Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Waltham?
- 2 Does the City of Waltham Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Waltham?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Waltham?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Waltham?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Waltham?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Waltham?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Waltham?
Due to the rich ecosystem of trees across the whole state of Massachusetts, many of the same tree problems found in the forests around the state also affect us here in Waltham. We’ve seen a lot of pests and diseases cause problems for trees around here over the years, but some of the most common are:
- Gypsy Moths
- Winter Moths
- Hemlock Wooly Adelgid
- Southern Pine Beetle
- Emerald Ash Borer
- White Pine Needlecast
Does the City of Waltham Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
Though the city of Waltham has an active Forestry Division with a tree warden dedicated to maintaining the health of trees on public property, the city, unfortunately, does not offer any assistance with tree removal issues on private property.
Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Waltham?
Under Massachusetts law, the owner of the land the tree grew on is always responsible for its removal. This means that even if a tree falls across property lines, the original owner is still responsible for the costs of removal. If a tree of yours ends up falling on your neighbor’s land, you’ll need to remove it or compensate them for the cost of its removal.
Even though you may be responsible for the cost of removing trees, you usually aren’t liable for the damages caused by falling trees. Insurance companies consider this a no-fault incident, and will typically compensate any damaged party. If you’ve been warned by the city or even by a neighbor that the tree was in ill health or at risk of falling, however, your insurance company could potentially consider you negligent and refuse to cover any damages you claim.
If you’re a homeowner?
If you own a home in Waltham, the trees on your property are part of what you invested in when you bought your land. Your trees add beauty, comfort, and uniqueness to your property, but they also require upkeep and maintenance. Caring for your trees isn’t hard, but is more than worth it in the long-term value they can lend to your property. Proper care of your trees does, however, include removing fallen trees when necessary.
Allowing fallen trees to linger on your land invites pests and diseases to your property that could easily overwhelm your ecosystem and have adverse effects on your healthy trees. Promptly removing fallen trees is one of the most important parts of caring for all the trees on your land as a whole.
If you’re a renter?
If you rent a home here in Waltham, it’s likely that you’re not responsible for removing fallen trees from the land. Even if you’re responsible for normal upkeep and repair issues like lawn care, the law usually considers trees to be permanent features of a property, similar to permanent structures, like a house. Just as your landlord is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the house you rent, they’re also responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the trees on the property. When trees fall on the property you rent, your landlord has an obligation under the Massachusetts rental code to remove them promptly, before they become a nuisance.
If you’re a landlord?
If you own a rental property here in Waltham, the responsibility of removing trees is probably still yours. The law usually considers trees and their maintenance the responsibility of a property owner rather than a tenant. While it may seem attractive to have your tenants handle things like tree removal, it’s important to keep the care of your trees under your control. They’re an important part of the value you invested in when you purchased your property, and your tenants have no vested interest in the future of your land.
When tree maintenance and removal issues pop up on your rental properties, act quickly to prevent situations in which tenants may attempt to take matters into their own hands. If you communicate clearly with your tenants about your plans regarding the trees on your property, then they will always know that you are already taking care of the issue.
If you’re a neighbor?
If you have a neighbor here in Waltham that has trees on their property that need to be removed, they still have an obligation to you, under Waltham city code, to remove the offending trees before they can become a nuisance. Even if they’re not on your property, decaying trees left to sit can attract vermin and diseases that can adversely affect the ecosystem of your property. Also, you shouldn’t have to suffer an eyesore from your property just because your neighbor doesn’t want to remove fallen trees.
These kinds of issues are exactly why we have nuisance laws here in Waltham. You always want to talk out any disputes with your neighbors, but if you’re unable to come to an understanding, then the city of Waltham may be able to help.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Waltham?
Our soil here is great for trees, but it does have some drawbacks. Our soils tend to be very well-drained in Middlesex County, so you always know that even the deepest roots of your trees will get plenty of water when rain falls. This can alternatively have some ill effects on younger or smaller trees though. Our fast-draining soils may not leave enough water for shallow root systems, as our well-aerated soils allow water to permeate quickly to deeper parts of the soil.
Our soil also tends to be a little acidic here, which could harm some kinds of trees. This is because of the high levels of granite deposited in it over time. Our native trees around here still thrive on even our more acidic soils, but the pH levels of our soil may require you to take some extra steps with tree species that are non-native.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Waltham?
Our local trees do pretty well around here, and why wouldn’t they? Our warm, temperate summers don’t get hot enough to harm our trees, and we see significant and consistent rainfall year-round to keep feeding the roots of our growing trees.
One thing that may cause trees that aren’t used to this environment to struggle is our winters. With the coldest days in winter routinely staying below freezing, trees used to a warmer climate may suffer between November and March. Our snowfall can get significant here, and we regularly see more than a foot per month throughout the winter. This could potentially add a lot of weight to trees as their branches catch snow. Trees that are already suffering from health issues could easily give way under the added top-heavy weight of snow, leading to broken limbs, branches, or even trunks.
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Waltham?
Trees should never be planted near overhead power lines and should always be trimmed so that they can’t encroach on the space of the lines. If you have dead trees near power lines, these could pose a significant risk of electric shock, power interruption, or dangerous fires. To remove or trim trees near power lines, you’ll need to contact Eversource. Only utility technicians have the training and tools required to work near power lines, and they regularly perform tree maintenance and care within the electric utility right-of-way.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Waltham?
Tree trimming is usually pretty affordable here in Waltham, with the most straightforward removals running around $150. That having been said, there are a few factors that could potentially have a huge impact on the cost of your specific tree removal.
The size of the tree could have a serious effect on the cost of its removal. The largest of trees pose serious challenges during the removal process, and extra planning will be required to ensure your removal goes just as expected. Big trees can pose a big risk to buildings on your property as well as to us as we remove them. We’ll need to utilize extra tools and take extra safety precautions for safe and efficient removal.
The health conditions that originally killed your tree may end up affecting the cost of its removal as well. Trees that died from a pathogen or infestation may still be carrying pests or the disease that killed them. This could easily spread to your other healthy trees during removal, so we’ll need to take steps to prevent any possibility of harming the other plant life on your property.
If your tree has been dead for a while, then it may have started to rot. Rotten trees can splinter and break in unexpected ways during removal, which could complicate the process or cause us to have to take extra safety precautions. These extra steps may add time to the removal process and in turn, increase your costs.
Trees grow in all sorts of interesting places and interesting ways. The unique way in which your tree grew could alter the cost of its removal, though. If the tree that you need to be removed is growing against or is entwined with another healthy tree, we’ll likely have to take extra care to not harm your healthy tree during removal. For trees that are growing right up against your home or other buildings on your property, they can pose a risk of serious damage. We can plan almost any removal to eliminate the chance of damaging your property, but taking extra time for planning and precautions will often increase the costs of any given removal.