Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Queens?
- 2 Does Queens Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Queens?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Queens?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Queens?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Queens?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Queens?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Queens?
Queens is known for having some of the most beautiful neighborhoods in New York City, and our urban tree canopy has a lot to do with it. The borough of Queens is home to more trees than Manhattan and the Bronx combined, and it also has many more trees than Brooklyn. Queens is even home to the oldest tree in New York City. Nicknamed The Alley Pond Giant, this gorgeous Tulip Poplar measures over 134 feet tall and is estimated to be almost 400 years old.
Trees help purify the air from harmful pollutants, shelter the city’s wildlife and provide Queens residents with plenty of shade during the summer. Healthy, mature trees will also significantly increase the value of your Queens property, which makes them one of your best assets. Tree Triage helps homeowners around Queens with a wide range of issues, including the regular maintenance that trees need to stay healthy and beautiful. There are also some situations when trees will need removal altogether, and that’s when we step in to do the job safely and efficiently. Take a look at the most common tree issues that homeowners in Queens deal with.
Pests & Diseases
Trees can get sick just like any other living organism, and there are many harmful bacterial or fungal infections that target them. Tree diseases are very easily transmissible, which is what makes them so difficult to contain once they’re in your area. They can often spread through root contact between trees or get carried along by insects. Oak trees are one of the most popular trees for Queens homeowners, and they’re susceptible to a devastating illness called Sudden Oak Death. Trees throughout Queens can also be infested by opportunistic pests that devour the tree from the inside out, like tent caterpillars or the very destructive Southern pine beetle.
Many of the pests and diseases that affect our trees can be successfully treated by a certified arborist if we catch the problem at the early stages. Trimming the affected branches will be enough in some situations, and we can also use medicated sprays or injections. In the worst-case scenario, advanced tree disease will weaken the tree so much that it becomes unstable. Structurally compromised trees are a major falling hazard, especially during the gnarly Nor’easters that hit Queens from October through April. Most of the removals we handle are for these diseased-weakened trees that are very likely to collapse during a storm.
Even perfectly healthy trees will need the attention of a certified arborist once they’re overgrown and in need of a good trim. Pruning is the process of removing the dead, weak, or diseased branches that really don’t serve your tree well. Deadwood is a rotting material, which can attract pests or become the starting point for diseases. Pruning ensures a burst of healthy new branches during the springtime because it frees up many valuable nutrients that can now be directed to growth. Thinning out the canopy also serves as an excellent way to winterize your trees by reducing damage from the weight of snow. Most trees would benefit from being pruned every year, ideally during the dormant period for that species.
Having trees on your property is always a plus, but there are also situations when they can inadvertently cause problems. Oaks and other large trees have very powerful root systems, which means they can cause foundation damage if they’re planted very close to a house. Aggressive roots can grow into cracks in the cement or even displacing the soil around your home enough to cause foundation settlement.
Does Queens Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
In the case of trees located on city-owned land, the answer is yes. The NYC Parks Department actively maintains all trees in parks or other public spaces throughout the city, including Queens. The city even has a Tree Risk Management program to inspect trees and perform preventive care whenever they can potentially affect public safety. This work includes trimming low-hanging branches that interfere with pedestrian traffic and removing dead or weakened trees by disease.
Homeowners in Queens and throughout New York City are basically on their own when it comes to the problematic trees located on their property. However, you don’t need to apply for a tree removal permit, making the process very simple.
Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Queens?
Every serious winter storm in Queens will leave behind its fair share of downed trees. We also get major thunderstorms throughout the spring with strong winds that can knock down even more trees. Fallen, decaying trees are sure to attract termites, carpenter ants, and other woodboring critters you definitely don’t want on your property. That means taking care of them should always be a priority, but who’s considered responsible in Queens? It’s almost always going to be the tree’s owner, but there are exceptions.
If you’re a homeowner?
Homeowners enjoy all the benefits of having trees on their property, but that also comes with all the responsibilities. That means you’re obligated to inspect your trees regularly and do any necessary maintenance, such as trimming branches that interfere with utility lines or removing sick trees that are an obvious falling hazard. You’re responsible for removing collapsed trees as well, but the good news is that most home insurance policies are likely to cover the costs.
If you’re a renter?
