Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Lawton?
- 2 Does the City of Lawton Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Lawton?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Lawton?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Lawton?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Lawton?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Lawton?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Lawton?
With our proximity to Fort Sill, Lawton has proven to be a popular and thriving destination for industries and individuals. Starting with nearly 25,000 people bidding on the first town lots offered for sale, we haven’t stopped growing since. From our Great Plains Museum and other historical sites to the shady paths in the Puppy Promenade and our many tree-lined streets, we appreciate the shade, improved air quality, and, of course, the beauty that trees bring to our Lawton neighborhoods. However, our trees need to be cared for, appropriately maintained, and removed when necessary. When we are called to remove trees around Lawton, it is because generally, they have been harmed by disease, insect invaders, or environmental conditions. Most commonly here, we see:
Trees fall victim to many diseases, which are often not enough to kill a tree outright, but which frequently do so when combined with other stresses such as challenging weather, drought conditions, or insect infestations.
- Anthracnose — Multiple kinds of anthracnose fungi attack trees, thriving in cool, wet conditions, causing leaves to wither and drop. Most vulnerable are shade trees such as birch, dogwood, sycamore, ash, and maples. Each infection weakens a tree, and multiple conditions over time can cause a tree to die.
- Oak Canker — This untreatable, fungal disease of oak trees is common and relatively harmless for healthy trees. Still, when trees are stressed by damage, drought, or other conditions or infestations, it can be fatal. Oak canker starts with wilting leaves and progresses to bark falling off the tree.
Insect attacks on our Lawton trees can be fatal, mainly if they involve an already damaged or distressed tree. Lawton’s trees are often affected by:
- Bagworms — Bagworms are a type of caterpillar that feeds on many kinds of evergreens, including cedar, pine, juniper, and arborvitae. As they munch their way through a tree, they create a bag made of a material like spider silk, filled with leftovers — pieces of leaves and bark. When a large infestation defoliates a tree, it can be fatal, and when a tree does survive, it may be weakened enough to suffer from other diseases and pests.
- Webworms — A small type of caterpillar, webworms defoliate trees, weakening them and, sometimes, causing their deaths. Fall webworms are most prevalent around Lawton, feeding primarily on ash, oak, basswood, mulberry, apple, poplar, willow, and sweetgum, though they enjoy all kinds of trees, especially fruit trees. Webworms create unpleasant-looking nests out of a spider silk-type material, filled with hundreds of tiny caterpillars, often in the space where several branches extend from the trunk or a larger limb. These infestations are rarely fatal but can weaken many trees, making them more vulnerable to other attacks.
- Pine Wilt — This disease, which affects multiple species of pine trees, is spread by pine sawyer beetles. Pine wilt is caused by a tiny worm called a nematode and can be most devastating for non-native, ornamental pines such as Austrian, Japanese, and Scotch pines.
Lawton’s frequent drought conditions, ice storms, numerous tornadoes, and typical severe weather can affect all damaged trees. Each time a tree’s inner layers are exposed is an opportunity for insects and diseases to take advantage and launch their attack.
Does the City of Lawton Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
While the City of Lawton is responsible for public trees in our many parks and along city sidewalks and streets, homeowners and property owners must take care of the trees on their property. When there is storm damage, the City will usually offer debris pickup after severe weather events that bring down numerous tree limbs and branches. For more extreme circumstances, they will also provide drop-off locations.
Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Lawton?
Under Oklahoma law, the responsibility for removing a fallen tree, and damages it may have caused, lies with the homeowner (and their insurance company) where the tree has fallen, regardless of who owns the tree. The reason is that most instances of fallen trees happen when healthy trees are brought down by severe weather events such as tornadoes and ice storms which are considered faultless “acts of God.” If, however, a tree’s owner doesn’t take care of a tree that is obviously, visibly in poor shape (dead limbs, missing bark, brown or fallen leaves out of season, etc.), their negligence may make them responsible for the fallen tree. Suppose it can be proven that the tree’s owner knew (or should have known) their tree was dead or dying and did nothing. In that case, they are liable for its removal and associated damages, and their insurance company will likely not pay out on claims related to it.
