Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Chicago?
- 2 Does the City of Chicago Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Chicago?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Chicago?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Chicago?
- 6 What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Chicago?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Chicago?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Chicago?
Chicago, Illinois, is part of the USDA Zone 5 hardiness area. The Zones defined by USDA help farmers and gardeners determine suitable plants that can grow and survive in a specific location when the temperatures are the lowest.
Winter temperatures in Zone 5 range between -10℉ and -20℉. Chicago supports about 160 tree species, which are well distributed around the City and cover 15.5% of the City’s ground cover. The European Buckthorn, an invasive and highly destructive species, takes up the biggest share of tree cover in Chicago. It is followed by green ash, boxelder, black cherry, American elm, sugar maple, white ash, and Northern red oak.
While the diversity and rich tree cover is something to smile about, we can’t say the same about the numerous pests, diseases, and invasive tree species that threaten to damage and kill trees all around the City. Let us look into some of these common tree issues in Chicago.
Tree diseases are diverse and can bring about many issues to the affected trees. Although planting native trees and providing them with proper care should help trees resist diseases, it does not always work. Therefore, you must also be proactive to notice signs of illness and call us in to take action before it is too late and you are forced to remove the tree.
There exist very destructive tree diseases that cause defoliation, wilting, leaf yellowing, stunted growth, dieback, and eventual death of a tree. A few of the deadly tree diseases that will attack plants in Chicago include:
- Dutch elm disease
- Leaf Scotch
- Oak Wilt
- Tree Blight
- Verticillium Wilt
- Powdery Mildew
On the other hand, non-destructive tree diseases or nuisance diseases impact a tree’s aesthetic appeal. Examples of non-destructive tree diseases in Chicago are:
- Cedar apple rust
- Sycamore Anthracnose
- Apple Scab
- Phomopsis Blight
Invasive Plant Species
Intentional or accidental introduction of invasive tree species can impact the environment, economy, and human health. Invasive plant species spread prolifically and reproduce fast, increasing their ability to out-compete native species for pollinators and resources. The City of Chicago has an Invasive Species Ordinance, which makes it illegal to possess, introduce, import, or sell invasive plant species in the City.
Among the regulated invasive plant species in Chicago are the Tree of Heaven, Sawtooth Oak, Norway Maple, Garlic Mustard, exotic honeysuckles, and exotic buckthorns. It would help if you left the removal and disposal of invasive species to professional tree removal Chicago specialists like Tree Triage who understand the best ways to handle the plants and prevent further spread.
The emerald ash borer insect has destroyed millions of ash trees across the United States. The tiny exotic beetle with a green body and metallic wings was first found in Chicago in 2006. Despite relentless efforts to control, it still spreads fast and kills up to 99% of its hosts.
The beetle feeds on ash foliage and lays eggs on tree bark. EAB infestation is not easy to notice in the first two years, and by the time you notice, it is usually too late to save the tree. A few signs of an EAB infestation include:
- Yellow or wilting foliage
- Increased woodpecker activity
- D-shaped holes on a tree’s bark
- Whole-tree sporadic dieback
- Larval tunneling
Does the City of Chicago Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
The City of Chicago is serious about tree protection and preservation. Accordingly, the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation Bureau of Forestry is mandated to maintain all the 500,000 parkway trees in the City. The Bureau of Forestry is responsible for trimming, assessing, and addressing tree insects and diseases, responding to tree emergencies, plus planting new trees along the public right-of-way throughout the City.
Additionally, they must coordinate the removal of dead or diseased trees along parkways and public right-of-ways. You can request tree removal along the designated areas by dialing 311 or submit an online request.
As part of the City’s proactive efforts to eliminate the emerald ash borer that threatens 85,000 parkway ash trees, the City has trained and hired workers to combat the spread of the insect. The 26 general laborers should inject 35,000 trees yearly to impede the progression of the exotic insect. These crews must also assess a treated tree’s condition every three years to decide whether the tree needs another injection or removal.
The City advises residents to consult with a certified arborist like Tree Triage to determine the best EAB management practices for ash trees on the lawns.
Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Chicago?
