Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Hagerstown?
- 2 Does the City of Hagerstown Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Hagerstown?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Hagerstown?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Hagerstown?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Hagerstown?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Hagerstown?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Hagerstown?
We’ve seen lots of minor issues and passing problems pop up with trees over the years, but there are definitely some more common issues than others here in Hagerstown. We regularly see issues with bark beetles and borers, and if they’re not dealt with quickly, they can colonize other nearby trees. We also know many problems with root rot and fungus during the first rainy days of spring.
We’ve been seeing really serious problems with oak trees becoming prevalent in the area lately, and if you have any oaks on your property, you’d be advised to keep an eye out. Oak Anthracnose is a fungal infection that thrives in cool, wet weather. Often the first symptom you’ll see is partial drying of leaves that can lead to a full-blown blight quickly after. Conversely, bacterial scorch can plague oaks in hot, dry weather. This bacteria causes leaves to appear burnt, as it blocks the pathways of water between the roots and the leaves.
Does the City of Hagerstown Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
Unfortunately, the city of Hagerstown doesn’t offer any assistance in navigating tree removal problems on private property. Hagerstown trash and recycling run their seasonal yard waste pickup each week from March through December, though, which could help alleviate some waste clean-up after tree trimming or tree removal.
Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Hagerstown?
Under Maryland law, tree removal and any other maintenance trees require the property owner’s responsibility on which they grow. This means that no matter where a fallen tree ends up, it’s still that tree’s owner’s responsibility to remove it. Like a neighbor or the city, suppose someone else is forced to remove it before the owner can remedy the situation. In that case, the property owner will likely have a responsibility to compensate the other party for their cost.
It’s important to know that while you’re responsible for removing a fallen tree that falls onto another’s property, insurance companies usually cover damage caused by falling trees as a no-fault accident. This means typically, neither party will be responsible financially for any damage that may have been caused to their properties or trees. If, however, you had prior notice from the city, the county, or a neighbor that the tree was at serious risk of falling, your insurance company could find you negligent and refuse to cover any damages caused by the tree.
If you’re a homeowner?
If you own a home here in Hagerstown, the trees are an important part of what you bought when investing in your property. Trees are about more than just value; and they also contribute shade, beauty, and comfort to your home. It’s important to cultivate an ecosystem on your property in which your trees can thrive well into the future and continue to grow the value of your property.
Maintaining trees is important to keep them in good health, including removing fallen trees when necessary. Fallen trees that are left to sit can have adverse effects like attracting pests and diseases to your property, which could harm your trees’ long-term health.
If you’re a renter?
If you rent a home here in Hagerstown, your landlord is probably the one responsible for removing fallen trees. While it’s true that most lease agreements do stipulate that the tenant should perform regular upkeep such as lawn care, Maryland rental code typically considers trees a permanent feature of the property, and therefore, a property owner’s responsibility.
If trees fall and need to be removed on a property you rent, contact your landlord immediately. They have a legal obligation to perform general property upkeep and remove nuisances quickly to avoid them contributing to a safety hazard.
If you’re a landlord?
If you’re the rental property owner, chances are you leave regular yard maintenance like lawn care as tenant responsibilities in your lease agreement. While that may be standard practice, Maryland law generally considers trees to be much more permanent fixtures than grass or gardens. The legal responsibility to perform maintenance on your trees falls on you, including their removal when they have fallen.
Your trees are an important part of your property investment, and you wouldn’t necessarily want to leave them in the hands of your tenants anyway. Since your tenants have no vested interest in the future of your property, decisions that can affect the health of your trees should be yours and yours alone. Communicating thoroughly with your tenants and performing any tree maintenance or tree removal that needs to be done in a timely fashion is often the best way to avoid situations in which tenants may take matters into their own hands.
If you’re a neighbor?
Suppose you have a neighbor nearby with fallen trees that need to be removed. In that case, they have an obligation under the Hagerstown city ordinance to promptly remove anything that could constitute a public nuisance. Even when it’s not on your property, nearby fallen trees that are left to linger can attract dangerous pests and diseases that could have long-term effects on the health of trees and other plants on your property.
