Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Montgomery County?
- 2 Does the City of Montgomery County Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Montgomery County?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Montgomery County?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Montgomery County?
- 6 What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Montgomery County?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Montgomery County?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Montgomery County?
The most populous county in Maryland, Montgomery County is home to over 1 million people. This area is so full of beautiful outdoor spaces, it’s hard to believe that it sits just outside the bustling metropolis of Washington, DC. Whether you’re biking on the serene trails alongside the C&O Canal, strolling through Brookside Gardens, or heading to Gaithersburg for a bit of shopping this area has a little something for everyone. The county is even dedicated to planting free trees as part of a program called Tree Montgomery.
We have a wide range of lovely trees in this area, including American beech, chestnut oak, common hackberry, and eastern white pine. However, there are a few common tree issues that may spring up in Montgomery County. These include:
They may be very cute, but deer can also be deadly for fragile young trees that have just been planted. Deer will often eat the new leaves, twigs, and buds. Male deer will also rub their antlers on the trunks of trees in order to remove the velvet from their antlers. Mature trees can handle this, but young trees will struggle with it and may die if not protected. Strategically placed chicken wire is a fairly easy fix for this problem.
Beech Bark Disease
Also known as BBD, this disease can be found all the way up the East Coast and into Canada. It is caused by a scale insect creating wounds on the tree’s bark. Several fungi will then enter these wounds, ultimately leading to the tree’s death. This disease can spread on the wind, making it challenging to control in forest settings. However, insecticides can help treat BBD on ornamental beeches.
Powdery mildew typically impacts dogwood trees and has been a growing problem throughout the past several years. You can recognize it from the white coating that will appear on leaves throughout the summer and autumn. Although powdery mildew will rarely kill trees, it can cause them to stop growing and become weak.
This pest is incredibly destructive, so much so that the Maryland Department of Agriculture has been actively working to manage it since 1972. The gypsy moth will eat enormous sections of leaves from vital local trees such as oaks, significantly weakening them and occasionally leading to their death. Outbreaks of this pest have impacted hundreds of thousands of acres across the state of Maryland.
Does the City of Montgomery County Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
Montgomery County operates under the Roadside Tree Protection Law, which stipulates that a licensed arborist like Tree Triage must inspect any tree in the public right of way before it can be removed. Any public tree will also require a permit prior to removal. Other scenarios that will require a permit include:
- The tree has a canopy or root system occupying over 5,000 square feet, in which case you will need a sediment control permit
- The tree is located on a historic site, in which case you may need a historic area work permit
- The tree is located in an incorporated city or village, in which case you may have more localized permit requirements
No matter what, if our licensed tree experts deem the tree to be a hazard, they are legally able to remove the danger as quickly as possible without a permit. However, wemust then notify the appropriate authorities within two weeks.
If you believe that you have spotted a hazardous tree either on public property or in a neighbor’s yard, you can dial 311 from anywhere within Montgomery County in order to be connected to the county’s call center for assistance. If you would like to remove a tree on your own property, however, Montgomery County does not offer any type of financial assistance.
Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Montgomery County?
Depending on whether you own the land you’re living on, you may or may not be financially responsible for the removal of a fallen tree. Here’s how to know what you should do in each of these common scenarios:
If you’re a homeowner?
In the state of Maryland, a tree falling is considered an “Act of God.” This means that if a tree or its branches fall on your property, you are the one who will have to arrange for its removal. Homeowners in Maryland will often be able to file a claim with their insurance company, thus receiving some financial assistance. However, if it can be proven that you were aware that the tree could potentially fall, and you did not care for it properly, your insurance will not cover it. As such, it is very important to properly care for your trees and call in our experts if you suspect your tree is ill or weakened.
If you’re a renter?
Fortunately, if a tree falls on your rental property, you will not be held responsible for its removal. This task will fall to your landlord, as they are the person who owns the property. You should contact your landlord right away to alert them if a tree has fallen, and should also let them know if you notice a tree on the property is looking sickly. Although it will not be your responsibility to remove the tree if it falls, you still may be able to help keep it standing by making sure the landlord is aware of any potential problems.
If you’re a landlord?
Since you own the property, you will be responsible for any damages caused by the fallen tree. You should call us to arrange for the tree’s removal as quickly as possible once you become aware that it has fallen so that your tenants can continue to go about their daily life.
If you’re a neighbor?
Montgomery County is not able to require that your neighbor remove their tree if it has fallen into your property — you will be responsible for its removal. However, according to Maryland law, you have the legal right to cut back any tree branches that are protruding from your neighbor’s yard onto your own property. While this will not necessarily prevent the tree from falling, it may reduce the likelihood that it will fall towards your yard. If you have a dispute with your neighbor over a fallen tree, Montgomery County recommends contacting your insurance company.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Montgomery County?
The soil in Montgomery County is predominantly clay. This type of soil is quite heavy and is prone to poor drainage. Fruit trees will grow particularly well in soil with this texture and density. However, it is worth noting that since Montgomery County is so large, there are five other types of soil that you could have:
The county recommends testing the soil in your yard before planting to ensure you are choosing trees that can handle the unique soil in your area.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Montgomery County?
Montgomery County is in USDA Hardiness Zones 6b and 7a, meaning the minimum winter temperature will range from -5 to 5° F. There is a wide array of evergreen and deciduous trees that thrive in this zone, making it easy to find options that will remain healthy. A few of these include:
- Dawn redwood
- Red dogwood
- Japanese maple
What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Montgomery County?
Dead trees close to power lines may become energized, catch fire, or fall and pull the lines down with them. This is a very serious problem, and it is the responsibility of your electric utility company, Pepco, to monitor local power lines and trim or remove hazardous trees. In Maryland, Pepco maintains trees on a four-year cycle, checking one-quarter of the state’s trees every year. If they must trim or remove a tree on your property, you will receive notice before they begin their work. You can also contact Pepco at (202) 833-7500 to report a hazardous tree, and inspectors will come out to check it for you.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Montgomery County?
On average, homeowners in this area pay approximately $642 for tree removal. This price can range from $250 to $1,875 or higher. There are a number of factors that may influence the cost of your tree removal, including:
Location of the Tree
Trees that are easier to access will be more affordable to remove. In an ideal scenario, the tree will be on a flat surface, far away from buildings or power lines. Of course, this is not always possible. Trees will often be located close to your home and may be on a slope. The more challenging it is for our crews to access the tree, the more expensive removal will be. Your location within Montgomery County may also play a role. While there is no county-wide permit requirement for removing a tree on private property, specific towns or HOAs may have their own regulations and fees that add to the cost.
Size and Condition of the Tree
Trees under 20 feet tall are significantly cheaper to remove, as they require fewer of our crew members and less time and equipment. Taller trees, on the other hand, may be several hundred dollars more expensive to remove. Additionally, trees that are diseased will cost more to remove than healthy trees. This is because we must follow additional safety procedures in order to safely dispose of the infected wood and prevent the spread of the disease to nearby plant life.
Whether the Tree Has Fallen
Trees that have already fallen are the cheapest and quickest to remove, while trees that are still standing will cost significantly more. Once a tree has fallen, it does not require as much equipment to remove it from your property. However, it is important to note that stump removal will still be a separate cost.