Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues In Auburn?
- 2 Does the City of Auburn Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Auburn?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Auburn?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Auburn?
- 6 What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Auburn?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Auburn?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues In Auburn?
A serious issue trees face in Auburn is the presence of Asian long-horned beetles. These insects are native to China and Korea and were first spotted in Worcester city in 2008. As a result of the Worcester infestation, a 110-square-mile quarantine zone was created. Portions of Auburn are included in this zone. About 36,000 trees in the area have already been cut down as a result of infestation.
Asian long-horned beetles harm trees when the adult females chew into the tree to lay eggs. The larvae hatch and then enter the heartwood, further damaging the tree. And when adult beetles leave the tree, they create a ⅜-inch exit hole. Sap flows through these holes and often attracts other insects. If you see one of these beetles or suspect that a tree is infested, you should call the Asian Long-horned Beetle Cooperative Eradication Program at 508-852-8090.
Another non-native insect that poses a threat to Auburn’s trees is the Gypsy Moth. These moths are native to Europe and were first spotted in Massachusetts in 1869. By 1922, they had spread throughout the entire state. Gypsy moths are now endemic, but their population does go through cyclical patterns. The state currently lets nature take its course, and does not fund any treatment or spraying programs. The last recorded outbreak in Massachusetts was in 2017.
Gypsy moths will typically kill a tree over the course of a few years. In their caterpillar stage, feeding is so intense that they cause defoliation, which then makes the tree more susceptible to diseases and other pests. The presence of gypsy moths can vary across even a small area of land, so it’s difficult to make citywide assessments. To learn how you can control gypsy moths on the trees in your yard, read the Gypsy Moth in Massachusetts guide.
Does the City of Auburn Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
The city of Auburn typically does not get involved in tree removal problems on private property. If your neighbor has a dead or dying tree in danger of falling on your house or in the roadway, the city may consider this a nuisance or public hazard. If you’re in this situation, you can contact the town clerk for guidance, 508-832-7701. In addition, the state has put together a compilation of MA laws about neighbors and trees that you may find helpful.
Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Auburn?
In Auburn, property owners are responsible for fallen tree removal. And, according to local attorneys, it’s the placement of the trunk (and not the branches) that determines ownership. But what happens when a tree straddles more than one property line? Those are called “boundary trees” and are the responsibility of both homeowners. A fallen tree is not just a headache–it can also be a safety hazard. So, if the tree is your responsibility, you’ll want to take care of it right away.
While it’s impossible to cover every scenario that could come up, here are some general guidelines for fallen tree removal in Auburn.
If you’re a homeowner?
Almost 85% of homes in Auburn are owner-occupied. This is noteworthy because homeowners are responsible for removing a fallen tree, even if it lands off your property. If you do have a fallen tree, your first call should be to your homeowner’s insurance company. Most policies provide coverage, especially if the tree fell due to a storm or natural disaster. If the tree is small and you have a large deductible, you’ll have to figure out if it’s worth making an insurance claim.
If you’re a renter?
If you rent your home, the property owner is responsible for fallen tree removal. So, unless your lease agreement explicitly states that you must take care of fallen trees, you are off the hook. One exception to this is if you were negligent or reckless and caused the tree to fall. If that’s the case, your landlord may expect you to cover the cost of removal. And you may be in hot water with the state, as Massachusetts has a law that prohibits “injury to trees of another person.”
If you and your landlord are involved in a tree removal dispute, Worcester County Fair Housing may be able to help. You can reach this organization by calling the Office of Human Rights at 508-799-8486.
If you’re a landlord?
Landlords who own the property are responsible for removing any fallen trees. But as we mentioned above, if the renter did something to make the tree fall, you could hold them liable for the costs of removal.
Property managers who manage but do not own the property will need to speak with the owner. Ultimately, they are responsible for the costs but they may ask for your help in arranging removal. That really depends on your job description and the scope of your duties.
If you’re a neighbor?
Nothing is more stressful than a neighborhood argument over trees. If the fallen tree’s trunk grew entirely in your neighbor’s yard, they are responsible for removal. This is true even if the tree landed in your yard. Hopefully, they will remove it in a timely manner. If it’s right after a storm and the tree didn’t fall on a structure, power lines, or roadway, please try to be patient. We receive a lot of service requests after a storm, and we prioritize those that are safety hazards.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Auburn?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) conducted a soil survey of southern Worcester County. This survey notes that prior to settlement, the Auburn area was completely covered in forests. Most of the soil here is perfect for trees!
There are a number of lakes and streams within the city limits. Trees in these wetland areas play an important role in erosion prevention and should be preserved whenever possible.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Auburn?
The USDA has assigned “plant hardiness zones” to the entire country. These zones are based on what an area’s average minimum winter temperature is. Auburn is in USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 5b. This means that winter temperatures could dip as low as -10 to -15 degrees Fahrenheit. Daytime summer temperatures are usually in the 70s and do not go much higher than 80. Any trees planted in Auburn must be suited to these temperatures.
Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms are always a possibility in the spring, summer, and early fall. If winds are strong enough, trees can sustain damage and even be uprooted. Hailstorms can harm small and young trees.
What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Auburn?
Dead trees near power lines are a serious safety hazard. If the tree is on your property, you should arrange to have it removed immediately. This isn’t a DIY task, so please call us. Contact with a live wire can cause serious injury and even death, so don’t risk it. We work with the utility companies to ensure that dead trees near power lines are removed quickly and safely.
If the tree is on someone else’s property, your best bet is to contact the power company. While National Grid provides electricity and gas to the city, Auburn residents can choose another company as their competitive supplier. These unique business relationships can make it difficult to know who to contact during an emergency. Unless your power bill states otherwise, you should contact National Grid for emergencies like a dead tree near a power line. If you’re an electric customer, call 1-800-465-1212. Gas customers should call 1-800-233-5325 or 911.
If it seems imminent that the tree will fall, you can call the Auburn Police Department, 508-832-7777. They will send an officer out to block off the area.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Auburn?
The cost of tree removal in Auburn is largely driven by the height and circumference of the tree. As a ballpark figure, the average cost is $678.00. Many jobs will fall within the $200.00 to $1,750 range. These prices do not include any taxes or permit fees. In addition, there are other factors that affect the final cost.
1: If you want the stumps removed, too…
Stump removal is usually not included in the cost of tree removal. You can leave the stump, but this isn’t always practical or wise. Stumps are difficult to mow around and limit what you can do with your yard. Tree stumps also tend to attract insects and other pests.
If we grind the stumps, you can expect to pay an average of $118.00 per tree. The cost of stump grinding depends on the circumference, so you could pay as much as $200.00 for a larger tree.
2: The overall health of the tree
A healthy tree is more difficult to remove than a dead or dying tree. So, while it can be difficult to lose a tree to oak wilt or emerald ash borers, at least it will be a little easier on your wallet.
3: If the tree needs to be removed ASAP
Weather permitting, we typically work during regular business hours. But, we do know that emergencies come up. A tree that is about to topple onto a power line can’t wait until the next business day. If you need us at night, on the weekend or on a holiday, you can expect to pay more.