When you live next to somebody, it’s always best to resolve things by communicating thoroughly before taking more drastic action. That having been said, if you have an issue with the fallen tree that you cannot resolve with your neighbor, you may want to give Hagerstown Code Administration a call and see if they can help remedy the situation.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Hagerstown?
Our soil here in Hagerstown tends to be very deep and well-drained, rich with nutrients and heavy in gray limestone particles, ground into sand over millennia of erosion. Our especially well-drained soils promote the growth of large and healthy trees, as water can easily permeate down to the deepest reaches of the soil bed to feed the largest root systems.
These drainage qualities can adversely affect some trees, however. Younger or smaller trees may find it hard to compete with larger neighbors when water so readily seeps down to the deepest reaches of the soil. Saplings and shorter trees may need a little extra attention here, especially when they’re close by to giant trees.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Hagerstown?
Our hot, humid summers and cold winters can cause discomfort to people in their extremes, but our trees here seem to do amazingly well in our climate. Our precipitation is pretty evenly spread throughout the year, with a tiny bit of a peak in May, which means that trees can drink plenty of the water that they need any time of year. Our summers can get a little hot, with summers regularly seeing temperatures over 100. Trees with health deficiencies often run into trouble during this time of year, but healthy trees can survive our heat just fine.
Hurricanes and other tropical storms can occasionally affect our weather here in Hagerstown. Though we’re in a very low-risk zone compared to much of the eastern seaboard, the storms on the Atlantic can still create high winds and torrential rain here. Some of our neighbors closer to the bay experience a lot worse from these storms, but occasionally we’ll still catch some of the storms, like when Hurricane Sandy affected the area in 2012.
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Hagerstown?
Trees should always be kept clear of power lines so that no part of them can pose any threat to transmission lines or transformer boxes. If you have dead trees on your property that are encroaching on the space of overhead power lines, you need to call The City of Hagerstown Electric Division immediately. Trees rubbing against or falling on power lines can be a serious hazard that could interrupt service for thousands of your neighbors or start hard to control fires. The utility company’s technicians are specially trained to manage the hazards of working around electrical lines and have the tools to ensure that they can perform the job safely. They are the only ones who should perform any maintenance or removal on trees that are near power lines.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Hagerstown?
Here in Hagerstown, tree removal usually falls right in line with the national average cost of $650. A few factors can greatly influence the cost of any particular tree removal job, though, and some jobs in the city can creep up toward the $2,000 mark.
While it may seem obvious that a bigger tree makes for a bigger removal job, a tree’s size really can be the largest factor in determining the cost of its removal. It can’t be understated how large heavy trees can get, and all that weight can do some serious damage to our arborists, nearby buildings, or other trees without thorough safety precautions and planning. Safety is always our first priority, and it’s worth taking the time to do a job the right way. Unfortunately, more time spent on a removal job usually results in higher costs.
Over the years, we’ve seen trees growing in some unique ways. Dead trees that wind around healthy trees, trees that have grown together, large trees so close to buildings they’re nearly touching, and the list could go on. Every single tree is unique and grows in its own way, and some trees just pose challenges that others don’t. Depending on the specific circumstances that your tree has grown in, it may take extra planning to successfully remove the tree without causing damage to nearby buildings and trees.
Even after your tree is long dead, its health still continues to affect it. Suppose your tree died of an infectious disease or an invasive pest infestation. In that case, we’ll likely have to take extra precautions to protect the other trees on your property from contracting the same condition during its removal.
Trees that have been dead for a long time can also pose some problems for removal. For dead trees that are no longer metabolizing water, small bits of moisture can gradually seep into the tree, rotting it from the inside out. Rotten limbs, branches, and even trunks can splinter and break in unpredictable ways and potentially cause serious safety risks and complicate removal plans. This often results in jobs taking a little extra time to keep everything as safe as possible.