Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Iowa City?
- 2 Does the City of Iowa City Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Iowa City?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Iowa City?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Iowa City?
- 6 What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Iowa City?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Iowa City?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Iowa City?
Many of the trees we see in the Iowa City area are mature trees. There’s a blend of native and non-native trees in the area. Here are a few of the trees we encounter most often:
- Silver maple
- Northern hackberry
- Green ash
- American Elm
- River birch
- American sycamore
- Hybrid willow
Some of these trees are growing to impressive heights, which makes it even harder to understand what happens when one of them needs to be removed. One of the questions we hear a lot of concerns the cause of a tree’s demise. Here are a couple of the tree issues we see most often in the Iowa City area:
Winter Weather Damage
Iowa City enjoys an average snowfall of over 26 inches each year. With this white winter wonderland, the area sees many cold days and nights. In fact, during the heart of the winter, there are very few days when the daytime temperatures rise above freezing, and at night, these temperatures plummet into the mid to high teens.
With so many nights and days of below-freezing weather, Iowa City might develop a hard freeze. This is a weather condition in which the constant freezing temperatures freeze the water and nutrients in the soil.
Your trees can no longer get the much-needed nutrients. Some trees, such as evergreens, are built to withstand hard freeze conditions, but others are not. A young sapling, even an evergreen, might not survive an extended hard freeze.
In the spring, your trees should start growing again with new limbs and leaves. If this doesn’t happen with a tree in your Iowa City yard, it might have died during a hard freeze.
There might even be a tree that starts growing and then suddenly begins to wither and die. This happens because a portion of the tree stopped processing nutrients, and it eventually spread to other areas.
When you think a tree died during a harsh winter, our team can evaluate its condition and make a recommendation on how to proceed.
Damage Due to a Pest Infestation
While bugs and pests are cute in animated movies, they can be a devastating nuisance to the trees in your Iowa City yard. These critters either want to live in your tree or dine on it. Either way, a pest infestation can kill an otherwise healthy tree. Here are a few of the insects we see most often in the area:
- Asian longhorned beetle
- European gypsy moth
When you see an insect infestation on a tree in your yard, they’re probably affecting other trees in the area. Now, an infestation that’s caught early might be able to be treated, and the tree could be saved. You need to know the signs of a pest infestation to spot it early. These include:
- Insects and pests crawling or landing on a tree
- New growth leaves and limbs that appear smaller than normal
- Bark missing on the trunk
- Weakness between new limbs and trunk
- Holes and channels on the trunk
- Sudden lack of growth
- Discolored or misshapen leaves
When you see a sign, our team can evaluate the tree and help you decide on the best course of action.
Does the City of Iowa City Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
In Iowa City, the city will take care of any trees that are growing on public land. This includes any area of easements behind a sidewalk on your land. However, if the tree isn’t on public land or an easement, it’s growing on private property. The homeowner is responsible for the removal of any trees on private property.
Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Iowa City?
The responsible party for removing a fallen tree in Iowa City depends on where the tree grew. On public land or an easement, the city or one of the local utility companies is responsible for removing the tree. A fallen tree on private property is the responsibility of the homeowner.
If you’re a homeowner?
If the tree grew in your yard, and it wasn’t on an easement, then you’re responsible for having the tree removed. You might not know if the tree is on an easement or not, so it’s a good idea to call the city before removing it yourself.
If you’re a renter?
When you rent an Iowa City home, you might handle the regular yard work. However, this doesn’t include a task as large as removing a tree. The homeowner needs to have the fallen tree removed. It’s always a good idea to advise the homeowner if you see a damaged or dying tree, so they can go ahead and make arrangements.
If you’re a landlord?
If you’re the landlord, you’re also the homeowner. As such, you’re responsible for having the fallen tree removed. You might think that since the tenant takes care of the yard, they should remove the tree, but that isn’t the case. It’s too big of a job to be considered regular lawn maintenance.
If you’re a neighbor?
Sometimes, we arrive at a home to remove a tree only to find it’s lying in more than one yard. When your neighbor’s tree falls into your yard, you might wonder who is responsible for its removal. It’s the responsibility of both homeowners to remove the portion of a tree that’s lying in their yard.
If the neighbor knew the tree was damaged or dead and did nothing to remove it, they might be liable for any damages to your home or yard when the tree fell. Their negligence in not taking care of a damaged or dying tree might leave them liable.
In this type of situation, it’s always best to talk to your neighbor before taking any drastic actions. You may have to live next to each other for many years to come.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Iowa City?
In Iowa City, the most common soil type is Tama soil. This is a silty loam type of soil. While loam soil will soak up a lot of water to keep your tree healthy, it doesn’t drain it as effectively. This may leave the tree roots in danger of developing root rot, a fungal disease that can kill a tree.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Iowa City?
Yes, the weather in Iowa City can affect the health of your trees. The harsh winters that bring your winter wonderland to life can create a condition known as a hard freeze, which can damage or kill trees.
Although it doesn’t happen every year, Iowa City sees some violent storms in the spring. In 2008, a large tornado rushed through the area. This type of storm can pull a tree up by the roots, or lightning can strike a tree and split it in half.
What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Iowa City?
Trees and power lines aren’t a safe mix. If you see a tree lying on a power line, you need to move away immediately and contact emergency services to deal with it. A dead tree near a power line also creates a safety hazard. A professional tree removal service is needed to safely remove the tree.
So, who pays for it? If a tree is close to a power line, it might have grown on an easement owned by the power company, and they’ll handle removing it. Otherwise, the tree grew on private property, and you, as the homeowner, are responsible for removing the tree.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Iowa City?
All Iowa City homeowners want to know how much it’s going to cost to remove a tree. While we can’t give you an exact cost, the range of tree cost removal in the area is between $180 and $1,985 with an average of around $685. While the city doesn’t require a tree removal permit even on public land, there are other cost factors:
Location of the Tree
If the tree that needs to be removed sits close to your home or other trees, it requires more time and additional safety measures to remove it. These measures are required to ensure the tree doesn’t damage your home or other trees.
When some trees die, they begin to decay. Our team removes a tree from the top down. If there are large spots of decay, it might crumble and cause damage to your home. It takes us more time and equipment to get a decayed tree down safely.
Many Iowa City homeowners want us to remove the stump–as well as the tree–or to run the tree through a wood chipper. They can use the wood chips as mulch around their property. These services will typically cost between $75 and $150 extra.