Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Wilmington?
- 2 Does the City of Wilmington Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Wilmington?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Wilmington?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Wilmington?
- 6 What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Wilmington?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Wilmington?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Wilmington?
In Wilmington, extreme weather, pests, and disease are the root cause of many tree issues (pun intended).
Hurricanes are the most common causes of tree troubles in Wilmington, NC. And with the ever-increasing heat island effect, leading to warmer climates, hurricanes are expected to ravage the region into the foreseeable future. That’s a sad reality, but one that can be reversed by planting more trees to reduce the heat island effect.
Effects of hurricanes on trees are both immediate and long-term. For instance, the recent hurricane Florence blew away many trees and left some with severe damages. Broken and ripped-off branches left behind wounded trunks while stripping leaves deprived the trees of a means to process their food.
Hurricanes devastate trees, making them susceptible to disease and insect infestation. Wounded branches and trunks become prone to disease attacks and rot, thereby weakening the tree’s health. As the tree recovers from the weather damage, it uses stored food to survive and make new leaves. It quickly depletes the food reserves, causing starvation.
Drought is another common trouble for tree canopies in this area. When the trees go through a prolonged water shortage, they suffer significant stress, and some may struggle to recover when the rains come. If the drought follows another catastrophe, like, say, a hurricane, diseases and pest attacks may quickly multiply, leading to the death of many trees.
Pests sap the life out of a tree. While some attack the leaves, others dig into the trunk and sap the inner tissue. Pest activity increases drastically following harsh weather beating like a drought or storm, as the trees are usually weak and have inadequate defense mechanisms. Pine beetle is one of the most troublesome insects for Wilmington pine canopies. This tiny insect, which feeds on the inner tissues of a tree, is responsible for the death of many pines in the region. Emerald ash borer is also a common predator of ash canopies. Once it bores into the trunk of an ash tree, it can kill it within three to five years.
Tree diseases in Wilmington are also prevalent, especially among drought and hurricane-ravaged plants. When a tree’s immunity is weak, fungal infections and species-specific ailments like dutch elm spread quickly. Disease-carrying insects spread most of these diseases and can wipe off a canopy within a few years of setting in.
Does the City of Wilmington Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
The city of Wilmington may assist in tree removal problems under some special circumstances. However, in most cases, it’s the responsibility of the owners to remove trees on their property.
Essentially, you must obtain a license from the city manager before removing a tree on public or private land. However, the city manager reserves the right to deny the permit if there’s not enough justification to support the action. For instance, if the structures can’t be erected elsewhere, then removing protected trees for site development is allowed.
If the permit is granted, you must pay the accompanying fee. Wilmington’s code of ordinances gives further guidelines on the specific tree types (dogwoods, conifers, hardwoods, magnolias, etc.) that require replacement once removed. Property owners must adhere to these guidelines or risk penalties.
However, there are exemptions to permit issuance. If the tree is hazardous and a threat to public safety, the city manager may allow you to remove it without a permit. E.g., if the tree is near a power line and likely to cause power interruption or is precariously leaning over a structure and there’s a looming storm. A permit may also not be necessary where the tree size is too small. You can go through the code of ordinances to learn all the specifics.
Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Wilmington?
Generally, tree removal in Wilmington, like in most places nationwide, is the owner’s responsibility. However, there are circumstances where the responsibility may shift. Usually, insurance companies will cover removal expenses if forces beyond the owner’s control, such as a storm, caused the fall and incurred property damage. In this case, the compensation is met by the insurer of the damaged property.
If you’re a homeowner?
As a homeowner, you’re responsible for maintenance and care for trees on your property. If you neglect the trees and they cause property damage following a fall, any ensuing insurance claims may be invalidated. But if the falls are accidental and there’s damage on your property, your homeowners’ insurance policy should cover the tree removal costs, in addition to other repairs.
If you’re a renter?
If the tree falls out of natural causes, the landlord should take care of the removal. In case of damage, the property insurance policy should cover the costs. However, if the fall results from your negligence, you may be liable for the removal expenses.
If you’re a landlord?
As a landlord, the maintenance of the trees on your property is your responsibility, including removing fallen trees. If there are any damages on the insured property, the policy should cater to the removal costs.
If you’re a neighbor?
