Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are The Most Common Tree Issues In Bergen County?
- 2 Does Bergen County Provide Any Assistance In Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal In Bergen County?
- 4 How Does The Soil Affect Trees In Bergen County?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health In Bergen County?
- 6 What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines In Bergen County?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Bergen County?
What Are The Most Common Tree Issues In Bergen County?
The most common tree issue in Bergen County is pest infestations. Several non-native insects are detrimental to trees in Bergen County: Emerald Ash Borer, Gypsy Moth Caterpillar, and Hemlock Woolly Adelgid.
The Emerald Ash Borer is a beetle that is native to Asia. Since it was first detected in Michigan in 2002, this insect has spread rapidly across the country. The first Emerald Ash Borer was spotted in New Jersey in 2014. The entire state, including Bergen County, has already lost many of its ash trees to this pest. Emerald Ash Borers destroy trees when their larvae burrow underneath the bark. Once a tree is infested, it can be difficult to save. Most trees infested with Emerald Ash Borers have to be removed.
The Gypsy Moth Caterpillar is native to Europe. Gypsy moth caterpillars have been present in New Jersey since the mid-1960s. These insects eat a variety of trees and can destroy an entire oak in just three years. Pesticides have proven to be an effective way of managing Gypsy Moth Caterpillars. Because of how quickly a tree can die after infestation, New Jersey has an aggressive Gypsy Moth Suppression program in place.
The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid is also native to Europe. These pests feed on the sap of hemlocks and spruces. Hemlocks throughout Bergen County and the rest of New Jersey have been affected. New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection has been planting woolly adelgid-resistant trees throughout the state. Homeowners can also reduce the spread of these insects by spraying affected trees with water and pruning heavily infested branches.
Does Bergen County Provide Any Assistance In Tree Removal Problems?
Each of the 70 municipalities in Bergen County has its own rules and regulations for tree removal. Residents should contact their municipality if they have tree removal concerns or questions.
Generally speaking, trees that grow on public lands like boulevards and parks are the property and responsibility of the municipality. Residents should not take it upon themselves to prune or remove a municipality’s trees without prior permission.
Trees that are on private land are considered to be the homeowner’s responsibility. However, in some cases, a city or borough may jurisdiction over trees that are on private property. For example, Bergenfield has ordinances that restrict the proximity to, and height of, trees near public sidewalks and roadways. Chapter 291 of the borough’s ordinance states that if the property owner does not trim or remove specified trees, the borough reserves the right to enter onto private property to remove the tree.
Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal In Bergen County?
Typically, the property owner is responsible for maintaining the trees on their land, and that includes fallen tree removal. While this rule of thumb seems pretty clear-cut, we have seen some pretty tense tree disputes! It’s difficult to account for every possible scenario that can arise, but there are general guidelines for homeowners, renters, landlords, and neighbors.
If you’re a homeowner?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, almost 65% of Bergen County homes are owner-occupied. That level of homeownership in the county does tend to simplify things a bit. Our lawyer friends over at legal website Nolo tell us that if a tree’s trunk sits on your property, you are responsible for it. So if a storm knocks your tree down and it falls into your neighbor’s yard, you are still on the hook for the cost of tree removal. The good news is, many homeowner insurance policies cover the cost of fallen tree removal in Bergen County, NJ. Call your agent right away if you have a fallen tree to see what your policy covers.
But what about tree trunks that straddle more than one property line? In the legal world, these are called “boundary trees.” They are owned equally by each property owner. If a boundary tree falls, hopefully, you and your neighbor can cheerfully agree to split the cost of removal.
If you’re a renter?
If you’re a renter, you would not be responsible for fallen tree removal. The exception might be if you did something careless or reckless to cause the tree to fall. Otherwise, tree removal is considered above and beyond any routine yard maintenance that might be written into your lease agreement. If a fallen tree damaged your property, such as patio furniture or a bicycle, you should talk with your renter’s insurance about who is responsible. Your insurance company will let you know if they’ll reimburse you, or if your landlord is liable for replacement costs.
