Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Wilkes-Barre?
- 2 Does the City of Wilkes-Barre Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Wilkes-Barre?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Wilkes-Barre?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Wilkes-Barre?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Wilkes-Barre?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Wilkes-Barre?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Wilkes-Barre?
With its seemingly endless mountains and valleys, Wilkes-Barre seems like a paradise for tree lovers. But there are a few problems with lots of trees, and many of them can even kill forests if left unchecked.
The most insidious pest that plagues trees in Wilkes-Barre is the spotted lanternfly. This invasive insect (also called Lycorma delicatula) is a planthopper that initially comes from Asia. It was first introduced to eastern Pennsylvania in 2014, and the state has introduced a quarantine program to help prevent it from spreading to other counties. If you see the following symptoms in your tree or an actual spotted lanternfly, call us to discuss your options:
- Dark streaks of sap down the bark of the trunk
- Honeydew at the base of the tree
- Mold growing at the bottom of the tree
- Increased ant or bee activity on the exposed sap and honeydew
- Brownish-gray egg masses on the tree, especially in late spring
You should also call 1 (888) 4-BAD-FLY or report the insects online. If you find egg masses or live lanternflies (which look like moths, about an inch long with gray front wings and red rear wings), it’s also essential to kill those you can find. Each individual can produce up to 50 offspring in a year, which can devastate trees statewide, so the state of Pennsylvania has a “kill-on-sight” policy for these little invasive critters.
Another common disease in Wilkes-Barre’s trees is verticillium wilt, also called bramble disease. This fungal infection affects most deciduous trees and is often mistaken for frost damage. Look for symptoms such as:
- Yellowing or discoloration in groups of leaves
- Wilting branches
- Discolored wood under the bark of affected areas
Verticillium wilt can kill trees, but with early diagnosis and supportive care (including fertilizer and anti-fungal sprays), it can be treated. If you see these symptoms, call us, and we can help you figure out what to do. It’s essential not to plant new trees in verticillium-infected soil, as the new tree will also be infected. You have to treat the underlying issue before you replant.
One more fungus that strikes plants of all kinds — not just trees — in Wilkes-Barre is anthracnose. This fungal infection is prevalent in walnut trees and can cause discoloration and brown spots on leaves. Younger leaves turn yellow and fall early, occasionally leaving trees bare as early as August. You should also look out for tiny, brown fungal fuzz on the underside of leaves.
The good news is, anthracnose is rarely fatal to trees. If you suspect it on a tree you own, call us to figure out your options for helping to get rid of the fungus for good.
Does the City of Wilkes-Barre Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
While the city of Wilkes-Barre doesn’t have specific programs to help with tree removal problems, you can recycle yard waste, including branches and trees up to 6 inches in diameter, for free at The Earth Conservancy in Newport Township. That way, your fallen limbs can go to good use as mulch or sawdust instead of simply taking up space in the landfill.
Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Wilkes-Barre?
It’s rare for trees to fall on only one property, at least in populated areas such as Wilkes-Barre. A tree falling on more than one property can make the question of who is responsible for removing it a rather thorny one. While every situation is different and has its considerations, here are some general guidelines you can follow.
If You’re a Homeowner?
The basic principle of homeownership applies to trees and the home itself: if you own the land, you own the problems. This principle even applies when one of your trees falls onto someone else’s property. But before you decide to cut down every tree you own in hopes of avoiding these issues in the first place, consider that your homeowner’s insurance almost certainly covers damages from tree loss, as well as the replacement of the tree itself.
If You’re a Renter?
If you rent your home, it’s likely against the terms of your lease to call someone to remove a fallen tree, even when the tree is blocking access to your property. Your first call should be to the landlord. If the landlord doesn’t respond within a reasonable amount of time, you may be able to call us to have the tree removed and deduct the cost from your rent, but make sure to check the terms of your lease before you do this.
If You’re a Landlord?
If you’re a landlord, you’re responsible for ensuring that your tenants have a safe, accessible home. This responsibility means that if your tenants call you about a fallen tree, you are legally obligated to have it removed as soon as possible. This is why it’s so important to do preventive inspections and maintenance on your property, including the trees: the adage of “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” definitely applies to your trees.
