Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Portland?
- 2 Does the City of Portland Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Portland?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Portland?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Portland?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Portland?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Portland?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Portland?
With the Pacific Northwest already a beautiful place with numerous trees, not everyone knows the most common tree there is the Douglas Fir. You can find these in 35 out of 36 different Oregon counties.
Other typical trees in the Portland area:
- Red Alder
- Bigleaf Maple
All of these trees can have issues. For the Douglas Fir, bad weather is usually the culprit in killing many of them. As The Statesman Journal once reported, dry summers and severe winters can often bring browning or die-back. A disease called flare-out is also common, usually turning the Douglas Fir branches red or brown.
Portland’s urban forests also deal with a disease called Dutch Elm Disease, or DED. While PP&R Urban Forestry helps prevent DED spread, it can sometimes go unchecked and wreak havoc on more remote trees.
City trees sometimes get damaged from frequent construction equipment in the area. They can get damaged just as much through harsh winters sometimes occurring in Portland. Major windstorms and ice storms hit Portland once every few years, leaving a devastating path of tree damage.
A major ice storm in Portland recently brought down numerous trees, some of which were decades old. It was a 30-year storm like no other. It just proves living in the Pacific Northwest means periodic weather events topple more trees.
Does the City of Portland Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
Most cities offer some types of programs that help clean up or remove dead trees. In Portland, Urban Forestry is responsible for all tree emergencies on city property. They provide an emergency hotline number you can use to report what happened.
It can’t be deemed an emergency unless the tree fell over on city property, plus it has a fallen branch blocking traffic. Urban Forestry also takes care of fallen trees in all city parks or other public areas.
Much like other cities, Portland manages to take care of all city tree issues properly. They even respond within 24 hours, preventing any fallen trees from staying in place for prolonged periods.
You can also report non-emergency tree issues spotted within the city landscape, such as tree toppings or general pruning to keep trees looking healthy.
One thing to remember is not all tree issues are considered emergencies. For instance, a dead tree in a city park is not considered an emergency, even if it should be removed eventually due to its unsightliness.
Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Portland?
You might be surprised at who is responsible for tree removal, depending on where it falls on a given property. Sometimes, our arborists are dragged into the middle of property owner battles over the responsible party.
What does the law say in Portland, Oregon, when a tree falls on your property, rental property, or on a neighbor’s side?
If you’re a homeowner?
You’re going to be responsible for that fallen tree if it falls on your property. Then again, property lines differ in each city. Portland sometimes has city property lines right next to residential homes.
In some scenarios, a tree might go over on your property that was city property. It’s here where the city would take care of the tree for you. Most of the time, though, you’d have to rely on your homeowners’ insurance policy to handle cleaning up the debris and giving you money for property repairs.
All homeowners insurance policies pick arborists who clean up your fallen tree based on the estimated price of property damage.
If you’re a renter?
As a renter, you’ll have two typical scenarios in Portland:
- The landlord of your property is responsible for a fallen tree.
- You’re responsible if your lease indicates you pay for any fallen debris.
Most renters like you want their landlord to take care of fallen or diseased trees without you having to pay out of pocket. Even landlords may have to call in city officials to take care of the tree if it falls within city lines.
If you’re a landlord?
When you own rental property in Portland, it’s going to fall in your hands to take care of fallen trees. Again, it all depends on the lease contract you have your tenants sign.
Hazard trees are a landlord’s responsibility based on Oregon law. The landlord will need to hire professionals like Tree Triage to take care of the hazardous tree if the tenant didn’t plant it.
If the tenant planted the tree, that person must maintain the tree, though also must provide an arborist’s report to the landlord.
If you’re a neighbor?
Things can get more complicated legally if your tree happens to fall on your neighbor’s property in Portland. It’s the same when your neighbor’s tree falls on your property or home.
In those scenarios, whoever owns the tree is responsible for the cleanup. Sometimes this overlaps, literally. A neighbor’s tree might hang over your property, despite the trunk being on their side of the line. They are responsible for the cleanup since the majority of the tree canopy falls on your side.
Once in a while, one tree can fall right on a property line. When this happens, both a neighbor and yourself are responsible for cleaning up the tree if it falls over.
The city of Portland may have trees along a public sidewalk existing right in front of your house. One of those trees might topple over, leading to the city removing the debris.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Portland?
Soil is sometimes a direct reason for a tree falling over or becoming diseased. The type of soil you use, its depth, and quality will determine how well your tree grows in the Portland area.
Much of the soil in the Willamette Valley of Oregon is very rich and well-suited for planting many types of trees. This is in comparison to places like Eastern Oregon, where soils are drier.
Loose and uncompacted soils are best for trees in Portland. You might still find some urban areas, however, with sandy or clay soil. These soils are harder to grow trees in. Still, the use of compost helps with any drainage issues. Adding mulch also helps keep the soil moist.
Without decent water and that moist soil, a tree could easily die after a few years, leading to brittle branches breaking off easily.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Portland?
Weather affects tree health, and it’s already done tree damage in Portland, as seen above. Windstorms are some of the most common weather issues Portland faces. Regardless, it’s not a recurring problem every year. Weather in Portland is generally considered moderate, with short (often hot) summers. Winter is cool and wet for extended months.
Thanks to all the rain Portland gets, it’s made trees mostly flourish. When the rare ice storm hits, it can wipe out hundreds of older trees virtually overnight. Major windstorms usually happen once every five years to a decade.
Anyone living in Portland knows trees can grow abundantly and become destroyed instantly with no set or determinable weather patterns.
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Portland?
Never touch a tree that’s fallen over power lines. Chances of this happening in Portland can often increase in the winter when wind storms occur.
Since the threat of electrocution is always present touching tree branches around power lines, let your local power company take care of the cleanup. It’s already their responsibility if the tree was on public property.
When a tree you own falls on power lines, it’s still up to the power company to clean up the mess, even if you might be billed. The same goes with your neighbor if their tree knocks down power lines.
Since trees can easily cause prolonged power outages when they take down power lines, pruning is vitally important. Always do this during the winter months to get ahead of the spring bloom season. A fallen tree with heavy foliage is always more complicated to remove over power lines than a bare tree in the winter.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Portland?
The cost of tree removal in Portland averages around $650 but varies depending on what the scenario is. Since so many weather variables exist in the Portland area, a tree removal price could vary from a basic fee to very expensive.
What scenarios might exist that factor into what you pay? A number of those relate to weather and the size of the tree.
Types of Weather Events
During the winter, Portland gets its worst weather. Rain can go on for nearly eight months of the year, leading to messy work when trees fall. After a major storm, tree removal can be a long and arduous job. Chances are good the work could prolong for several days if even required waiting until the weather calms.
If this happens, costs can go up for labor time.
Size of the Tree
A lot of older trees still exist in the Portland area. These can be very complex to remove based on their trunk size and the amount of foliage they have. When adding in stump removal, expect to pay sometimes up to $100 more.
Overly thick stumps can take a whole day to remove off your property. Trees over 100 years old are a good example here.
The Position of the Tree
If your tree is near your home, shed, fence, or other structures, the removal will be more involved, require more of our specialists on hand, and will therefore be more costly.