Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Tualatin?
- 2 Does the City of Tualatin Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Tualatin?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Tualatin?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Tualatin?
- 6 What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Tualatin?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Tualatin?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Tualatin?
There are many native tree species that thrive around the Tualatin River, a major waterway that flows along the northern edge of the city of Tualatin and influences the overall climate and conditions of the region. Prominent examples include the big leaf maple (Acer macrophyllum), the black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa), the Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), and the red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea).
Yet even these relatively low-maintenance native tree species can experience a multitude of tree issues and arboreal concerns. And such tree health problems are only exacerbated if you’re dealing with the many non-native tree species that are popular throughout Tualatin’s suburbs and neighborhoods, like the Armstrong maple (Acer rubrum ‘Armstrong’) or the Capital Flowering Pear (Pyrus Calleryana ‘Capital’).
Some of the most common tree issues in Tualatin and the northeast Oregon region, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, include:
- Sudden Oak Death: It’s caused by the Phytophthora ramorum water mold pathogen and thrives in the moist conditions found in Tualatin.
- Asian gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar spp.): In the United States, these exotic pests are mostly found in Oregon and Washington. The moth’s caterpillars feed on more than 500 different tree species and lead to mass defoliation of trees in Tualatin.
- European cherry fruit fly (Rhagoletis cerasi L.): Many of Tualatin’s city streets are planted with ornamental cherry trees, and this fruit fly was first detected in 2017.
- Light brown apple moth (Epiphyas postvittanaor): Originally from Australia, this pest was first identified on the west coast in 2007. Despite its name, it most commonly affects trees like poplars and eucalyptus.
Other common pests include wood rot, termites, European grapevine moths, khapra beetles, emerald ash borer beetles, and the Asian long-horned beetle. Beyond insects and bugs, trees in Tualatin are also commonly affected by fungal diseases, as well as mold and mildew, which tend to do well in Oregon’s humidity.
It’s important that homeowners and gardeners proactively identify a tree health concern before it spreads to other trees and irreparably damages the tree, which often leads to costly trimming, pruning, or even tree removal. If you suspect you’re dealing with a tree pest or a tree disease, contact our tree professionals for expert identification.
Does the City of Tualatin Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
All trees grown on private property in Tualatin are the sole responsibility of the property owner, and the City of Tualatin does not provide any assistance or services for removing unwanted, old, diseased, or dead trees. This includes street trees that grow along the edge of your property facing the road.
However, in the specific case of street trees, the City of Tualatin does provide tree removal if you prefer to pay the city to complete the work instead of doing it yourself or hiring us. The property owner must first submit a permit and pay the permit fees for tree removal. Street tree removal provided by the city currently costs $300, plus the $125 cost of street tree stump grinding. Remember, this is only for trees directly lining the street.
Keep in mind that the city’s bylaws also require that a new tree be planted for every tree that’s removed. This is included in your tree removal permit process for which the City of Tualatin includes a $75 tree-for-a-fee surcharge.
Once your permit to have a street tree removed by the city gets approved, the city explains that it strives to remove the specific tree within four weeks. The city will then replant a new street tree during tree replanting season, which runs from October through March. If you request that the city remove a street tree during the months of April through September, the city will remove it and replant a new tree when tree replanting season commences.
Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Tualatin?
Trees grown on city property are managed by the Tualatin Parks and Recreation Department, which manages and cleans up fallen trees on public land.
If a fallen tree is endangering utility lines, Portland General Electric steps in to take care of the issue. Stay away from the area and call 1-800-743-5000 to report the fallen tree risk if you notice an issue.
Beyond that, navigating tree problems and tree issues get trickier and the exact responsibility varies depending on your role in the matter.
If you’re a homeowner?
If you are the homeowner, you are governed by Chapter 33 of the Tualatin Development Code. This development code dictates that all homeowners are responsible for removing fallen trees that occur on their private land. That being said, just because it’s your responsibility doesn’t mean you are the one who needs to do the actual work. In fact, the City of Tualatin recommends consulting with a tree removal expert or professional arborist like Tree Triage due to the high risk involved with pruning, trimming, or removing fallen trees.
If you’re a renter?
In a landlord-tenant relationship, the care and maintenance of outdoor landscapes, gardens, and yards are governed by your exact lease or rental agreement. For example, your rental agreement may state that you have free use of the yard but that you’re also responsible for mowing it regularly. However, most default rental agreements and leases do not specify tree trimming, tree pruning, and tree removal liabilities.
Despite this, the Oregon State Bar’s review of standard rental agreements in the 33rd U.S. State notes that all tenants are guaranteed safe, hazard-free enjoyment of the property they’re renting. A fallen tree does not create a safe, hazard-free environment. Thus, you should reach out to your landlord immediately if you have concerns about a fallen tree, a diseased or dying tree, or a tree that needs trimming and pruning.
If your landlord is not assisting you with a fallen tree problem, the City of Tualatin recommends reaching out to their dispute resolution center or your local sheriff’s office for guidance.
