Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Fitchburg?
- 2 Does the City of Fitchburg Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Fitchburg?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Fitchburg?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Fitchburg?
- 6 What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Fitchburg?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Fitchburg?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Fitchburg?
Pest insects, diseases, and fungus can negatively affect the health of trees throughout Fitchburg and the surrounding areas. Many of these infestations and infections can be treated if caught early enough. However, some long-term or severe conditions require immediate tree removal to limit the spread of the hazard. Some of the most common tree issues Fitchburg residents should remain watchful for include:
Emerald Ash Borers
These pests are a serious problem for tree owners across the New England and Midwest regions of the United States. These insects are an invasive species that bore distinctive D-shaped holes into the bark of trees and carve tunnels throughout the underlying tree surface. They can quickly infest large areas of trees, killing the vast majority of the affected species within three to five years. They can seriously damage or kill any type of ash tree, and you should call us immediately to take steps to remove and isolate affected tree matter as soon as possible to limit the spread.
Asian longhorn beetles are another invasive pest that can devastate native Massachusetts tree populations. Infested trees must be quarantined, removed before the pests can spread to neighboring trees, and destroyed by chipping.
White Pine Needlecast
This statewide disease infects eastern white pines. It’s caused by a fungal infection, especially Lecanosticta acicola. The most visible sign of white pine needle cast is defoliation and needle loss, which is marked by sparse needle growth and either yellow or brown needles instead of full green growth.
Does the City of Fitchburg Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
The city of Fitchburg provides some assistance to residents for tree removal and tree cleanup, depending on the location of the tree and the circumstances surrounding the need for tree removal. For instance, under Massachusetts’s General Laws, Chapter 87, public shade trees are the responsibility of local Tree Wardens and the city. Shade trees include any trees situated within ten feet of pavement surfaces belonging to the city. If a public shade tree falls, the city is responsible for arranging the removal and any necessary cleanup. The city must also manage trimming and branch cutting.
Fitchburg also provides branch pickup services. Residents can leave branches in bundles no larger than four feet long and 50 pounds heavy for city collection on regular pickup dates throughout the year. The city also provides free Christmas Tree removal at the beginning of January.
Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Fitchburg?
Whether you’re the direct owner of a tree or someone with personal property nearby, it’s important to know who’s responsible for arranging for tree removal after a tree falls. Here are some common ownership scenarios that may affect you.
If you’re a homeowner?
If you are a homeowner with a fallen tree on your property, you are responsible for arranging the tree removal for a fallen tree. However, you may not be responsible for handling all of the involved costs alone, as fallen tree removal (and damage caused by a falling tree) may be covered under the terms of your home insurance policy. Contact your insurance provider to determine the specifics under your policy.
If you’re a renter?
When you rent your home, whether it’s a single-family residence or a multi-family residential building like an apartment complex, you are not responsible for handling fallen tree removal. Instead, you should contact your landlord about the fallen tree and any structural damage that may have resulted from the incident. Landlords and property owners, not you, are responsible for structural damage to the building. However, if your car or personal property was damaged by a fallen tree, we recommend you contact your renter’s insurance provider as soon as possible.
If you’re a landlord?
Landlords are responsible for handling fallen tree removal when a tree falls on the property (whether the tree was originally planted on your property or in an adjacent lot). We recommend that you call us to schedule tree removal as soon as possible to remove the potential safety hazard with minimal disruption to your residents and landscaping.
If you’re a neighbor?
Having a neighbor’s tree fall on your yard can make it confusing to determine who is responsible for managing tree removal. In the city of Fitchburg, tree ownership is determined by the tree’s planted position. Some trees may even be shared by two property owners if the tree has part of its trunk on more than one property; these are called boundary trees. However, if the tree falls solely onto your property, you are responsible for arranging removal. If the tree falls onto both properties, residents can contact Fitchburg’s DPW Engineering Division to decide. You can also contact the city’s Ward Councilor if a city tree has partially or fully fallen on your property.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Fitchburg?
