Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Flint?
- 2 Does the City of Flint Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Flint?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Flint?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Flint?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Flint?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Flint?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Flint?
“Vehicle City”, home of General Motors since 1908, Flint, Michigan certainly has a place in the history books. It is the seventh-largest city in Michigan and has a history that dates back to 1819, when a fur trader, Jacob Smith, founded it as a village along the Saginaw Trail.
For all the glory and beauty of its past, Flint has fallen on hard times. There have been extensive water concerns for nearly 95,000 residents. These residents have been exposed to lead through their water supply.
With our love of trees, we decided to look at the effects of lead, and other things, on trees in Flint. Some of the most common diseases and pests for trees include:
- Leaf Spot
- Needle Cast
- Black Knot
- Powdery Mildew
- Phomopsis Blight
- Oak Wilt
- Tar Spots
- Verticillium Wilt
Trees in the area may also suffer if there is lead in the soil.
Does the City of Flint Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
In 2021, the Mott Foundation granted money to the Genesee Conservation District (GCD). It is aimed to remove dangerous and dead trees throughout the city of Flint. In total, there are approximately more than 330 trees that are set to be removed. These trees are those that are “street trees”, meaning that they are city-owned, specifically those that pose a danger to people or personal property.
As to homeowner assistance for tree removal, there is the Flint Home Improvement Fund (Flint HIF), which provides loans with little to no interest. You may also be able to pay back the loan only partially since payback is based on a sliding scale.
The loan can be used for anything that residents may deem necessary for their home to be more comfortable for them. The major requirement is that you have to reside in a single-family home in Flint. Apartment complexes and other types of properties may qualify for other help to tackle renovations.
Though these two assistance programs will not relieve Flint families of all financial burden as it pertains to tree removal, they could be helpful to some families. If you feel that there is a tree that should be on the list to be removed, yet it remains standing and/or unmarked, you can contact the City of Flint’s Street Maintenance Department.
Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Flint?
In Flint, it is generally the property owner’s responsibility to care for their property, including the trees that grow there. This is in part due to a House Bill that was voted on in 2019. However, many people are still unclear about what it means in their situation. We will try to explain how it pertains to each situation.
If you’re a homeowner?
As a property owner, you are responsible for the care and maintenance of your property. If you have a tree that is diseased, dying, or already dead and it falls onto the property of your neighbor, you could face liability if it damages their property. The risk of this increases if your neighbor can prove that you probably knew the tree was a danger before it fell. For example, your neighbor has complained about the tree limbs over their property before, has photos of it being an unhealthy tree, etc.
You may be asking, “what if it was healthy and nature is what made it fall?” Because it is a tree that is on your property, you may still have to pay for damages to your neighbor’s property. For this reason, you are encouraged to call our arborists to take care of your trees.
If you’re a renter?
Since the property is not legally yours, you can avoid financial liability if a tree falls and damages the property. However, you do have an obligation to report a dangerous tree to your landlord. There are exceptions though. You may want to check your lease agreement to make sure that you do not personally hold responsibility for upkeep on your property. This could put you fully responsible for the damages that a fallen tree causes because you didn’t take care of it prior to it falling. This mostly applies to single-family home rentals.
If you’re a landlord?
As the owner of a single-family home that you rent out, you will be accountable for tree maintenance unless it is otherwise stated in the lease agreement with your tenant. This means, if a tree falls, responsibility may be determined by the lease. If there is no provision for landscaping and maintenance, you could have to pay for damages on your own.
In an apartment building setting, you are also responsible for hiring lawn maintenance services. If a tree falls onto your tenant’s car because it wasn’t trimmed and was dead, then the responsibility will also fall to you.
If you’re a neighbor?
Let’s imagine that you have a tree limb hanging over your home that originates from the tree next door. You may be able to have your neighbor pay for any damages that happen if it falls. If it is a dead or dying tree, to begin with, we suggest that you talk to your neighbor first. Then take photographs of the tree, how it hangs over your property, etc. If it falls, you will be able to say that your neighbor knew about the problem. This simply safeguards you from responsibility, even more than the bill would.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Flint?
In Genesee County, the soil is mostly Miami Loam, Clay Loam, and Sandy Loam. This is typically a great type of soil for farming. However, in Flint, the soil is not ideal for farming because of its history. All the industrial use that it has gone through has left its mark in the soil.
The industrialized areas have high levels of lead in the soil. This has been proven worse during the warm, dry months of July, August, and September when trees and plants are more actively growing.
Lead inhibits the tree’s seed germination, root elongation, and more. It can even affect its ability to produce chlorophyll. Each of these issues can cause a tree, plant, or shrub to die if there are excessive amounts. This does not mean there is no hope for your trees. Planting ground cover like turfgrass, ceanothus, lantana, or bearberry is recommended. You can also grow a garden that includes corn, peas, tomatoes, etc.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Flint?
The weather in Flint changes with the seasons. The coldest months are January and December. The warmest months are June, July, and August. In general, this would not affect trees that are native to the area. Native trees include:
- White Pine
- Some Fruit Trees
However, there is a constant risk for severe weather, which will often cause damage to trees. High winds, severe storms, tornados, etc., are all possible and unavoidable.
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Flint?
Flint works hard to keep trees that are unhealthy or near power lines removed from the city. However, things can happen unexpectedly and without any notice. If you happen to notice a tree that is growing dangerously close to a power line, you can ask someone from the city to remove it. If the tree has already fallen on the power line, you are encouraged to call 911 first and then contact Consumers Energy.
You are encouraged to stay away from the tree, branches, and any power line that may fall with the tree. This is for your safety.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Flint?
In Flint, you will be required to get a permit before removing or trimming a tree. It is a permit that will not cost you money, which is great news for property owners. It means that you do not have that added cost. However, there are other costs involved with tree removal.
On average, homeowners pay between $300 and $2,000 for tree removals. Most will spend closer to $600. We know you are likely wondering why there is such a broad range of prices. In short, it stems from the fact that there are so many things that can influence the overall cost of tree removal. Some cost factors include:
Tall and thick trees are more difficult to remove than small, thin ones. They have a larger root system and may require more of our professionals on the job at one time.
Difficulty of Job
Is your tree near a structure? Power lines? Is it difficult to access? These factors mean that it is going to be harder to bring the tree down without causing damage. Special equipment may have to be brought in. When near a power line, the street maintenance team may have to be consulted.
Trees that are in the middle of your lawn and pose no significant risk of damages will be cheaper to take down.
Emergency Services Needed
Tree emergencies do happen. Storms can make trees fall at any time. If it happens during business hours, then you will save money on the removal. A tree that falls or becomes an emergency during the weekend, holidays, or nighttime hours will increase the cost for you. In Michigan, heavy snow on the ground can also make it more difficult to tackle tree removal, and therefore, more costly for you.
No one wants to remove a tree. Generally speaking, we like to keep them around. However, in Flint, you must know if they are healthy. If they aren’t, they should be removed. If you are unsure of what you should do with the trees on your property, you are encouraged to contact our arborists for advice. It could save you from a lot of issues later on.