Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Washington?
- 2 Does the City of Washington Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Washington?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Washington?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Washington?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Washington?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Washington?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Washington?
There’s a lot of rich plant and animal life around here, and while that makes for some gorgeous trees, it also brings the pests and diseases that can prey on them. Our coastal, warm summers and moderate winters allow plants to thrive, but some of the beloved features that make North Carolina home, like the nearby rivers, creeks, and swamps, can also pose problems for trees around here.
Beetles and other borers are common pests that have been regularly preying on trees around Washington. There are quite a few of these around, and in small numbers, they’re just harmless yard insects. Often, large numbers of them can exploit vulnerable trees and bore into their trunk to feed. As the infestation progresses, nutrients and moisture are choked off and the rest of the tree begins to die.
Does the City of Washington Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
Unfortunately, our small city doesn’t have the resources to help with tree removal problems on private property. For smaller trees and limbs and branches, Washington Solid Waste Removal picks up yard waste every other week, alternating with recycling pickup.
Though the city doesn’t offer assistance with tree removal, it doesn’t mean that the law doesn’t require residents to responsibly maintain trees on their private property and remove fallen trees promptly. Washington sets standards for the upkeep of personal property and clearly defines a nuisance as any accumulation that could cause a fire hazard or attracts pests and animals. Dead trees live up to that definition and could run you afoul of city law enforcement.
Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Washington?
Most of the time, the owner of the property that the tree grew on is responsible for the removal of the tree once it’s fallen. This means even if trees fall across property lines, the original owner of the tree will still have an obligation to remove it at their expense. Typically, for situations like this where trees fall onto a neighbor’s property, insurance will consider it as a no-fault accident for both sides in the case that it causes any damage to homes or property. If, however, the owner of the tree had advanced knowledge that the tree was in ill health and at risk of falling, they could be found negligent and forced to compensate any damaged parties. This makes it doubly important to keep up with tree maintenance and remove trees that are potentially a hazard before they have the chance to fall.
If you’re a homeowner?
If you’re a homeowner here in Washington, the trees on your land are some of the best ways to grow value over time in your investment. They provide beauty, shade, privacy, and a unique feel to your home, but just like the structures on your land, there are responsibilities to maintain that go alongside your trees. Maintenance includes removal of fallen trees when necessary, and failure to remove them promptly may upset neighbors and even Washington Code Enforcement, all of whom recognize that fallen trees that are allowed to sit for long periods not only damage the ecosystem around them, but also pose safety risks and harm the appeal and value of properties nearby.
If you’re a renter?
If you’re a tenant in a rental property in Washington, then your responsibility in dealing with fallen trees likely ends with calling your landlord. Standard lease agreements usually stipulate that you, as the tenant, are responsible for basic upkeep like lawn care, but trees are different from grass and are considered a permanent fixture of the property. Unless your lease specifically leaves you the responsibility for tree maintenance, then it probably falls on your landlord.
If you’re a landlord?
When you own a rental property, you want to collect returns on your investment, but still maintain your property as a valuable asset. This includes taking care of your trees, which are an integral part of the value of your real estate. Your tenants don’t have any long-term interests in your property, so, just like building maintenance and other serious issues, you want to be the one to make the decisions when it comes to tree care and removal.
If you’re a neighbor?
If you have a neighbor with a fallen tree, they will be obligated to remove it. If it’s partly on your property or affecting your fence line, you may be able to remove it yourself and seek compensation if it’s a nuisance to you. It’s best to avoid fights with neighbors whenever possible though, so communicate with your neighbor about their fallen tree and see what they plan to do about it. Even if it’s not on your property, eventually, fallen trees left to rot will attract rodents and bugs and start to adversely affect the plant life around them. If you can’t reach an agreement with your neighbor, contact the City of Washington Code Enforcement Division to see how best the situation can be resolved.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Washington?
The soil near the coast in Washington is mostly loam, which is soil composed of decaying organic material, sand, silt, and clay. Loams vary in composition but tend to be very well-drained and great for growing trees.
Our soil tends to be particularly heavy in clays. One problem that this can pose for trees is that clay expands during periods of heavy rain and contracts during dry periods, causing the soil to shift over time and potentially erode. This can affect trees that are planted in clay-rich loam and sometimes cause structural instabilities or leave roots exposed.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Washington?
Our weather is pretty great for growing many different kinds of trees, but it does pose a few problems as well. We see quite a bit of rain around here, especially during the summer. Heavy rainfall can put a tree’s stability to the test, and when winds blow heavily in a rainstorm, weaknesses in branches may lead to damage to the tree.
Washington is occasionally at risk from storms during hurricane season, which can lead to storms that can wreak havoc on your trees. During a hurricane, a tree is the least of your concerns, but preparing ahead of time to trim any weak branches and ensure your trees are strong enough to take strong winds can prevent your trees from experiencing serious damage.
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Washington?
Here in Washington, our power is administered by the local government through Washington Electric Utilities. We’re part of a group of more than 70 towns that make up a rich public power ecosystem in North Carolina, which is coordinated through ElectriCities. Though public power keeps our costs low and the control over our electricity in the hands of our friends and neighbors, it does have some drawbacks versus a large utility company.
With a population of around 10,000, Washington can’t offer regular, courtesy trimming and removal of dead trees around power lines like many large utility providers do. Trees near electric lines can still be a major hazard though, and ElectriCities has guidelines for how close trees can get to lines before they pose a significant risk of falling into them, potentially disrupting power and starting fires.
Dead trees near power lines can be incredibly dangerous if not dealt with by a trained professional. Contacting arborists like us to maintain and trim trees before they pose a threat to power lines can entirely prevent this risk, but when your trees are already encroaching on lines, it’s time to call the power company. If any part of a tree could fall across transmission lines or transformers, it will need to be dealt with immediately, and utility workers have the tools and knowledge to perform trimming or removal safely.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Washington?
Most homeowners in Washington pay between $450 and $850 for tree removal, but your total may be as low as $200 or as high as $1,800 or more. Below are some factors that influence your price.
Size matters when it comes to the cost of tree removal in Washington. Large trees have the potential to create big logistical problems for tree removal. In addition to the increased effort to remove that much more material, larger trees can pose a serious safety hazard to arborists like us, meaning big trees will need additional tools and more time devoted to planning.
Planning is an important step in the removal of larger trees on your property. Poorly planned large tree removal can cause serious damage to trees or even buildings around it. Safe removal has to be the priority, and sometimes, larger trees can complicate that.
Tree health can seriously impact the cost of removal. While some dead trees can be simple to remove, the overall health of a tree can still complicate things for its removal, after it’s dead. Rotted or structurally unstable trees could pose a serious safety hazard during removal and could fall in unpredictable ways. Trees that are killed by diseases could still carry pathogens that could infect nearby plant life and other trees and will need to be dealt with accordingly, and possibly quarantined. Our experienced arborists are used to dealing with these kinds of problems, but it will increase the time it takes and, therefore, the cost of the job.
Trees that are harder to get to make for a harder job. If a tree is crowded by other trees, then it may be difficult to get to it and remove it without damaging the nearby trees. Likewise, trees that are near buildings or other structures may require additional tools in planning to remove the tree safely without damaging any property.
Tree removal that causes damage to other trees or buildings can lead to very expensive repair costs. Due diligence should always be practiced during tree removal, to avoid any costly mishaps.