Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Charleston?
- 2 Does the City of Charleston Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Charleston?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Charleston?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health In Charleston?
- 6 What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Charleston?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Charleston?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Charleston?
The city of Charleston is loved for its historical beauty that shows off charming cobblestone streets, antebellum homes, and coastal views. Even the trees that line the streets show off ageless beauty, with hanging moss and towering bodies. As gorgeous as the city is, it’s no stranger to diseases and predators that target the local greenery. Trees in Charleston are common victims of beachside storms, dehydration, and fungal infections.
When exploring the city or trimming the shrubbery in your yard, you may find the following issues amongst your trees.
Causing leaf drop, dieback, cankers, and more, Sycamore Anthracnose is a fungal disease that attacks a tree’s ability to properly grow. While the disease isn’t typically fatal to trees, it does often cause deformation, discoloring, and leaves or branches looking poorly developed. The disease is most noticeably found during cool and wet weather in early spring. Pruning dead or dying branches can help prevent the fungi from returning each season that new leaves grow.
Dutch Elm Tree Disease
Caused by Sac Fungi and commonly spread through bark beetles, Dutch Elm Disease targets the vascular system in trees. The disease results in the yellowing and wilting of branches and leaves, and over time, it causes trees to become limited in the nutrients they can retain. While younger or weakened trees may die within a year of becoming infected, stronger trees may last several years battling Dutch Elm.
Oak Leaf Blister
Stemming from a fungus known as Taphrina Caerulescens, Oak Leaf Blister leaves trees appearing as if the leaves have physical blisters. Raised areas may appear scattered on the surface, turning yellow, white and brown. The infected spores will cause leaves to curl in on themselves and fall. This disease is most commonly found in the early stages of growth in Oak trees but can spread to other species of trees.
Annosus Root Rot
Highly targeting pines and conifers, Annosus Root Rot is a severe fungus that stunts growth and leaves trees vulnerable to predators like bark beetles. Spores of the fungus present themselves in the form of synthesized structures known as conks and can be found developing around the base of infected trees. The disease is one of the most common predators throughout all of South Carolina and primarily targets trees in areas with low water tables or soil that’s made up of high quantities of sand, which makes Charleston the prime location for the fungus to settle in.
Emerald Ash Borer
The Emerald Ash Borer has targeted all but 7 states throughout the entirety of the US. Known as a culprit that nibbles on ash foliage, the adult beetles are less harmless than the hatching larvae that rely on feeding on the inner bark of ash trees in order to grow and survive. This weakens and disrupts a tree’s ability to transfer much-needed nutrients and water, eventually destroying the internal structure and depleting the tree’s health.
Does the City of Charleston Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
Charleston’s Urban Forestry Division is responsible for the maintenance of all trees located on city-owned property. The division handles trimming, pruning, and the replanting of over 250 trees annually throughout the city. While trees on private property are the homeowner’s responsibility, local ordinances do have some say in whether or not you can remove a tree on your property as you please.
Certain trees throughout Charleston are considered protected or Grand trees and require a permit to do more than basic pruning. If the tree is under 24″ D.B.H. Single-Family Residential or Single and Two Family Residential properties, then a permit is not required in order to remove a tree. For specific information on what’s considered a Grand or Protected tree and the diameter measurements that qualify you to remove trees without approval, be sure to check out local code enforcement.
Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Charleston?
The responsibility and ownership of fallen trees can be a tricky situation in Charleston. While trees are the responsibility of the homeowner’s property where they reside, if a tree falls due to natural causes, it can be difficult to hold them liable.
If you’re a homeowner?
If a tree residing on your property falls on your land due to natural causes or disease and decay, it is your duty to handle the removal and clean-up of that tree. It is also your responsibility to handle basic maintenance of any and all trees on your property.
If you’re a renter?
Unless your signed lease specifically dictates that you handle the maintenance of trees on the property, including trimming, pruning, and more, then you are not liable for trees that fall. However, if you neglect to report trees that pose a hazard or risk to your landlord and then they fall, you may be held liable for negligence in the court of law.
