tree diseases, Dutch elm disease spreads among elm trees when roots connect underground, or when carried by insects that bore into the bark. Affected trees will usually die unless treated in the early stages of the disease.
- Anthracnose: This fungal infection affects many of our most popular trees, including dogwood, sycamore, birch, walnut, hickory, and maples. It is most aggressive in wet, cool weather, causing leaves to warp and brown. While it rarely kills trees on its own, anthracnose can weaken trees, leaving them vulnerable to other diseases or insect pests.
- Emerald Ash Borer: A relatively new, invasive insect, emerald ash borers (EAB) have spread from their arrival point in Detroit, killing millions of ash trees as they expand their range. EAB infestations destroy the pathways through which trees transport water and nutrients, and can kill affected trees in a matter of weeks to months.
- Bagworms: Bagworms are a caterpillar that feeds on many kinds of evergreens, including cedar, pine, juniper, and arborvitae. As they eat their way around trees, they create a bag with material like spider silk, filled with bits of leaves and bark. When a large group attacks a tree, its defoliation can be fatal, and when a tree does survive, it may be weakened enough to suffer from other diseases and pests.
Ames isn’t such a highly rated place to live for nothing. Our weather is generally quite conducive to healthy tree growth. Severe storms and tornadoes in warmer weather and heavy snowfall and ice buildup in winter are the primary causes of tree problems we deal with related to growing and environmental conditions.
Does the City of Ames Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
The City of Ames is responsible for public trees throughout the city, from Ada Hayden Park to the Hunziker Sports Complex and everywhere in between. Part of that responsibility means the city maintains those trees in good health and removes those which are compromised by age, disease, or other damage. Property owners are responsible for the trees on their properties, though, in the event of severe weather or even a tornado, the City will provide branch and limb drop-off locations and collection services to aid in cleanup efforts. The City can also trim and prune branches that extend over public streets and sidewalks, even if they belong to a tree on private property.
Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Ames?
As with most locales, property owners (and their insurance companies) are normally responsible for the trees that fall onto their properties, according to Iowa laws, since the majority of trees that fall are healthy ones that are brought down by severe weather or accidents. In the case of a fallen dead or visibly unhealthy tree, the tree’s owner is often responsible, especially when a tree was very obviously, visibly in poor shape.
If you’re a homeowner?
Homeowners are normally responsible for healthy trees that fall on their property, usually as the result of a storm, though insurance companies will generally cover damages and all or part of the cost of a fallen tree’s removal. If a tree that falls on your property is visibly in poor enough condition that the average person should have easily been aware of it, your neighbor who owns the tree may be responsible.
If you’re a renter?
Renters are rarely, if ever, responsible for trees that fall onto the properties where they live. That responsibility normally lies with landlords as the property owners of record. You can help your landlord by reporting any unhealthy trees you see on your property or neighboring lots, helping to prevent damage.
If you’re a landlord?
Landlords are usually responsible for fallen trees along the same lines that homeowners are since they own the property. Properly maintaining the trees on properties you rent out can both protect your investment and help to create good relations with your tenants.
If you’re a neighbor?
One of the great things about neighbors is having friendly, responsible people next door to you. One of the difficult things about neighbors is that sometimes, even inadvertently, they can inconvenience you or even damage your property. If your neighbor’s healthy tree falls onto your property, unfortunately, you are normally responsible for its removal as it was an unforeseen “act of God” that almost certainly caused it to fall. Unhealthy trees that fall onto your property may be the responsibility of the tree’s owner(s), depending on how obviously the tree was in poor condition.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Ames?
Naturally, the soil in which a tree grows is critical to its health. Three of the main components of soils are sand, silt, and clay, which combine to hold nutrients and water, allow proper drainage, and an appropriate texture. In the Ames area, our soil is generally a clay loam, meaning it drains well, holds plenty of water and nutrients, but may pack down slightly more than is ideal. Regardless, it is still an excellent soil for growing countless plants and, of course, trees. To help protect soil and waterways, and prevent excess runoff, rebates are available when planting approved native tree species
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Ames?
Not only is the soil around Ames quite suitable for growing vigorous, healthy trees, but our weather is also normally very cooperative, too. Our occasional, strong summer storms can pack winds that can damage trees, and when tornadoes come through the area, trees are also likely to suffer. In winter, heavy snows and occasional ice storms can add substantial extra weight to tree branches, often snapping parts of vulnerable trees. You may want to consider planting native tree species which are more resistant to storm damage including bitternut hickory, white oak, sweetgum, ironwood, redbud, and serviceberry.
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Ames?
Trees and power transmission lines are never a good combination. Falling limbs and dead trees can spark fires and frequently cause outages throughout the year. If you see dead or unhealthy trees close to power lines, you should contact the Ames Electric Department to alert them to the potential hazards. As with all electrical utilities, the Ames Electric Department is also responsible for trimming and removing trees close to primary power lines (pole to pole), regardless of where the trees are growing. Homeowners are responsible for trees that may impact their service lines (pole to the house), though the electric department can temporarily disconnect your service line while tree work is being done by our team around it. You can contact the department with any questions or concerns about tree trimming.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Ames?
Homeowners often delay having tree work done, fearing both the disruption and what they expect will be a large expense. If you are in that boat, you may be surprised to know that the average tree removal job we do around Ames costs around $675 and involves little disruption. Removing trees that have already fallen is quite a bit below average, too. Each tree and the location in which it grows varies so greatly, it can be challenging to provide an accurate estimate for the work until we see your particular tree. There are, however, some factors that most often influence the cost of tree removal.
Tree Size and Type
It probably goes without saying, but larger trees will normally incur a larger expense (sometimes up to around $2,000) to remove, while smaller trees will require less time and effort to remove, resulting in lower expenses (as low as around $190). Some species of tree may be more challenging to remove, due to their structures or the density and weight of their wood. These trees, such as hickory and oak, may cost more to remove than other species.
Location and Accessibility
The ease with which we can reach your tree may affect the cost of its removal. In addition, when we remove your tree, we need to plan our work so we prevent damage to your home, garage, patio, landscaping, other trees, and, of course, your neighbors’ properties. The more complicated this process is, the more it will likely cost.
Additional Services and Expenses
Sometimes we need additional equipment, such as a bucket truck, to safely remove your tree. Other times we need a larger crew. Both can affect the cost of the work. Many homeowners also request we chop logs for firewood, grind stumps, or provide other added services, which can also affect your bottom line.