If you’re a landlord?
A landlord—whether you’re a property owner renting or leasing out a single-family home or someone who owns an apartment or business complex that you lease out—is viewed by Tualatin’s development code as a property owner. Thus, you are responsible for the maintenance of all the landscapes on your property.
This doesn’t mean that your renters, leasers, or tenants can’t be held responsible for any problems they cause to contribute to a tree health issue, such as damaging it. However, the proverbial buck stops with the landlord. The landlord must resolve any fallen tree issues in Tualatin even if the landlord later chooses to pursue damages from a tenant or renter.
If you’re a neighbor?
Trees, especially many of the oaks, poplars, and other species found in Tualatin, easily cross property boundaries. This can create problems when branches fall across property lines, leaves pile up on the other side of a fence, or a tree falls across property boundaries.
According to the City of Tualatin, issues with pruning (i.e., you wanting your neighbor to prune their overgrown tree that is blocking the sun on your property) or fallen leaves is a civil dispute. Talk to your neighbor and work out a solution between the two of you. In terms of a fallen tree, the owner of the property where the fallen tree grew is responsible for any costs or repairs associated with the tree.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Tualatin?
In 2011, the Oregon Legislature officially recognized Jory soil as the official soil in the state. The trademark red soil is only found in Tualatin and other western areas of the state and is known for being volcanic, well-draining, deep, and having large numbers of dissolved nutrients that give the soil what the state legislature calls a “high forest productivity” ranking.
This means that trees thrive in Tualatin and other western regions of Oregon, and their roots tend to run very deep and fuel growth at speeds not seen in other areas of the United States. However, the permeability of Jory soil in Tualatin is moderately slow. If you’re growing trees and struggling to maintain healthy vigor, you may want to consult our tree professionals and try:
- Slowing down your watering rate but increasing watering time to allow the soil to soak in the moisture more effectively
- Applying mulch to help the soil retain its moisture more effectively
- Using slow-release tree fertilizer products to avoid harmful fertilizer runoff
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Tualatin?
The city warns that climate change is creating increasing problems in Tualatin, leading to increasingly hot, dry summers paired with decreasing rainfall. Historical data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, specifically concerning the Tualatin River watershed area, show data that appears to back the city’s concerns.
This can create a host of potential tree health problems:
- Extended periods of drought can weaken trees, leading to a higher risk of forest fires, loss of leaves, and broken branches.
- Weaker, heat-stressed trees are more susceptible to pests and diseases.
- Soil that is dry is less able to support top-heavy trees, leading to increased risks of fallen trees.
You can take proactive measures to address these weather-released tree health concerns:
- Water your trees infrequently and deeply, which encourages them to grow their roots deeper where the soil has more moisture and where the roots are better able to support the tree.
- Water your trees in the early morning to reduce water loss due to evaporation. Be cautious when watering in the late evening; while this is popular advice, it may increase the risks of some foliar diseases.
- Apply 2 to 3 inches of mulch to help retain soil moisture and keep tree roots cool.
What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Tualatin?
Dead trees near Tualatin power lines increase the risks of power outages, brownouts, and fires if the dead tree or some of its branches fall onto the power lines.
Portland General Electric requests that all Tualatin residents call them toll-free at 1-800-743-5000 to report a tree risk near a utility power line.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Tualatin?
If you opt to have the City of Tualatin remove a tree, keep in mind that this city service is only available for street trees. Your total cost for having the city remove the street tree is $500, which also includes stump grinding and replanting. Tree removal for any other area of your property varies depending on several key factors, but it will typically fall between $250 and $1,800.
The Permitting Process
Tualatin has an extensive permitting process that governs tree removal. Obtaining a permit from the city can add hundreds of dollars to the actual cost of removing a tree, and these costs rise depending on the type of permit required. If you’re removing four or fewer trees between the time period of January 1st and December 31st, most homeowners can skip the permit process and save money.
However, expect to add anywhere from $50 to $200 extra for each additional permitting step involved, which is often triggered if the tree you want to remove is:
- A heritage tree
- A tree that’s part of a reviewed site plan (i.e., a construction site, new development, etc.)
- A tree that’s above and beyond your four-trees-a-year limit
- A tree in an environmentally sensitive area, including a wetland, which requires additional site reviews by the Clean Water Services and permitting from the City of Tualatin
The Size of the Tree and Your Property
Some of the most commonly grown trees in Tualatin include the American Yellowwood (which can reach a height of 50 feet), the Autumn Applause Ash (40-50 feet in height), and the Greenspire Littleleaf Linden (60-70 feet).
The bigger the tree, the more expertise, equipment, and time it will take us to bring it down safely.
The Size and Situation of Your Property
Additional costs may be needed due to the size of the tree compared to the space in which our specialists have to work. For example, a large property may need just one or two pieces of heavy equipment, whereas felling a tree in a tight suburban lot may require complex trimming and topping to avoid fallen tree limbs from damaging nearby structures.