Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Washington?
- 2 Does the City of Washington Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Washington?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Washington
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Washington?
- 6 What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Washington?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Washington?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Washington?
A common tree disease in the Washington, PA area is rhizosphaera needle cast. This is a fungal infection that affects first-year needles and is most dangerous to young trees. The symptoms are fairly distinctive. Infected needles turn yellow, then brown or purple-brown with visible fruiting bodies protruding from the stomata. These needles then die and fall, leaving the tree damaged. Similar needle loss is caused by drought, nutritional deficiencies, and spray damage, as well as by some other diseases.
The disease most affects Colorado and Engelmann spruce, but Norway and white spruce are resistant. When most severe, the disease can kill lower branches. It’s primarily treated by removing infected branches or by applying fungicide in the spring. The best way to prevent it is to keep your trees healthy. If you have to remove an infected tree, we make sure to destroy it and not allow live branches to touch other trees. Do not plant conifers too close together and weed around the stumps, ensuring that your trees get good air circulation. Healthy, mature trees generally recover well, but young trees can be defoliated and die.
Emerald ash borer is known in Washington County. This invasive insect infects all native ash species and their cultivars. It’s considered a particular threat in Pennsylvania due to the danger to the pumpkin ash, a state species of concern. Distinctive symptoms include dieback of the upper crown, shoots growing from the base of the trunk or main branches, D-shaped exit holes in the bark, and increased attention from woodpeckers (who very much like the taste of the beetles). You can protect your ash tree from ash borers with trunk injections, but these must be done by a professional like Tree Triage. Infested trees should be removed and the wood destroyed. Consider replacing them with trees of a different species.
Another local pest is the yellow poplar weevil. These little black insects have caused panic in the past because they look like ticks. There was a major outbreak in 2015, alarming homeowners. They are not ticks and are harmless to humans. They affect tulip trees and yellow poplars. They damage leaves, creating distinctive holes that resemble rice grains but are not an overall threat to a healthy tree. The damage, however, is unsightly and can cause leaf drop if there’s more stress. Talk to us about whether you should spray for these weevils and remember: they are not ticks.
Does the City of Washington Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
The city of Washington does not provide any assistance for tree or debris removal under normal circumstances. The city has a Shade Tree Commission that handles the planting of trees in rights-of-way and cares for public trees.
Also, the ordinance allows the city to remove or “cause or order to be removed” any tree or part thereof which is a potential danger. This means that the city may tell you you have to remove a tree that is infested with a pest. Given the issues with emerald ash borer, the city may step in and tell you you have to remove a tree that is carrying this pest. The city may also prune your trees if they are blocking a sign, and the utility company may prune them if they are near the power lines.
When planting trees, be cognizant of this and try to plant trees that won’t cause these problems. Also, if you refuse to remove a diseased or dead tree that is a potential threat within 90 days, the city may come and remove it and charge you for the privilege. It’s best to get trees removed yourself, especially ones carrying contagious pests.
Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Washington?
Fallen tree removal is the responsibility of the person who owns the land, although in some cases the city may step in. In these cases, though, the owner is still responsible for the expense.
If you’re a homeowner?
Check your homeowners’ insurance policy and make sure that it covers fallen or hazardous tree removal. Remember that promptly removing a dead or diseased tree is not just a good idea in Washington, but will keep you from getting nasty letters from the City. In most cases, insurance will cover the cost, but they may be reluctant to pay out a claim if the tree was diseased for some time.
If you’re a renter?
The Pennsylvania landlord-tenant law requires landlords to make necessary repairs and also allows tenants to make the repairs and deduct the cost from rent under certain circumstances. This means that you may be able to have a tree removed that is presenting a hazard if your landlord is not responding promptly.
Your lease may also have something to say about it; although it doesn’t override the law, it may assign responsibility for routine tree maintenance and non-emergency removals, such as of diseased trees.
If you’re a landlord?
Landlords are required to make repairs quickly if they make the premises inhabitable, and this might include fallen or dead trees in certain circumstances. For routine and non-emergency matters, as trees are not a structural part of the property, you may assign responsibility to the tenant in single-family homes and possibly mobile home parks.
Obviously, you are responsible for all of the landscaping in a complex.
If you’re a neighbor?
The owner of a tree is the person on whose land the trunk grows. When trees straddle property lines, it’s good practice to talk to your neighbor and make sure you are all on the same page and know who is responsible for what. If your neighbor has a diseased tree they refuse to remove that is threatening your trees, then consider reporting it to the city so they can ask your neighbor to remove it. Unfortunately, the process of getting a tree removed in these situations is lengthy. Talk to us about preventive treatment for your trees.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Washington
The soil in Greene and Washington Counties (due to the small size of the counties, the survey covers both) is primarily in the Dormont-Culleoka association. These are deep, moderately well-drained silt loam soils. However, other soils do exist in the county. The Washington County Master Gardener Program will test your soil for a low cost and recommends soil tests every three years. A soil test will help you determine what your trees need to stay healthy and what trees you should plant if you are adding or replacing shade trees.
The primary soil is particularly well-suited to growing trees, and the native growth is mixed hardwoods. Consider planting native trees, but be grateful to have soil that is good for shade tree growth. Testing and proper choice of trees will allow you to raise and keep healthy trees which will continue to provide you with shade and aesthetics.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Washington?
Washington County has a mild climate with typically pleasant summers and relatively mild winters, although significant snowfall definitely happens. Tornadoes are rare but do occur. When they do, they can do significant damage to trees and property. The county also has reports of severe winds and large hail.
Overall, severe weather is not a huge concern in Washington County or Pittsburgh in general. Although, as incidents are rare, they are more likely to cause damage. Choose trees that are comfortable in Pennsylvania’s climate zone, and you should not have to worry about the weather except for occasional severe storms.
What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Washington?
There are multiple power companies that supply customers in Washington. You should call your power company if there are dead trees or branches near or on power lines. If the tree is on public property, then it is the responsibility of the city and the power company.
If one of your trees is threatening power lines, you should contact us for emergency removal, but still, make sure to notify the power company so we can work with them to ensure the safety of our crew while we remove the tree or branch.
Dead trees are a common cause of power outages, so they should be removed as quickly as feasible.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Washington?
The cost of tree removal in Washington is typical for the state of Pennsylvania, at an average of $675 and a general price range between $150 and $2,100.
Larger trees simply cost more and take longer to remove. We charge more for trees over thirty feet and, of course, for the removal of multiple trees. Our costs are based on the number of people we need, the length of time it will take, and what equipment we have to use to remove the tree.
Emerald Ash Borer
If a tree is infested with emerald ash borer (or something else highly contagious) then you will be facing the cost of removing and properly disposing of the wood. We may also recommend the removal of the stump to ensure there is no further contagion, especially if the tree was affected with rhizosphaera needle cast. This can, of course, add to the costs, but it will make it safer to replace the tree.
Some trees are in a great location where we can easily remove them for you. In other cases, not so much. If we have to remove a tree carefully to protect surrounding structures or other trees, then this will cost more. Steep slopes can also make our job more difficult. We quote based on how long we think the job will take and how much equipment we expect to need.