If you’re a landlord?
As the property owner or property manager, you are liable for ensuring trees on boundary lines or in close proximity to houses are kept up and maintained. If you neglect to keep up with trimming, pruning, or hiring professionals to remove at-risk trees, then you may be held responsible if a tree falls due to disease and decay, damaging neighboring property.
If you’re a neighbor?
While it’s the homeowner’s job to manage and maintain trees that pose a risk of falling limbs or falling due to disease, whenever that tree falls you have to prove negligence in order to hold them responsible for any damages caused. This can be proven if trees have poor root systems, or noticeable disease and decay, or even frequently lost limbs. This is due to the fact that whether they paid attention and knew the tree could fall or not, there were obvious signs present and they didn’t take precautions to maintain or remove the tree.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Charleston?
The soil throughout Charleston is a mixture of sandy and loamy textures with poor to moderate drainage. Running roughly 100 miles alongside the Atlantic Ocean, the city is home to both fresh and tidal waters. Combined, minerals from the sea and local rivers have a great impact on the depth, drainage, and stoniness of soil based on location.
Some parts of Charleston are home to moderately permeable loamy soil with marine or fluvial sediments that make the land rich in nutrients. This makes it a great area for growing trees.
However, due to poor drainage in soils throughout the city, when storms pass through, they can flood the area and cause trees to become over-hydrated or limited in their ability to transfer nutrients. This can damage root systems and cause trees to fall as the soil expands and contracts.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health In Charleston?
As the years become hotter and more storms pass through coastal towns, global warming is a major player in cities like Charleston. The concern is that, due to trees dying from dehydration, over-stimulation, diseases, and other predators, they’re unable to soak up floodwaters from average and tropical storms. This can leave the area at risk for floods and falling trees during stormy seasons.
Many trees throughout Charleston have aged well over the years and grown to offer shaded canopies to the beautiful city. However, as leaves begin to suffer from sun damage or limbs don’t receive the nutrients and water they need, local tree health is facing a slow decline. This could lead to our arborists dealing with more fallen trees over the years whenever strong winds pass through.
What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Charleston?
Dominion Energy serves both South Carolina and Virginia towns when it comes to maintaining trees located near power lines. The city of Charleston may handle routine care for trees adjacent to rights of way, but Dominion handles all concerns with trees that could fall or have fallen on power lines. This is to ensure everyone is safe and to provide professional and proper care with live wires.
If you notice that a tree is showing signs of decay or might potentially fall towards a power pole or line, don’t try to trim or cut the tree by yourself. By reaching out to our team of trained professionals rather than attempting to handle the issue yourself or ignoring it, you could be saving lives. The voltage that runs through power lines is extremely dangerous and could cause severe injury and death when physically interacted with.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Charleston?
Tree removal costs are dependent on each individual project. Average tree removal services in Charleston cost around $581 for medium-sized trees, but larger trees can reach above $1,500. Our tree removal quotes typically include the cost of equipment, machinery, and materials used for the job as well as some cleanup fees and the preparation for removal. This often includes items like chainsaws or harnesses and will cover the labor for the project.
Size and Labor
When quoting a price for tree removal projects, we base this on the size of the tree and how time-consuming the job will be. Removing large trees will cost more than removing young and smaller trees. Size makes a difference in whether our team will need to bring in an additional crew for extra assistance as well as what equipment is needed in order to safely cut limbs and get rid of the tree without causing any damage to homes or buildings nearby.
Ease of Access
Size isn’t the only priority when it comes to the cost of tree removal in Charleston. If a tree is located on the boundary line of property and near homes or on uneven and waterfront land, then hauling the necessary equipment to the tree may take a little extra work. Most commonly, ease of access will hinder the proximity to fencing, homes, and other structures.
When having a tree removed, most services do not include stump removal. If you’d like to get rid of the base of the trunk, then you may be looking at a small extra charge for additional time and machinery in order to properly remove, chop, and grade the area where the stump is located.