Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Waterford?
- 2 Does the City of Waterford Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Waterford?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Waterford?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Waterford?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Waterford?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Waterford?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Waterford?
Michiganders are fortunate with the trees that are native to the state. Beech and birch trees both have beautiful bark that is so ornamental the leaves are an afterthought, and the maple trees–red and sugar maple in particular–show off their fall color in spectacular fashion. There are some issues that the trees face, though, and you should be on the lookout for these tree pests.
Emerald Ash Borer
The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an exotic Asian beetle that is beautifully iridescent green and deadly to the trees it infects. The beetles came into this country on cargo ships from China and have shown a tremendous fondness for ash trees. They were first discovered in Michigan in Detroit around 2002. Before arborists understood how fatal they were to ash trees, they made their way inland as firewood or lumber. Adult EABs nibble on ash leaves, which isn’t a problem. The problems start when they lay their eggs in the bark, and the hatched larvae nosh on the inner bark of the trees, blocking the supply chain for water and other nutrients. The adult EAB exits the tree via a D-shaped hole, which is an infestation sign. EABs are so bad in Waterford that the City has built drop-off sites for disposing of infected ash trees free of charge.
You’ve seen bagworms around Waterford–or anywhere shrubs and woody ornamental trees grow–and probably shuddered at the sight of thousands of worms wiggling around inside a transparent bag hanging from a few tree branches. Those are bagworms tucked safely inside the silk, foliage, and debris bags that the mature bagworm weaves, then the caterpillars munch their way through the foliage, leaving stripped branches and weak trees in their wake. If bagworms infect an evergreen tree, it’s usually fatal.
If you catch a bagworm infestation early, when the caterpillars are still larvae, a thorough topical application of insecticide may kill off the pests. Our arborists recommend hand-picking the bags to ensure they’re all removed (a great reason to hire our tree professionals) and eliminate the chance of re-infestation.
These are some of the trees that bagworms like to inhabit.
- Honey Locust
These are also green, like the EAB but have lovely copper-colored wings. They love to feast on your trees in a very dainty way, leaving a lacy pattern of holes in the leaves. Japanese beetles are more of a nuisance than an absolute disaster for trees; a healthy tree can easily survive an infestation of adult beetles.
Tree Diseases Common to Waterford
Tar spot disease is found on maple trees, raised black spots on the upper surface of leaves. A fungus infects the leaves to cause the fungus.
When a tree has leaf rust, you’ll see orange or reddish spotting on the leaves.
If the leaves on a tree look like they’ve been burned or even charred a little, and you have never had a fire, they’ve got fire blight. Fire blight gives trees a burned or charred look, even if a fire has never touched them. It’s the bacterium Erwinia amylovorathat causes the disease, and it is quickly and easily spread. The bacteria enters the tree through any opening, like spring flowers, and invades the entire tree. It also spreads via wind, rain, and even pruning tools.
If the leaves on a tree look dusty or white, you’ve got a powdery mildew infestation. It’s a fungus that’s easily treated with organic home remedies or fungicides applied all over the leaves.
Does the City of Waterford Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
The City will remove any hazardous trees in public rights of way–typically any city-owned property that fronts any private property, either residential or commercial. If you have questions about city trees, call the Urban Forestry Division at the Public Services Department at 562-4950 or (727) 462-6563. The City does not have a set calendar for trimming hazardous trees–that doesn’t make much sense as trees don’t get diseases or damaged on the city schedule–but will prune or remove as needed. The City does not remove or maintain any trees on private property, but the Urban Forestry Division will be happy to help with pruning techniques and provide information.
Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Waterford?
Michigan case law states that tree liability is entirely dependent on circumstances. A tree that falls onto your property may be your responsibility to clean up, or it may be the homeowner’s.
If You’re a Homeowner?
If your tree hits a neighbors fence and knocks it down, are you responsible? Maybe. If an unforeseen weather event toppled the tree onto an insured structure, the neighbor must file a claim with their homeowner’s policy to pay for damages. On the other hand, if the tree fell over because you didn’t maintain it and dead branches cause harm, then the neighbor still files a claim, but their insurer will come knocking on your insurance agent’s door to recover their loss in paying your claim.
If You’re a Renter?
Unless your lease specifically states that you are responsible for tree maintenance, and that is highly unlikely, you are only liable for general lawn maintenance.
If You’re a Landlord?
Your property is your responsibility to maintain, so that means you are in charge of ensuring trees are safe and healthy. Keep in mind that a well-maintained treescape only increases the value of your investment, so don’t cheap out on the trees.
If You’re a Neighbor?
Again, generally speaking, a tree that’s on your property is your responsibility. You can trim back the branches of a neighbors tree if it’s a hazard to your property, just take care to only prune back to the property line and don’t scalp the branches so that you endanger the tree’s health. In Michigan, if you get carried away with the pruning shears on a neighbors tree, and you wind up killing the tree, you owe your neighbor triple damages. If you get annoyed with your neighbor about their trees, find another outlet for your frustration–malicious damage to a tree can run you up to five years in prison.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Waterford?
Waterford soil is well-drained and sandy, making it just about perfect for trees to thrive. The ground itself is grainy and gritty, and water drains away quickly. It lets nutrients pass through the soil faster, which is suitable for the trees in the area. Some trees that grow well in this soil are red oak, white cedar, poplar, and several types of pine–namely white, red, and Scotch.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Waterford?
Waterford weather is temperate enough for trees to do well in the colder months, but one challenge that pops up now and again is the winter injury that occurs when there’s either an early or late-season cold snap. Trees are like people in that they acclimate to cold weather slowly, and a sudden drop in temperature shocks their systems into adjusting faster than they should. The 2013-2014 Polar Vortex was the last such event in the Waterford area.
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Waterford?
DTE Energy will remove trees that are dangerous to power lines, and the City of Waterford will trim and remove trees that are hazardous to pedestrians or infringing on a public right of way. Many Waterford residents take good care of their trees and are not wild about the one-size-fits-all approach to pruning that DTE takes to trees on residential power lines. The City does hire certified arborists who know what they’re doing, but the reality is the City doesn’t contract for aesthetics. You are certainly free to call us to prune your trees safely but leave them more visually appealing on your property.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Waterford?
Estimating the cost of tree removal is almost impossible without a physical inspection of the tree, but most removals will fall between $200 and $1,980. Still, three overarching factors will determine the final cost of tree removal.
The Tree’s Size
The size of the tree–both width and height, has an impact on cost. A large tree that our crews can climb easily may be cheaper to remove than a tall narrow tree that requires a cherry picker or bucket for the crew to reach. More equipment means more of our staff, which translates into a higher cost.
The Tree’s Location
The exact location of the tree on your property is the second concern. A tree with roots growing under the garage and branches hanging over will require more resources and expertise than one further away from the house and not infringing on anything else.
The Tree’s Health
The final cost factor surprises many homeowners–it’s the overall health of the tree. It seems counterintuitive, but a sick and diseased tree is more expensive to remove than one that is healthy. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, our crew can’t safely climb a tree with weakened branches, and they’ll have to work more slowly using bigger equipment. Second, our arborists will have to be super careful not to let any diseased branches or the main trunk infect any other nearby landscaping, and these trees usually have to be burned as we can’t chop them into mulch.