If You’re a Neighbor?
Trees are the subject of countless feuds between neighbors. Suppose a neighbor’s tree falls onto your property, especially if it causes significant damage. In these situations, the most important rule is to stay calm and keep the lines of communication open between the two of you. You have the same goal: removing the tree. It’s much easier to reach that goal if you work together and find a solution that works for your situation.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Wilkes-Barre?
Most eastern Pennsylvania soil, including Wilkes-Barre, is loamy, which makes it ideal for most trees. Loamy soil is a mix of sand, silt, and clay that brings the good qualities of all its parts together to make a nutrient-rich, easy-draining soil suitable for many trees. One aspect of Wilkes-Barre’s soil that can impact tree health is gravel in much of our soil. Some trees respond better to gravelly soils than others. If there are many stones or gravel in your soil, consider planting trees that thrive in gravelly soil, such as crab apples, dogwoods, hazelnuts, hawthorns, junipers, and red cedars.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Wilkes-Barre?
There are a few weather conditions that can impact tree health in Wilkes-Barre, which we’ll describe below.
Eastern Pennsylvania is known for its intense wind storms. These can take down branches or even whole trees. While you may not be able to stop the wind from blowing, you can keep your trees well-trimmed and maintained, so you’re less likely to lose unhealthy limbs in these storms.
Pennsylvania doesn’t have a reputation for mild winters. Wilkes-Barre is known for its winter storms, including blizzards and ice storms, all of which can kill trees. Other than preventive inspections and trimmings, the best way to avoid this is to plant trees hardy to the local climate. The PennLive Patriot-News has some suggestions as to what trees best suit the local environment.
The next issue is the same one that causes humans to wilt every summer: humidity. The area around Wilkes-Barre is perfect for fungus to grow, especially during the winter with its cool, wet conditions. Most of these fungi are harmless, but some of them (such as those described earlier on this page) can damage or kill trees. The fungus is another case where finding problems early can save the life of your tree, so be vigilant, especially when it’s been very wet outside. Don’t hesitate to call us to inspect any signs of fungal infection on your trees.
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Wilkes-Barre?
The first thing to remember if a tree dies near a power line is not to get too close to it. Even dead trees can conduct enough electricity to kill a person potentially. The next thing to do is contact PPL Electricity at 1 (800) 342-5775, and they’ll send someone to remove the tree. Note that PPL Electricity doesn’t remove trees or branches that have fallen on the intake lines between the home and the power tree, but they’re glad to cut the power off to any necessary lines so you can make the repairs you need.
PPL Electricity does do routine inspections and trimming within their rights of way, but they can’t find everything, and by reporting this fallen tree, you could help save someone’s life.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Wilkes-Barre?
While every tree is different, and every situation is different, the average cost of having a tree removed in Wilkes-Barre is around $700, with most jobs falling between $200 and $1,990. There are a lot of factors that can make this price go up or down. A few of these factors are listed below.
Size of the Tree
Whoever said that “bigger is better” didn’t have tree removal in mind. The larger your tree, the more specialized equipment it takes to remove it, and the more expensive it is to remove. Smaller trees (less than 20 feet tall) will generally cost closer to the $200 end of the spectrum, while medium-sized trees (20 to 40 feet tall) will come in the middle of the range, and the largest trees (over 80 feet) will likely cost you closer to $2,000.
Location, Location, Location
You don’t generally get to choose where a tree falls. The location of the tree is one of the most important things we consider when pricing removals. Some factors that can make tree removal more expensive are:
- A small gate in a backyard protects the tree
- The tree is next to a building, fence, or other structure
- The tree is on a steep hill
- The tree has fallen onto something (such as a roof) that requires lifting hardware to remove it
Some factors that can make tree removal less expensive are:
- The tree is easy to reach from the road
- The tree is on flat land
- The tree is well separated from buildings and cars
Supply and Demand
There are only so many arborists to go around, and after storms and other events, it’s common for us to have a lot of tree removal calls. The increase in demand can cause the price to go up, especially if the tree blocks access to your home or a public right-of-way. Meanwhile, if there aren’t many other calls, it’ll be easier for us to fit you in, and you’ll generally pay less.