Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Portsmouth?
- 2 Does the City of Portsmouth Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Portsmouth?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Portsmouth?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Portsmouth?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Portsmouth?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Portsmouth?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Portsmouth?
Tree diseases and pests, as well as stormy weather, are some of the most common dangers to tree health in the Portsmouth area. Monitor your trees for these developing issues:
Emerald Ash Borers
Emerald ash borers are a notorious invasive pest across the Northeastern United States (and the country as a whole). These boring beetles attack ash trees, burrowing into the bark with distinct D-shaped bores. They can infest ash trees and spread from tree to tree too quickly to be stopped. Emerald ash borers can kill ash trees within three to five years. It’s nearly impossible to remove the borers in an infested tree, and removing your tree may be the only way to protect other trees on your property or throughout the neighborhood from similar infestations.
New Hampshire trees are also vulnerable to pests like Asian longhorned beetles, winter moths, and spruce budworms.
Physical Damage After Winter Storms
While Portsmouth is near the coast and doesn’t have as severe winter weather as other New Hampshire towns, the area still receives over 50 inches of snow during the winter. This can cause significant breakage and damage to trees as it piles up on branches or destabilizes trees with split, Y-shaped trunks. Wind storms and heavy snow can knock over trees or leave them vulnerable to fungal infections and pest infestations in the spring and summer if the tree is damaged.
Tar Spot and Other Fungal Diseases
Fungal diseases can spread rapidly through groves of stressed or damaged trees, especially if they’re in high concentrations. Tar spot, a fungal disease common in maple trees, can create unattractive brown splotches on seemingly healthy green leaves. When tar spots and other fungal diseases like anthracnose strike during the middle of the summer, they can cause premature dieback and make the leaves fall early. This negatively impacts an infected tree’s ability to photosynthesize and have healthy growth, making them more vulnerable to diseases and pests.
Some fungal diseases, like white pine blister rust, affect specific trees. Modern white pine blister rust fungus, called Cronartium ribicola, has reemerged by spreading across gooseberry and current plants previously thought to be resistant to transmitting the fungus.
Does the City of Portsmouth Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
Portsmouth actively promotes the healthy growth of trees in the area and is registered as a city in the Tree City USA program. The city has a Tree Warden that can examine trees in the city’s public right of way and issue permits for their removal if necessary. Trees in public spaces generally cannot be removed without a permit. The Public Works crew can remove trees to achieve public works and developments or at the direction of the city’s Trees & Public Greenery Committee. However, the city does not provide financial assistance for tree removal. Coos County is also a county-wide conservation district for the protection and monitoring of trees in public and protected spaces.
Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Portsmouth?
Suppose you own a property with trees on it. In that case, you generally own (and are responsible for caring for) the trees, including providing basic maintenance and not allowing the trees to fall into neglect. However, if the tree falls over, removing the tree may or may not be your responsibility. See if these common scenarios fit your circumstances:
If you’re a homeowner?
When you own the property a tree falls on, you’re typically responsible for arranging tree removal. We recommend contacting your homeowners’ insurance provider to discuss if your coverage includes tree removal; your insurance company may pay all or a portion of the costs. They may also pay for home repairs if your property was damaged during the incident.
If you’re a renter?
When you rent a property but do not own it, you’re not responsible for removing fallen trees. The property owner or landlord is. This applies both to people living in apartment units and single-family homes. If a tree has fallen on the property where you live, you can notify your landlord so that they can manage the removal.
If you’re a landlord?
When you own the property a tree falls on, you are responsible for removing it, even if you don’t live there yourself. Contacting us to arrange for fast tree removal as soon as possible is the best way to protect your property from diseases and pests that can quickly set into fallen trees. Quick removal also limits your liability if the tree is a potential safety hazard or obstruction on the property.
If you’re a neighbor?
Even if the fallen tree wasn’t originally yours, it becomes your responsibility once it falls on your property. However, your homeowners’ insurance provider may cover all or some of the costs of having it removed. The original tree owner may also be responsible for some of the costs if the tree fell due to negligence or lack of care.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Portsmouth?
Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and the surrounding Coos County area have loamy soils and mild hills. Loamy soil is often preferred because it has an excellent drainage balance. There’s enough clay to hold and retain water, but the soil can also drain without either eroding or letting its nutrients quickly leach away. New Hampshire’s state soil is Marlow soil, a loamy variety preferred by farmers and foresters because it’s nutrient-filled and highly productive, making it an excellent soil for growing trees in, even potentially sensitive fruit-bearing trees.
However, Portsmouth’s soil is also very acidic. It has an average pH of 4.5 to 5.5, preventing many plants from developing and having a long, healthy lifespan; most trees and plants in the region grow best in soil with a pH level ranging from 6.0 to 6.5. Property owners can test their property’s soil to determine its unique pH levels and then raise its pH with additives like lime.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Portsmouth?
Portsmouth is located near the eastern coast of the United States, close to the southern tip of Maine. It has a humid continental climate because of the wind pattern it experiences. This area has mild summers reaching an average of the low 80s during the summer. During the winter, the temperature hovers near the freezing point during the day, with nights in the teens. Because the trees don’t experience extremely hot or cold seasons, they don’t face as much scorching as trees further inland.
However, Portsmouth does have a lot of precipitation throughout the year. There’s an average rainfall of three to four inches every month, so trees receive plenty of water for healthy growth and developing strong root systems (which can help protect the trees from being knocked over in strong winds). It also gets 53 inches of snowfall a year, with an average of nearly 17 inches in January alone. Combined with the low temperatures, this can lead to extensive snow accumulation that stresses branches on trees not built to accommodate the extra weight. We recommend examining your trees after significant snowfall and in late winter so any damaged parts can be professionally pruned or removed by our team to limit susceptibility to pests and disease.
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Portsmouth?
Eversource Energy Portsmouth serves Portsmouth for its utilities. Utility companies are generally responsible for trimming trees and maintaining clear areas around power lines, so they don’t fall and cause power outages. If you see a dead tree near or against local power lines, we recommend contacting Eversource so they can assess the tree and remove it. You can also request a tree assessment for trees on your property if you think they may grow too close to the power lines. Then they can remove potentially obstructive trees or branches.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Portsmouth?
Different factors can significantly affect the total cost of having your tree removed from your Portsmouth property. The season, the underlying condition of the tree, and even busyness following heavy snowstorms can affect the price. Our tree specialists can give you a detailed, customized estimate once they arrive on-site to examine your tree, but most removals in the area total between $150 and $2,000. Some of the most impactful cost factors to consider are:
When a tree needs to be cut down and removed, that can increase the risk of danger to our team or structures and other trees near the tree to be removed. Obstructions like power lines or buildings that are too close to the tree can remove the difficult and require additional steps or permits. As a result, the total price of the project can increase.
The underlying condition of the tree can also increase how hazardous tree removal is. For example, a structurally unstable tree damaged during a severe winter storm can be dangerous to assess and approach. Diseases or infested trees can be hazardous to other trees nearby, so additional steps need to be taken to protect the other trees.
Size of the Tree
Tall trees are more expensive to remove, especially if they’re still standing. But even already felled trees can have a smaller or larger cost of removal based on the thickness of the tree trunk, the total mass of tree that needs to be removed, and the amount of foliage the tree has. Exceptionally large trees will require more vehicles and manpower to remove entirely.
Tree removal projects can become complicated quickly. If you need to remove a tree that’s still standing, for example, our team will need to safely cut down the tree in portions to minimize risk to nearby structures. Trees infested or infected with highly contagious species may need additional containment and destruction services to ensure the problem doesn’t spread.
You may also want additional services if you are improving or repairing your landscaping. For example, stump grinding services involve grinding down the stump and protruding roots, so they don’t become trip hazards or interfere with your new landscape.