Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Waxhaw?
- 2 Does the City of Waxhaw Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Waxhaw?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Waxhaw?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Waxhaw?
- 6 What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Waxhaw?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Waxhaw?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Waxhaw?
Newcomers to Waxhaw are curious about the frenzy to “band” oak, maple, and ash trees in the fall, where to find “tanglefoot”, and can you do it yourself or do you need our tree professionals? We’ll translate.
The cankerworm is a deadly enemy to trees in Waxhaw and other communities around Charlotte, and putting a wide band of sticky goo, tanglefoot, on the tree trunk in the fall is the way to combat the pest. The tanglefoot prevents the female from crawling up and laying eggs in the trees. A new crop of cankerworms can strip a mature oak tree of its spring leaves in a matter of weeks, which means the tree has to produce new leaves and is significantly stressed in the process.
When a giant oak tree – and you’ve noticed most neighborhoods in Waxhaw have lots of them – is stressed, several things happen. The tree isn’t able to fight off other pests, and the branches suffer from having to leaf out twice. The roots don’t get away scot-free either; they wind up sending more nutrients up the trunk to the branches and dry out, shrinking away from the anchoring soil.
This leads to the second tree issue that Waxhaw residents face, climate and development stressors. Twenty years ago, Waxhaw was a sleepy hamlet and the last stop light before the one in town was just past Charlotte Latin on a windy two-lane Providence Road. While the developers who built the neighborhoods in Waxhaw were mindful that the trees are a huge part of the local charm, there is only so much topography you can save when you’re widening roads and adding a loop around Charlotte.
Hundreds of square miles of vegetation turned into pavement, which creates drainage problems when the rains come. Why is this a problem? That red dirt in your yard is clay, the official soil of North Carolina is actually a thing called Cecil clay, and it absorbs water and holds it like a sponge. Even with some sand and silt in the mix (as the crow flies, you’re really close to the legendary Sandhills area of North and South Carolina, which is superb for your golf game), tree roots get waterlogged and can’t absorb nutrients like they should.
Do you know those giant root balls that are the size of a couple of Suburbans that you see in some of the more rural parts of Union County? Yes, a bad storm can rip a seemingly healthy forty-foot oak tree right out of the ground and knock it over onto your house, power lines, or other property.
Pine trees are so abundant here that you’d think they are invincible, but they too are at risk. Any number of beetle pests – Southern Pine, Bark, Ips, and Turpentine – burrow in the bark of the tree and attack at varying points along the trunk. It’s almost like these beetles coordinate the attack; the Southern Pine hits the top of the tree first, and the tree emits a chemical that attracts the Ips species, and finally, the Turpentine swoops in for the kill. From the first sign of brown-tipped needles to a dead tree takes about two years if you don’t address the problem. Summer droughts exacerbate the beetle and EAB problems in the area.
One more thing, a stressed tree is at a higher risk of developing a fungus on its trunk, which will damage or kill the host tree and spread to its neighbors.
Fungus is another common ailment of trees. When any type of fungus plagues a tree, it is often a sign that the tree is not very healthy and is dealing with a previous disease or stress. If you have a tree with fungus on its trunk, discuss the situation with our certified arborists, who can determine how to treat it.
Emerald Ash Borer
The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is another destructive pest common in Waxhaw. This pretty little green beetle is native to Asia but has been working its way through the millions of ash trees in Colorado while slowly working its way West to North Carolina. Any ash tree or the white fringe tree is susceptible to the bug, which does exactly what the name says, it bores into the tree trunk, lays its eggs, and the larva basically sucks the marrow out of the tree trunk eventually killing it.
Pests like this invade areas far from their native habitat when an infested ash tree is turned into firewood or lumber and transported to an uninfected state. They do fly but aren’t likely to move 2000 miles without some assistance.
Does the City of Waxhaw Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
No, the city doesn’t, but Union County Power and Cooperative (UCPC) and Duke Energy both provide power for Waxhaw, and both encourage homeowners to keep a vigilant eye out for tree branches that are threatening power lines, and they will come to remove any limbs they deem necessary. This approach leads to the local felony known as crepe murder when they scalp half a crepe myrtle tree to clear the lines and leave the other half straight and true. Lots of neighborhoods have buried power lines, but if yours doesn’t and you’re concerned Duke is heading your way with a cherry picker and a chainsaw, call our arborists to prune your trees properly. Poorly pruned trees aren’t healthy after a couple of utility trims and fall over anyway, which sort of defeats the purpose.
Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Waxhaw?
If you’re a homeowner?
If you’re in the southern part of Waxhaw, you not only have to think about your property lines but also the NC/SC state lines. According to NC statute, a homeowner is responsible for a fallen tree only if they knew the tree was a hazard – the law of negligence. If you’re new here from another state, this is probably a surprise, since most states put the blame on the homeowner, regardless.
If you’re a renter?
Your landlord holds the responsibility for maintaining the trees, even if it’s not spelled out in the lease. Unless you have an explicit agreement (preferably in writing) that you, the tenant, will take care of the trees, it’s on the landlord to keep them healthy.
If you’re a landlord?
You’re in charge of keeping the trees healthy and maintained. As a professional property manager, you have an extra duty of care to ensure the trees on your property are safe, the negligence defense may not work as well for you with the rental property as it would your primary residence. Also, consider that healthy happy trees contribute to your property value, so don’t cheap out here.
If you’re a neighbor?
If you think your neighbor has a tree that’s a hazard to your property, notify them in writing – an email will do – after you have a friendly chat about it. This serves as proof they were aware of the hazard, should it come down to paying for the damage.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Waxhaw?
The soil is a red clay that’s just a big underground sponge. Soil amendments and the right fertilizers help break down the clay for better drainage.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Waxhaw?
The climate is a factor in tree health.
The hot dry summers that are getting longer, hotter, and drier. Without enough water, the trees are further weakened so when that big storm comes along, they lack both the root and trunk strength to withstand heavy winds and rain–so they topple right over. If you think we are being melodramatic about the weather, let’s discuss the notorious Hurricane Hugo that slammed Waxhaw with sustained 85 MPH winds in 1989. Mother Nature cleared enough of the treescape that night to make it a lot easier for developers to clear the land.
What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Waxhaw?
Either Duke Energy or UCPC will come and remove dead trees that are encroaching on above-ground power lines. If the tree’s already dead they’ll take the whole thing away, so you don’t have to worry about the unfortunate cosmetic results.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Waxhaw?
Several factors contribute to the cost of tree removal. We’ll discuss these in greater depth below.
Size of the Tree
Yes, size does matter, especially when you are cutting down trees. Estimates are based on the tree height and the trunk diameter. A weedy pine is easier for our crews to take down than a massive magnolia (not that you would EVER remove a magnolia!), and a whole lot cheaper, about $150 as opposed to upwards of $1,800.
What services are included? Our tree estimates are fairly a la carte: you can have the tree cut down and left on your property (not recommended), the trunk can be split into firewood, or the whole thing can be shredded into mulch for your yard. Then there’s the stump removal. A full removal with some firewood and mulch left over for you will run between $500 and $2,000 in most cases.
Location of the Tree
A tree in the middle of the yard isn’t a hazard to take down so it doesn’t cost as much as one with big limbs hanging over the nursery. The more crew and equipment it takes us to remove the tree, the bigger the bill. Keep in mind that with tree removal you literally get what you pay for, so be mindful of that when you make your tree removal decisions.