If you’re a landlord?
Landlords, who also own the property, are responsible for removing any fallen trees. If a renter did something to cause damage to the tree, you might be able to hold them responsible. You should check with your homeowners’ policy, and possibly an attorney, to learn what your rights and responsibilities are.
Property managers who manage, but do not own, the property should report fallen trees to the landowner. The owners are financially responsible, but they may ask you to coordinate the tree removal.
If you’re a neighbor?
Neighborhood disputes over fallen trees can quickly reach a crisis level. If your neighbor’s untrimmed tree hangs in your yard or looks like it’s about to topple over, talk with them first. Hopefully, both parties come to an agreement. Before you do anything rash, check with your municipality about what your rights are. Many cities and boroughs will remove trees on public property if they pose a safety hazard.
How Does The Soil Affect Trees In Bergen County?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture conducted a comprehensive Soil Survey of Bergen County, NJ. There are dozens of different soil types throughout the county, and many will support tree growth. This is supported by the fact that 37% of New Jersey’s urban land has tree canopy coverage. Any tree that is native to New Jersey should grow well in most of Bergen County. There’s certainly no shortage of green space here. Bergen County is home to 9,000 acres of parks!
Does Weather Affect Tree Health In Bergen County?
Trees in Bergen County have to be able to withstand New Jersey’s cold winters. The first fall frost in Fort Lee usually occurs in mid-November. The last spring frost is often in early April.
New Jersey is a state of weather extremes. The summers in Bergen County can bring thunderstorms and lighting, while winter blizzards are common. Bergen County lies in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 7a and 6b. Homeowners should keep this in mind when choosing new tree varieties for their yards.
What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines In Bergen County?
Dead trees near power lines pose an immediate safety hazard. Dead trees could fall with just a sudden gust of wind. If the dead tree is on your property, you will want to make arrangements to remove it as soon as possible. Your first call should be to your power company. They will work with the tree removal company to ensure everyone’s safety. Most of Bergen County is served by PSE&G or Orange & Rockland Electric. Your electric bill should have emergency phone numbers listed. It’s a good idea to write these numbers down and keep them handy.
It can be frustrating (and scary) if your neighbor neglects a dead tree near a power line. If that happens, you should call your power company. You can also notify your municipality. Your borough will likely require your neighbor to remove the tree within a specified timeframe.
If you see a tree that has fallen onto a power line, you should stay back and call 911. A downed, live wire is an electrocution hazard. Your local police will come out, block off the area, and direct traffic if needed.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Bergen County?
The price of tree removal in Bergen County varies amongst the municipalities. In Paramus, the average cost for tree removal is $757.00. Over in Cliffside Park, you can expect to pay $692.00. And in Fort Lee, tree removal averages $716.00. No matter where you live in Bergen County, some factors will either raise or lower the cost of tree removal.
How easy (or not) the tree is to access
It can be difficult to squeeze our tree removal equipment into smaller, urban lots. We also have to take into account any roadways, sidewalks, or buildings that are underneath the trees that we remove. Trees that are not easy to access will cost more to take down. Homeowners who live in Hackensack’s dense neighborhoods can expect to pay more than someone who lives in the sparser, northern part of Bergen County.
The size of the tree
Both the height and circumference of a tree will dictate the final cost of removal. In other words, the bigger the tree, the bigger the price tag. A tree that is 75 feet could cost upwards of $1,500 to remove. The exception to this rule is fallen trees. You typically won’t pay as much if the tree is already down and we are just chopping it up and removing it.
Prices for tree removal in Bergen County, NJ typically do not include stump removal. When a tree is removed off of your property, you have three options on how to deal with the stump. You can choose to leave it as-is; the stump can be ground down, or the stump can be pulled out of the ground. What you decide to do will depend on your budget and what your plans are for that part of your yard. Stump grinding in Bergen County averages $109 per tree.