There are so many factors that necessitate tree removal, and falling is just one of them. At times, tree removal may be a proactive measure to prevent hazards caused by tree diseases, pests, damages, or aging. In these cases, liability is obvious, but the question remains, “who pays for the fallen tree?”
If you’re a homeowner?
You are responsible for all trees on your residential property. The law requires you to monitor and observe trees on your premises and act fast if you notice any issues that endanger the public. You will be held liable for property damages and injuries caused to people if you are aware of the impending danger and do not take any action.
If you’re a renter?
When a diseased or damaged tree falls and damages rental property, the landlord or landowner is liable to property repairs. Your renter’s insurance or personal property coverage may help you replace or repair damaged belongings. Besides, if the tree falls during the removal process, liability coverage provided to property owners with a tree work permit will reimburse your losses.
If you’re a landlord?
A landlord is responsible for removing any fallen tree on their rental property. However, property insurance can help you offset the costs or removal and reimburse losses caused by the fallen tree.
If you’re a neighbor?
If a tree falls from your neighbor’s property and damages your home, you are responsible for the damage and removal costs. Fortunately, your homeowners can offer a helping hand if there is damage to your home or other covered structures. If not, discuss removal costs with your neighbor.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Chicago?
Chicago consists of 85% clay soil. This type of soil has particles close together, and thus it can absorb lots of water, which makes it ideal for moisture-tolerant trees. Clay soil also retains nutrients required by plants. However, these soils dry up fast, especially during mini droughts, and are poorly aerated so air does not move freely. Soil compaction is another common menace.
Therefore, the only plants that thrive on Chicago soils must be adapted to waterlogging, poor aeration, and soil compaction. In addition, Chicago soils have sufficient lime content, making them alkaline with a pH of 6.0 and above. Hence, trees adapted to acidic soils will not survive in Chicago unless you amend the grounds before planting.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Chicago?
Chicago’s climate is primarily cold and temperate, with significant precipitation even during the hottest and driest months.
Climate change is currently sweeping its way through The City in a Garden resulting in a 2.6°F temperature rise. This shift is already affecting trees and ornamental plants by making them flower earlier in the spring. The area is also experiencing more frequent and intense heat waves, which can impact trees and vegetation by exacerbating drought and starting wildfires.
The climate changes also intensify thunderstorms, damaging winds, and tornadoes common during spring and autumn and cause immense tree damage. Finally, the climate shifts also influence changes in the ecosystem and will see numerous native tree species die and the emergence of invasive non-native tree species.
What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Chicago?
ComED is the power company that supplies power to 75% of Illinois residents. According to state and federal agencies, utility companies like ComEd are responsible for trimming, pruning, and removing trees near power lines. Hence, ComEd removes any dead, diseased, or damaged trees causing power outages, safety hazards, and damage to electrical equipment. You can request tree removal assistance by filling their online form or call 1-800-EDISON-1 (1-800-334-7661).
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Chicago?
The average cost of tree removal in Chicago is $723, but it may range between $200 and $1,800, depending on several factors. Here are the top factors that influence the amount you pay for tree removal in Chicago, IL.
Time of the Year
The best time to remove a damaged, dead, or diseased tree from your lawn is now before it damages structures or hurts people around it. Otherwise, if the tree is healthy and does not need urgent removal, you can wait for winter. In winter, Chicago grounds freeze, the soil is less compacted, trees are dormant, and the tree removal business is less competitive, meaning you will get fair quotes.
Current State of the Tree
Removing a fallen tree from your yard is more affordable than removing a live and healthy tree. However, it depends on where the tree fell and whether it fell on structures or property. If the latter is true, you may have to pay more because our tree removal professionals must work carefully not to cause further harm.
Stump removal is often considered an after-service and not included in our tree removal quotes. Stump removal costs $150 on average, but the cost varies depending on the depth of the roots, the tree’s diameter, soil conditions, and when you want it removed. For instance, it is cheaper to remove it when it starts rotting rather than immediately after a healthy tree is cut. The method of removal, whether grinding or uprooting, also determines how much you pay. Uprooting a stump is often more expensive as it is time-consuming and very labor-intensive.