Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Ann Arbor?
- 2 Does the City of Ann Arbor Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Ann Arbor?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Ann Arbor?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Ann Arbor?
- 6 What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Ann Arbor?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Ann Arbor?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Ann Arbor?
Three of the most common threats to the trees in Ann Arbor include the European gypsy moth, the emerald ash borer, and adelgids (among many other pests and tree diseases).
European Gypsy Moth
The gypsy moth caterpillar can clear most of the leaves from a single tree in a matter of just days. Now, imagine nests full of thousands of these caterpillars over vast sections of forest. It’s not a pretty picture. These guys are extreme defoliators and can clear large sections of the forest’s leaves in a single season. This can cause the death of young trees and saplings and seriously injure or stunt the growth of mature trees.
The gypsy moth is particularly fond of Oaks but feeds on more than 300 species of trees and shrubs including:
- Fruit trees
These moths are spread from area to area by humans, on their vehicles, firewood, and outdoor equipment. It’s important to recognize how to identify them and where they may be hiding in your stuff when you move. These moths are a contributing factor to Michigan’s strict policy regarding firewood.
The Emerald Ash Borer
The Emerald Ash Borer is an exotic wood-boring beetle that comes from China. Its larvae feed just beneath the bark of a tree, effectively stopping the transport of water and nutrients through the tree. This little beetle was first discovered in the US, in southeastern Michigan, in the summer of 2002 but could have been in the states for more than a decade before that. It infests all species of Ash that are found in Michigan, including Green Ash, White Ash, Blue Ash, and Pumpkin Ash. Once the beetles have overtaken a tree, very little can be done to save the tree. As a result, Ann Arbor has removed many of the Ash trees which used to exist in the city, they are replaced with other varieties of trees.
These dreaded little pests are insects related to aphids. Though Michigan has employed several effective control measures to contain and eliminate these particular pests, they still pop up from time to time in Ann Arbor and neighboring towns. The most common type of adelgid is the pine leaf adelgid, or Pineus pinifoliae, which can cause stunted growth and twisted shoots in white pine trees. Occasionally, they will impact black pine as well. Related to the pine leaf adelgid, another threat is the hemlock woolly adelgid or Adelges tsugae. This insect predominantly eats hemlock wood and needs to be reported if you see any damage to hemlocks on your property. While not overly prevalent in Ann Arbor, it has been found recently in other counties along the western shores of Lake Michigan.
Does the City of Ann Arbor Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
Ann Arbor goes to great lengths to protect the trees in the area. There are committees who work to ensure that parks and streets have trees to provide adequate shade, reduce air and noise pollution, and just overall enhance the beauty of the area. In fact, Ann Arbor has a vibrant and busy forestry department dedicated to the health and safety of the trees in the city. Several committees are dedicated to various aspects of tree service and there are even funds and grants set up to pay to “repair, maintain, and replace trees on city property, perpetually”.
While there are lots of programs in place to help residents to plant more trees, there is little the city does to help residents remove trees. In fact, if a resident wants to remove a tree that is on the street, they will have to pay a canopy removal fee to the city to compensate for the loss of the tree.
However, trees that pose a hazard to the health and safety of residents and other surrounding trees are usually processed quickly by the city as long as they are on public land. Additionally, the city offers pruning services for residents if they require assistance in removing trees, branches, or debris from their property.
Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Ann Arbor?
If a tree falls in your yard within the city limits of Ann Arbor, the person responsible for taking care of it is: You.
As a general rule, the person responsible for having a fallen tree removed is the property owner of the land where the tree fell. While there are certainly exceptions to every rule, it is commonly accepted that the land owner has the sole responsibility for cleaning up expenses that occur in their own yard. Of course, if you have a complex Allen tree scenario, it might be a little unclear which party is responsible for getting them cleaned up.
If you’re a homeowner?
If you own your home, you also have ownership of its trees. If a tree falls on your property, you’ll need to call a professional to come clear it away. Regular tree maintenance like pruning and soil care can help prevent this from happening too often, but heavy winter snow or strong winds can damage even hearty trees.
If a tree falls onto your property from the street side of your home, it is likely that the tree is owned and maintained by the city of Ann Arbor, so it would be wise to give them a call with questions about tree removal and damage repair.
If you’re a renter?