If You’re a Homeowner?
To summarize, homeowners (and their insurance companies) are generally responsible for removing healthy trees that fall onto their property. In contrast, tree owners may be accountable for removing unhealthy, dead, or dying trees regardless of where they fall.
If You’re a Renter?
Renters are rarely responsible for tree removal, which is instead among the responsibilities of landlords as property owners. It’s a brilliant idea to keep an eye on the trees on and around your property, though, and alert your landlord if you notice any problems, so they can be attended to before they cause damage.
If You’re a Landlord?
Landlords are generally responsible for tree removal on the properties they rent out since they are the property owners of record. Proper tree care and removal when needed should be a regular part of your property maintenance practices to protect your investment and promote good relations with your tenants.
If You’re a Neighbor?
If your neighbor’s visibly dead or dying tree falls onto your property, they may be responsible for its removal. Most of the time, though, fallen trees are healthy ones that are felled by lousy weather, and those are your responsibility if they land on your property, even if they grew on your neighbor’s lot.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Lawton?
Soil is made up of three main parts: sand, silt, and clay. Each plays a role in determining how well a soil drains, its texture, the amount of nutrients and water it can hold, and how densely it compacts. One of the ideal soil types for healthy trees is called loam, mostly sand and silt with a bit of clay. Most of our soil around Lawton is either silty loam or clay loam, meaning it’s great for tree growth. The biggest issue our trees have in our soil is when inadequate water is available.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Lawton?
Oklahoma’s weather can be as tough on people as it can be on trees. Recent hot, dry summers with drought conditions place substantial stress on our trees as they struggle to find enough water to support themselves. Alternatively, in the winter, they often receive too much water in the form of ice, which can cause branches to weigh up to 30 times more as the ice builds up. Of course, tornado season brings a variety of wind damage, uprooting trees and snapping limbs. Damaged or weakened trees are especially vulnerable to wind and ice damage, though proper pruning and maintenance from our team can help prevent weather damage.
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Lawton?
Electric utility providers in the US must maintain the trees and vegetation along transmission lines to prevent contact, which can result in outages and wildfires. Following these guidelines, the Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) is responsible for tree trimming and removal near primary power lines (pole to pole). Homeowners are responsible for contacting us to take care of trees around service lines (from the pole to your house). To limit potential problems between trees and power lines, PSO offers a guide to help you choose appropriate trees if you add or replace them on your property.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Lawton?
Many homeowners postpone calling us for tree service as long as possible, fearing that it will be an expensive and disruptive process, especially when a tree must be removed. If that is one of your worries, you may be pleased to know that around Lawton, our tree removals generally run from about $150 to $1,950, but most fall around just $700. If your tree is already down, you can expect your costs to be even lower, too. Each tree and property is a little different, though, so it can be challenging to offer an accurate estimate before we see your specific situation. We do know that certain aspects of a tree removal job most often influence its cost, including:
Size and Type of Tree
Does size matter? For trees, it most certainly does. Larger trees almost always cost more to remove than smaller trees due to the added time and labor required for the job. Sometimes, the type of tree can also make a difference in your costs. Heavier, denser trees, such as oak, Caddo maple, and hickory, can be more labor-intensive to remove, which can add to your expenses.
Location and Accessibility
Trees in very open yards, away from the house and power lines, can cost less to remove than those in more challenging locations. When we remove a tree from your property, we naturally want to avoid causing any additional damage in the process. The more obstacles, such as buildings, landscaping, other trees, and utility lines that we need to work around, the more your job may cost.
Additional Services and Expenses
Some tree removals require a larger crew or specialized equipment, such as a bucket truck or crane, to do safely. Both of those can add to your bottom line. Many homeowners also request that we cut and split logs for firewood, grind out stumps, or other added services that can add to your bill.