Many rental properties in Queens will require the tenant to handle some basic lawn maintenance, but this definitely won’t include major upkeep like removing a fallen tree. However, you should definitely let the owner know if you spot any visibly diseased trees on the property that should potentially require removal.
If you’re a landlord?
As the owner of a rental property, you’re legally responsible for removing collapsed trees. Your home insurance policy will probably cover the costs of both the removal and any damage caused during the tree’s crash landing.
If you’re a neighbor?
If your neighbor’s tree gets knocked down and lands partially on your property, you’re not alone. Most neighborhoods in Queens are relatively dense, with neighboring properties being pretty close to each other. That makes it hard for collapsed trees to respect boundary laws on the way down. As the unlucky neighbor in this situation, you will most likely end up having to pay for the removal of any portion of the tree that lands in your yard. That’s because extreme weather causes most trees to collapse, which is legally considered “an act of God.” In other words, it’s really no one’s fault, and the respective insurers of each homeowner will be expected to cover the cost.
The big exception would be if the collapsed tree were dead, affected by the disease, or otherwise in poor structural condition. That would mean your neighbor could be considered negligent for not having a hazardous tree professionally removed before it could end up sprawled across both your yards. In this case, your home insurer can file a claim against your neighbor for damages.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Queens?
Trees have an incredibly close relationship with the soil because they absorb all their water, nutrients, and oxygen through root contact. Healthy soil that can sustain trees will have plenty of organic matter, and it also needs to have a relatively loose texture. Tightly compacted soil makes it very difficult for air to penetrate, and tree roots can easily rot from a lack of oxygen.
The soil types in Queens are suitable for many native trees that flourish throughout New York State, including the Red Maple, the American Hornbeam, and several Oak varieties. You can also enrich the soil on your property by increasing its microbial activity with enhancers like composted yard waste, veggie scraps, or peat moss. These are all materials that will improve the nutrient density of the soil during the process as they break down. Our neighbors at Brooklyn College also have a great soil testing service that provides information about the specific soil type on your property, including the pH level, salt content, and organic content.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Queens?
Queens is one of the snowiest parts of New York City. We managed to get an incredible 34 inches of snow in parts of Queens during the historic winter blizzard of 2016, which was more than any other region in the city. Extreme weather can also happen in the springtime, with severe thunderstorms that begin in the spring and extend well into the summer.
These bouts of severe weather are a major challenge to the urban canopy in Queens, and it’s common for trees to get damaged or collapse altogether from heavy snow or strong winds. However, healthy trees tend to be very resilient, especially if they get trimmed annually during the dormant season for that tree species.
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Queens?
Trees that are dead, dying, or weakened by disease tend to have extremely poor structural integrity. They definitely don’t mix well with power lines! Dead trees that get knocked down during a winter storm and drag the power lines down with them are among the most common causes of outages in Queens. This is why ConEdison regularly inspects and trims or removes trees around the city that can interfere with power lines.
ConEdison’s team of arborists is mostly concerned with dead trees located on city property or in the public right-of-way. Managing trees located on private property will mostly be the owner’s responsibility, although there are situations when ConEdison will intervene with hazardous trees if they have the homeowner’s permission.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Queens?
Homeowners in Queens can expect to pay somewhere between $200 to well over $1,000, for an average of around $700 per tree. That’s a very wide range between prices, but that’s because tree removal projects can vary quite a lot depending on various elements. Here are some of the main factors that we’ll utilize to give you an estimate.
Size and Width
The removal of bigger, taller trees is more expensive because they’re harder for us to cut down and will also take more effort to dispose of. We usually handle very tall trees by setting up a rigging system that allows us to cut sections. Arborists may also need to use special equipment like a crane or a bucket truck in some situations.
Tree removals are always very precise, but there’s a lot more planning involved when we’re cutting down a tree that’s located very close to a home, to power lines, or even to other trees. We have to take special care to do the job safely, efficiently, and without causing any sort of damage to your property.
Stumps are not automatically included as part of the tree removal, but homeowners can add this service for somewhere between $60 to $350. Stump grinding is the most common and most affordable option if your main concern is just removing the unsightly stump. Your arborist will grind the stump down until it’s a few inches below the surface of the soil, where grass can eventually cover it. Suppose you’re actually worried about the tree’s roots, which can be remarkably resilient even once the tree itself is gone. In that case, you should opt for complete removal with the excavation of the entire root system.