Be sure to check your lease carefully because tenants typically aren’t responsible for tree removal on property they rent. Unless your lease states otherwise, it will still be the property owner’s responsibility. If it is your fault that the tree has fallen due to accident or negligence, the landlord may be able to require you to pay for its removal. Remember too, that trees street side in Ann Arbor often belong to the city, thus the city would handle the cleanup.
If you’re a landlord?
The responsibility of keeping your property free of hazards comes with the task of renting out your home to others. It’s usually a landlord’s responsibility to take care of trees after they have fallen, and it is important for landlords to perform preventative maintenance tasks on the trees of their property regularly too.
If you’re a neighbor?
When trees fall on or near property lines, it can sometimes be difficult to decide who should tackle the removal of the tree. The rule of thumb here is that if a tree falls on your land, it is now your problem. Often, neighbors will decide to split the cost of removal, especially if the tree falls right on a property line or has damaged fences or buildings.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Ann Arbor?
The type and health of the soil in Ann Arbor are an important part of keeping the trees healthy. In Washtenaw County, there are 83 distinct soil types which range from sand to loam, to clay to organic muck. The county publishes in depth soil surveys in order to keep tabs on any deficiencies in nutrients or problems that could arise in maintaining tree and crop health.
In Ann Arbor, the soil is typically some mixture of sand and loam, which is pretty good soil for tree growth. In particularly sandy areas, closer to Lake Michigan, this type of soil could potentially limit the strength of tree root systems and make erosion of the land an issue in replanting options.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Ann Arbor?
Ann Arbor experiences all four seasons, so winter can be a little tricky when it comes to tree maintenance. It can snow in Ann Arbor from November through April, with December and January being particularly cold, with an average daily high temperature below 41°F. Extreme cold fronts will sometimes blow through and negatively impact trees that have shallow root systems. Along with the cold temperatures, winters are windy. High winds can bring with them heavy snowfall or rainfall. Though water is good for tree growth, too much rain or poor drainage can loosen roots, making them easy to uproot in the wind. It can also lead to root rot, mold, and other fungal growth.
What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Ann Arbor?
Dead trees near power lines are obviously a safety concern. If you see a dead or downed tree near a powerline in Ann Arbor or the surrounding areas, stay away and contact DTE immediately. They will send technicians out to handle the problem to prevent power outages. Additionally, DTE works with several professional tree trimming companies, who will complete regular tree trimming. Small debris will be cleaned and removed from residential properties while larger pieces of wood will be cut to firewood length and piled neatly on the property. Debris removal policies differ in the aftermath of a storm.
DTE also offers a monthly maintenance plan which will protect against tree clean up and trimming expenses called TreeGuard Assurance. If you are a TreeGuard Assurance customer and you experience an outage related to your overhead service drop, you’ll be able to simply file a claim online and then DTE will send a certified tree trim crew to haul away tree debris and trim back trees.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Ann Arbor?
Most Ann Arbor residents can expect to pay between $600-1000 to have a tree removed from their property. However, tree removal costs are really based on numerous contributing factors and can reach closer to $2000 for some homeowners. Three of the most important factors include:
Height and Width of the Tree
Trees that are exceptionally large will most likely cost more than smaller trees. You’ll need to consider both the height of the tree as well as the diameter of your tree. The bigger they are, the more labor and time will be required from our team to remove them. Bigger trees equal bigger bills.
Location of the Tree
The location of your tree will impact the cost. If your tree is near a property line or hangs out over a fence, it will require specialized skills to drop the tree away from hazards. This is true if your tree is close to a building or in other hard-to-reach places too. The cost of removing your tree will increase the more difficult the job becomes. If your tree removal is tricky, it may require that we bring special equipment or additional staff members to complete the job. This too results in higher tree removal bills.
Remember that if you want to remove a tree that is near the street in Ann Arbor, it is likely that tree is owned by the city. In which case, there are additional fees associated with the removal of city-owned trees.
If your tree is diseased or bug-infested, you may find it necessary to pay for additional services on top of just simple tree removal. These services, like adding a pesticide or fungicide to prevent the spread of the disease, will add to the total cost of your tree removal but will keep the other trees on your property from succumbing to the same problem.
You may also find that there are fees for stump removal, removal of additional brush, or for cutting the tree into manageable pieces if you intend to keep it for firewood.