Worcester County is home to varying types of loamy soil, especially fine loamy soil and sandy loamy soil. Loam soil types are considered beneficial for growing most types of plants and trees. It’s made from a combination of silt, sand, and clay in different concentrations, with more sand or silt than clay in most locations across the county. Loamy soil is often full of nutrients and offers a good balance of drainage: the clay allows for some moisture retention while the sand and silt allow moisture to drain away instead of creating heavy, constrictive conditions.
Worcester County’s loamy soil allows for water and air penetration so tree roots can easily grow through the soil without being constricted, wrapping around the base of the trunk, or facing root rot. Fitchburg has some elevated points, such as the summit of Brown Hill at 1,210 feet, and is near the Nashua River, which further facilitates good drainage through the soil.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Fitchburg?
Fitchburg’s climate and weather are similar to that of the rest of Massachusetts and surrounding New England states, with a typical humid climate and mild springs and autumns. The area receives plenty of rain throughout the summer, which ensures local trees receive plenty of water for healthy growth; while health alone can’t deter common pests, healthy trees are much better at fighting both infestations and infections.
Fitchburg’s winters are windy and snowy. With an average annual snowfall of 70.3 inches, the city can see a moderate amount of tree damage, such as snapped branches or felled trees that can’t support the weight of heavily falling snow. Windy winter conditions also make trees vulnerable to scalding and dryness if they aren’t properly mulched or wrapped. But with the right preparation, homeowners can protect their trees from the most common types of winter-related damage.
What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Fitchburg?
Unitil is a leading energy company across Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. This company provides regular pruning and line-clearing services so power lines are much less likely to be negatively affected by tree growth or falling trees and branches. Unitil also contacts property owners and provides tree removal services in the event a tree over 8″ in diameter is in a power line area.
If you notice a fallen tree near or against power lines, swiftly shuffle away from the area to minimize the risk of electrical shock. Then contact Unitil to report an emergency situation. If a tree needs to be removed, the power company can disconnect the electrical service throughout the duration of the tree work. Massachusetts residents can call 888-301-7700 to report downed and hazardous trees in the power line area.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Fitchburg?
Tree removal costs vary based on the complexity of the situation, such as the cause requiring tree removal, environmental factors around the tree in question, and more. Fitchburg residents can expect to pay approximately $1,000 for tree removal, but your total may be as low as $200 or as high as around $2,000. Learn more about the different factors that can decrease or increase the cost of removal.
Size of the Tree
As a general rule of thumb, larger trees cost more to remove than smaller trees. There are three ways to assess the size of the tree: the length (or height) of the tree, the girth of the tree (measured by the diameter of the trunk), and the amount of foliage. Taller trees often require us to bring in specialty equipment to fell the tree in safe, controlled steps and may require multiple trips to carry the whole tree off-site.
Thicker trees also tend to be more costly, as they take more time to cut through the trunk and the tree’s branches. If there is more foliage on the tree, it may also take more trips to carry away the debris. Blooming trees or trees with full foliage may also require more extensive cleanup.
Weather and Environmental Conditions
If you have a tree that is in a remote condition removed from paved roads or a tree that’s perilously close to nearby structures, these projects may have additional costs in order to get the required equipment into position for safe felling and tree removal. Our emergency tree removal services after storms or during winter may also have extra costs depending on any increases in demand and our team’s availability.
The Condition of the Tree
Some trees are more dangerous or complex to remove than others. For example, trees that have already fallen due to rot or lightning damage are relatively soft, lightweight, and easy to remove. Conversely, healthy trees that are still standing require more time and equipment to cut down and remove; depending on the location and other unique factors, cutting and removing healthy trees may also require approval from the city. Infested or infected trees also require stringent quarantine and disposal methods to minimize the risk of spreading the hazard to other trees in the area, which can make the tree removal project more costly.