Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Kingston?
- 2 Does the City of Kingston Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Kingston?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Kingston?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Kingston?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Kingston?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Kingston?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Kingston?
Kingston is a lovely part of Massachusetts with centuries of history behind it. But with centuries-old trees come problems. One of the common insects that can cause tree issues in Kingston is the hemlock woolly adelgid (or Adelges tsugae Annand). This insect, a relative of the aphid, burrows into hemlock trees and feeds on their sap. Unlike many other tree parasites, these insects are most active as adults in the autumn and winter, reducing the tree’s defenses during its most vulnerable time of year. The good thing is, adelgids can take years to kill a hemlock, so the sooner you find them, the sooner you can restore your tree to good health. If you see the following symptoms in your hemlock (whether it’s an Eastern hemlock or a Carolina one), call us for an inspection:
- Orangish-brown eggs on hemlock twigs in springtime
- Nests that look like tiny cotton balls
- Small white nodes under a hemlock’s branches
- Needles that appear to be turning gray and losing their shine
Another insect native to Kingston that can cause havoc in our trees is the winter moth. These winter moths first start as caterpillars and are most active in trees between April and June. They’re a common cause of leaf loss in deciduous trees, and they can be harmful, but generally nonfatal. The major worry, if you have winter moth caterpillars, is that the leaf loss can stress the tree (even more than it stresses you out), leaving it vulnerable to other insects and diseases. Multiple years of infestations can damage trees beyond repair as well. The good thing is that these caterpillars are easy to see and treat, so if you find green or brown caterpillars that are a little less than an inch long on your deciduous trees, you can call us to determine your options.
Not all of the insects that can plague trees in Kingston are native to the area. The emerald ash borer was first introduced to Massachusetts in around 2012 and was first seen in Plymouth County in 2019. These tiny green beetles, native to northeast Asia, burrow under the bark of ash trees, robbing them of their ability to bring nutrients up to the canopy. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has introduced aggressive measures to keep this pest under control, but if you see any of the following symptoms, give us a call so we can help you determine your next steps:
- S-shaped tunnels under the bark of any species of ash tree
- Death of branches and leaves in the top third of the canopy
- D-shaped exit holes in the bark of trees
- Loose bark that splits vertically
- Plenty of new growth below the dead portion of the trunk
One more invasive insect that can damage Kingston’s trees is the gypsy moth. As caterpillars, these insects eat as many tree leaves as they can find, often stripping trees completely bare. A single caterpillar can eat up to a square foot of leaves every day. The commonwealth of Massachusetts estimates that the 2015-2017 outbreak caused 923,000 acres of defoliation. That’s a greater area than the entire state of Rhode Island. Look for the following symptoms on your trees to determine if gypsy moths will be a problem for you:
- Yellow, teardrop-shaped egg masses
- Hairy brown or black caterpillars
- Adult gypsy moths
- Branches or entire trees stripped of leaves
Does the City of Kingston Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
The town of Kingston doesn’t have any rebate or replacement programs if you have to have a tree removed, but they do require that all trees that have fallen in the public right-of-way be removed as quickly as possible. If you can prove Kingston residency and have a driver’s license and car, you may be able to save some money by purchasing a day pass at the Recycling and Disposal Center.
Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Kingston?
If a tree falls on your property and nobody was around to hear it, somebody still has to remove it, and the process of finding out who is responsible can be a thorny one. There are some steps that you can take no matter the circumstances, though.
If you’re a homeowner?
If you own the land, you own the trees. This doesn’t stop just because a windstorm knocked one over. But that doesn’t mean you’re on your own. In addition to calling us, you should be in touch with the claims adjuster for your homeowners insurance. Loss of a tree is a foreseeable event, which is generally covered by homeowners policies.
If you’re a renter?
If you rent, it’s probably a violation of your lease to have a fallen tree removed without consulting your landlord first. This doesn’t make you powerless in this situation, though. Massachusetts has robust tenant protection laws, and the state’s Sanitary Code dictates that a landlord must provide you with a habitable place to live. In practice, this means that if a tree falls due to negligence on the landlord’s part, or the landlord refuses to remove it, you can have it removed and pursue compensation from them. Everything here is based on the exact situation, though, so you may want to seek a lawyer’s advice before you do anything else.
If you’re a landlord?
If you’re a landlord, you’re obligated to provide a habitable home to your tenants, per the state Sanitary Code. This not only means fixing leaky faucets and spraying for bugs, but inspecting and maintaining the trees. The adage about an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure applies here. If one of your trees falls, you’re responsible for removing it as soon as possible. Note that if your tenants’ actions were what caused the tree to fall, you may be able to seek compensation from them.
If you’re a neighbor?
The trouble with large trees is that when they fall, they rarely stay within property lines. If a neighbor’s tree falls onto your property, the good news is that you’re generally not liable for the damages. Contact your homeowners insurer, and your neighbor’s, for guidance. But most importantly, make sure to keep the lines of communication open with your neighbor and don’t start a feud over the situation. You and your neighbor share a common goal: getting everything restored to normal.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Kingston?
The soil types in Kingston are highly variable, based on your location. Nearer the coast, soils are sandy and well-drained, but further inland they can be loams that drain less, but are more nutrient-rich. It’s important to understand your soil type before you plant a tree, so you can choose one that suits the soil type. If you’re curious about what kind of soil is in your yard, there are some tests you can do at home to learn what type of soil you have.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Kingston?
If you’ve been living in Kingston for more than a few months, you already know the number one weather factor that can affect the health of your trees is winter. The eastern half of Massachusetts is famous for its Nor’easters, and Kingston isn’t immune from their effects. We may not be able to control the weather, but there are a variety of ways you can protect your trees. The most effective one is to plant native trees whenever possible. There are a lot of plant options, including many decorative ones, that are better equipped to survive a coastal winter storm than their non-native counterparts.
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Kingston?
The first thing to remember is to never touch a tree near a power line. Even fallen trees can conduct enough electricity to kill a person. If you see a dead tree near a power line, call Eversource Energy at 1-800-592-2000 immediately to report the hazard. Eversource also routinely trims trees in its right of way, but there’s no way for them to know everything at once, so your report may prevent a major outage.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Kingston?
While numerous factors go into the cost of removing a tree, it’s impossible to give an exact quote without knowing the situation. The typical tree removal in Kingston costs between $200 and $2,000, with most people paying around $700. Here are a few factors that can make tree removal more (or less) expensive.
Smaller trees will always be less costly to remove than large trees. This is because large trees need more tools to remove and pose a greater hazard if they fall onto property. Once you factor in time and the cost of our labor, it’s easy to see why removing tall trees (especially ones more than 40 feet tall) is more expensive.
The easier it is for us to get to a tree, the less expensive it will be to remove. Some location factors that make tree removal more expensive are:
- The tree is close to a building, fence, or other obstacle
- The tree is on a steep hill
- The tree is in a backyard
- There isn’t a lot of room for the tree to fall safely
Some factors that can make a tree less expensive to remove are:
- The tree is isolated from buildings and fences
- The tree is on level land
- The tree is in a front yard
- There’s already space for it to fall without risking property
Supply and Demand
Having a tree removed will always cost money, regardless of the time. But if it’s at a time when everyone else is having trees removed, such as after a major storm, expect prices to go way up. If your tree removal plans are flexible, you can save some money by scheduling the removal in advance. If the tree has already fallen, you don’t have that luxury, though.