If your neighbor’s tree falls on your property, it’s the tree owner’s responsibility to remove it. But if there’s damage on your property, your homeowners’ insurance can foot the removal costs. However, if your insurer establishes the tree fell out of the owner’s negligence, they may pursue them to shoulder the liability.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Wilmington?
Soil health is a key determinant of tree growth and stability. It provides structural support while storing up and providing nutrients for optimal growth. As such, proper soil structure is essential for root support, especially in Wilmington, where storms are rampant. It must also have the right texture to allow the flow of nutrients and water for better absorption.
Soil pH is also essential for optimal plant growth. While some tree species thrive in acidic soils, some prefer neutral levels, while others do best in alkaline soils. Thus, it’s essential to consult an arborist or a tree specialist to guide the optimal soil conditions for your trees.
Cecil is North Carolina’s state soil and is considered an ideal soil for tree growth. It contains the right structure and component to support tree growth and stability. The downside is that Cecil is found in a few areas, with a majority of the landscape covered with sandy soils.
Unfortunately, sandy soils are not the best type for tree growth. They offer poor support and have low mineral and water retention. This deprives the plants of optimal growing conditions and makes them susceptible to storm damage. Nonetheless, sandy soils can be improved through professional-guided treatment.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Wilmington?
Extreme weather conditions are a significant woe for tree canopies in Wilmington, NC. A prolonged drought, like the one we had in 2019, is damaging to the tree life. Lack of water destroys the root systems, which then compromises nutrient absorption. This weakens the plants, making it difficult for them to recover from pest and disease attacks. Weak root systems also reduce their ability to withstand stormy weather, rendering them a safety hazard.
Extreme wet weather, like the recent hurricane, also destroys the trees. When water sits too long in the soil, it causes root rot. Again, excess water in the soil reduces oxygen amounts, which then affects the plant’s health. This makes the trees susceptible to destruction by storms, pests, and diseases.
As earlier mentioned, whenever hurricanes strike Wilmington, they blow the leaves off, thereby stripping the trees of a means to produce their food. Leaves help in photosynthesis, the process through which plants make their food. This results in exhaustion of stored up food reserve, and the trees may starve before the leaves grow and start producing food again. During these breaks, opportunistic diseases and pests may invade and wreak havoc on the already stressed trees.
Prolonged droughts are also contributing mainly to hurricane occurrence in Wilmington and other parts of the nation. As more trees disappear from the land through deforestation and drought-caused death, the heat island effect increases, resulting in warmer climates. This feeds hurricanes and other extreme weather episodes.
What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Wilmington?
Dead trees near power lines are both a safety hazard and an economic liability. Not only do they endanger human life and property, but they can cause power interruption, thereby affecting businesses.
Utility companies like Duke Energy have aggressive vegetation management policies. They are keen on ensuring any vegetation, more so trees, near power lines are properly managed. However, if you happen to have a dead tree near a power line, which they haven’t taken note of, you should call their emergency numbers for immediate removal.
Doing so can help avert catastrophic occurrences and keep everyone safe. Dead trees have weak root systems and are prone to being blown off even by a slight storm. Hence, immediately taking them off is of utmost importance.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Wilmington?
Whether in Wilmington or any other part of the nation, tree removal cost varies depending on several factors. Size, location, service provider, season, urgency, etc., are all possible cost determinants. Nonetheless, a typical project will cost between $200 to $750. But this can go up to thousands of dollars depending on specific factors, as discussed below. For complete tree removal, you should expect to pay an additional $100 to $150 for stump removal.
A small tree will cost relatively lower than a bigger one, be it in height, diameter, or branch size and quantity. For instance, removing an oak tree will require more time and labor to saw it down and clear due to its large size. If your tree is tall, like say 90 feet high, you may require special equipment to get it down, which would lead to a higher cost.
If the tree is located in rugged terrain, the company might charge you more as they may require more equipment to remove it. You should also expect to pay more if the tree is located near structures compared to one on a clear field. The risk of removing a tree near a structure is higher; hence the service provider will seek to compensate for that with a higher price tag.
Seasons determine demand and the pricing thereof. During peak seasons, service providers are usually booked round the clock. Hence, you may end up paying a higher price than in slow seasons when fewer people need the service.