Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Lafayette?
- 2 Does the City of Lafayette Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Lafayette?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Lafayette?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Lafayette?
- 6 What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Lafayette?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Lafayette?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Lafayette?
From the stunning historic architecture to the expansive lakes and bayous of the Atchafalaya Basin, Lafayette is home to some of the most beautiful sights in Louisiana. Hiking trails are plentiful at Acadiana Park, and trees can be found everywhere you look throughout the city. In fact, the Arbor Day Foundation even named Lafayette a “Tree City USA” community. A vast array of native and non-native tree species thrive here, including silverbell, Japanese maple, white oak, southern red oak, and American sweetgum.
While this area has many incredible trees, the southern United States is also home to quite a few tree problems. Some of the most common issues in Lafayette include:
This is the deadliest disease that can strike southern pines, causing distinctive oblong marks along their trunks. Trees impacted by fusiform rust do not typically survive. This disease is most likely to strike in forested areas that are closely managed, as it targets trees that grow rapidly.
Southern Pine Beetle
This pest attacks every species of pine, but it is particularly attracted to Virginia, shortleaf, loblolly, pitch, and pond pines. Southern pine beetles are most active in early summer, and outbreaks typically last anywhere from three to six years.
This insect feeds heavily on the foliage of bald cypress and is particularly problematic in areas with significant amounts of saltwater. Trees impacted by this pest can die after just two years if the problem is not resolved.
Does the City of Lafayette Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
In Lafayette, the city is always responsible for maintaining and removing trees on public property. The city has an arborist who you will need to communicate with if you believe that a tree on public property should be removed. However, as Lafayette is heavily focused on preserving its trees, there are very strict rules regarding when a public tree can be removed. The tree must be badly diseased or dead, interfering with traffic, interfering with private property, or blocking important construction projects.
If city officials deem a tree on private property to be a public health hazard, they are able to order its removal, but they will not provide funding. In fact, the city of Lafayette does not offer any financial assistance for the removal of trees on private property. This means that you will typically need to pay out-of-pocket if you are removing a tree on your own property.
Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Lafayette?
When a tree falls, you will immediately want to determine who needs to take care of its removal. This responsibility will fall on varying people, depending on who owns the land that the tree has fallen on. In most parts of the country, Louisiana included, it is the responsibility of the landowner to arrange for fallen tree removal. Here’s what you will need to do based on your specific situation.
If you’re a homeowner?
As the owner of the property, you are responsible for removing a tree if it falls. Depending on your insurance policy, you may be able to receive some compensation, particularly if the tree damaged your personal property when it fell. However, it is very important to note that if the tree fell due to negligence, you are unlikely to receive any assistance from your insurance. As such, it’s very important that you provide ongoing care for your tree in order to avoid this scenario. Our arborists can help you preserve your tree’s health if you believe that it has fallen ill.
If you’re a renter?
Since you do not own the land, you are not responsible for removing a fallen tree from your rental property. If this happens, you should contact your landlord right away to alert them of the situation. Although the trees on your rental property are not your responsibility, it is a good idea to get in touch with your landlord if you notice that they’re beginning to seem sick — by staying on top of the situation, you may be able to prevent a tree from falling due to illness.
If you’re a landlord?
Regardless of whether you live on the property, as a landlord, it is your responsibility to maintain the health of the trees on your land. Regularly monitoring your trees is an excellent way to keep them healthy, and reduces the risk that they will fall and cause expensive damage. Of course, trees can also fall due to stormy weather or other unforeseen circumstances, but your insurance is much more likely to provide assistance if you can prove that your trees were in otherwise good health. Regardless of the reason, you should call us to arrange for removal as soon as you become aware that a tree has fallen on your property.
If you’re a neighbor?
Neighbors are not in the best situation when it comes to fallen trees. If a tree falls on your property, regardless of whether it belonged to you or your neighbor, you are responsible for removing it. However, while you cannot force your neighbor to pay for the tree’s removal after it has fallen, you do have some rights prior to the tree falling. Louisiana Civil Code 688 states that if the roots or branches from your neighbor’s tree are interfering with your ability to enjoy your property, you can legally demand that the neighbor pay to have them trimmed.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Lafayette?
The soil in Lafayette is mostly loamy with some areas of clay. Overall, the soil in this area does not drain very well. This means that the trees in Lafayette must be well-suited for growth in moist environments. Trees that perform particularly well in these conditions include:
- Green ash
- Red maple
- Flowering dogwood
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Lafayette?
Lafayette provides a fairly mild climate for its trees. It is located in USDA Hardiness Zone 9a, meaning that the minimum average temperatures in winter will not typically drop below 25° F. Because of these mild temperatures and moist local soil, many species of evergreen trees perform very well even in this southern climate.
According to the National Cooperative Soil Survey of this area, the contrast of warm summers and occasional cool winters occurs because of two opposite types of airflow: Lafayette will receive tropical air from the Gulf of Mexico, but will also often be hit by brief gusts of polar air from Canada during the winter and spring months. This creates an environment that many trees are able to thrive in, which likely helps Lafayette maintain its reputation as Tree City USA.
What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Lafayette?
Dead trees near power lines pose a significant safety risk to everyone nearby. If the tree should fall, it can pull the power lines down with it, creating widespread power outages and a risk of electrocution or fire. However, even if it does not fall, a tree that is in contact with a power line can become energized, potentially leading to electrocution if someone happens to touch it. Trees that are in contact with power lines are also at risk of catching fire.
Because this is such a serious problem, electric utility companies will generally carefully monitor the trees within their jurisdiction in order to ensure that there are no safety risks. In Lafayette, you should contact LUS with any concerns regarding dead trees near power lines. LUS regularly performs tree trimming to help keep branches safely away from power lines. They work year-round with a dedicated tree trimming crew, and specifically follow guidelines set by the National Arbor Day Foundation’s Field Guide.
In addition to responding to calls regarding hazardous trees near power lines, the tree trimming staff at LUS will also offer guidance if you are planning to plant new trees on your property. They will be able to provide advice regarding the best type of tree and where to place it in order to avoid the risk of future problems with nearby power lines. To report a hazardous tree or to request more information on safely planting new trees, call (337) 291-5711.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Lafayette?
On average, homeowners in Lafayette pay approximately $750 for tree removal services. These prices can start much lower than that, typically around $270. However, costs can also spike to upwards of $1,800. There are many factors that can influence the cost of tree removal, including:
The Tree’s Health
Trees that are in poor health will generally be much more expensive to remove. This is because we will need to take extra precautions in order to ensure that we safely dispose of the infected wood and do not inadvertently spread the disease to other trees in the nearby area. The extra time and equipment it often takes to safely remove fragile or diseased trees mean that prices will be higher in these scenarios. In contrast, trees that are in general good health tend to be much more affordable to remove.
Whether the Tree Has Already Fallen
Having a fallen tree in your yard can be alarming, but there is one upside: Once a tree has already fallen, it is significantly cheaper to remove. Costs typically plummet in this type of situation, and the entire removal process is usually fairly quick and easy. It is worth noting that there will still be additional costs involved for the removal of the trunk.
The Size of the Tree
Trees with heights of 20 feet or less will be much cheaper to remove than larger trees. Small trees require less intensive planning and equipment to safely remove, while taller trees typically pose a greater risk and therefore require a larger crew and significantly more time. This is particularly true if the large tree happens to be located close to buildings or power lines. Complicating factors like this can rapidly add up during tree removals.