Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Chattanooga?
- 2 Does the City of Chattanooga Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Chattanooga?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Chattanooga?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Chattanooga?
- 6 What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Chattanooga?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Chattanooga?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Chattanooga?
Chattanooga lies just past the border between Tennessee and Georgia, nestled among the beautiful Tennessee mountains and along the Tennessee River. As a city that the New York Times has named one of the “Top 45 Places to go in the World,” it attracts visitors from all over who come to enjoy its natural beauty as well as attractions such as the Riverwalk and the Tennessee Aquarium.
A large part of the natural beauty in the Chattanooga area comes from the plethora of trees in the Tennessee mountains. Nevertheless, trees in Chattanooga, as elsewhere in Tennessee, can face a number of challenges to their health and wellbeing. In some cases, these challenges come from insect invasions. In others, they may come from certain tree diseases typical to the area. Let’s take a look at each of these issues in more detail.
One non-native species that threaten trees in Tennessee and elsewhere in the United States is the Emerald Ash Borer, which, as its name suggests, attacks ash trees. The insect is believed to have originated in Asia and arrived in the States via wood packing material. The Emerald ash borer can be very destructive to trees, killing them within three years of infestation. The trees die because the insects destroy their nutrient-conducting tissues. A common sign that an ash tree may be infested with this insect is a thinning of the canopy starting from the top of the tree.
Another challenge to Chattanooga trees in recent years has been an infestation of an insect called the lecanium scale in downtown trees. Trees affected by the scales can include oak, hickory, birch, and others. Trees infected with lecanium scales may become sticky with honeydew excreted by the insects. As a result of the honeydew, sooty mold fungi can develop, darkening leaves and stems. Foliage on infested trees can wither prematurely, due to the insects’ feeding habits. Branches can also become weakened or die as a result of the scales.
Aside from these two very serious issues, Chattanooga has also dealt with another invasive species, the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, an insect that is particularly damaging to Hemlock trees. Indeed, the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid can kill a Hemlock tree within 3-6 years of infestation. Discoloring and thinning of foliage can be a sign of possible infestation, as well as the “woolly” torviscas produced when the adelgids lay eggs.
Should you have a tree that you suspect is diseased or otherwise damaged, you can call us here at Tree Triage, and we’ll be happy to assist you in assessing and dealing with the situation.
Does the City of Chattanooga Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
The City of Chattanooga has a Tree Ordinancein place that provides the overall municipal framework for tree planting and maintenance. The ordinance is intended both to allow for an orderly planning for tree-planting projects on public land as well as to protect residents and visitors from trees that could pose a danger due to disease or damage. The ordinance provides the legal framework for:
- Conducting the urban forestry program
- Defining municipal responsibility for public and private trees
- Passing regulations and setting the minimum standards for management
According to Sec. 32-315 of Division 3 of the Ordinance, “The city shall have the right to order or cause the removal of any trees that are dead or diseased on private property within the city, when such trees constitute a hazard to life and property, or harbor insects or disease which constitute a potential threat to other trees within the city.”
The ordinance goes on to state that the owner of the property will be responsible for paying for the tree removal, and that the removal is to be completed within 14 days of notification by the city.
Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Chattanooga?
A general principle in issues related to trees is that a tree is yours to deal with if it is on your property. As a result, if your tree were to fall over due to disease or storm damage, you would be responsible, as the landowner, for having it removed. Of course, life is never quite as simple as we would like it to be, so there may be other factors to consider when it comes to tree responsibility. Homeowners, renters, and neighbors may all have different views on the subject.
If you’re a homeowner?
Homeowners can generally expect that if a tree on your property falls over, you will be responsible for paying for its removal. Nevertheless, it never hurts to check your homeowner’s policy to see whether it might assist with your costs in that regard. Many insurance companies cover at least part of the costs of tree removal, particularly if your house has been damaged, although you would also want to consider things like deductibles before deciding whether to take advantage of any insurance assistance.
If you’re a renter?
Renters in Chattanooga should not expect to bear the cost of removing any fallen trees at their homes. That is the responsibility of the landlord since he or she is the property owner.
There is one possible exception that is worth noting, however, if the renter is the person responsible for damaging the tree in the first place, and the landlord can demonstrate this fact in court, the renter may be held liable for the costs of removing the tree, as well as any other damages that the court deems appropriate.
If you’re a landlord?
Because they are the property owner, a landlord will be expected to pay for the removal costs of any tree rooted on his or her property that has become diseased or has died. As mentioned above, an exception to this rule may occur in the case that the renter was the person responsible for the destruction of the tree.
If you’re a neighbor?
Things get most complicated when tree issues cross property lines. Who is responsible when a tree rooted in one property falls on another? The University of Tennessee Extension program has prepared a helpful rundown of legal issues related to tree ownership in Tennessee that can help sort some of these questions out.
Do keep in mind that if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, communication will be key. Especially if you expect to be in your home for any length of time, maintaining a good relationship with your neighbor will go a long way toward living in your home more pleasant.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Chattanooga?
Eastern Tennessee has primarily clay soil, which can affect drainage. As a result, trees that are moisture tolerant generally grow best in this type of soil. One advantage of clay soil is that it tends to attract positive nutrient ions such as calcium, magnesium, and ammonia and can store large amounts of these nutrients. Plants may grow quite well in this environment. Clay’s main drawback, however, is that it can bind water and nutrients so tightly that they don’t reach the plant’s roots. Thus, property owners dealing with clay soil will want to be aware of this possibility and may wish to plan accordingly.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Chattanooga?
In addition to the above tree diseases, residents of Chattanooga also have to contend with severe storms with some regularity, particularly during the spring and summer. These storms have even been known to produce tornadoes, as occurred in the city on Easter Day in 2020. These storms have been known to damage trees or cause them to fall onto power lines and homes, creating another type of hazard for Chattanooga residents.
What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Chattanooga?
Chattanooga’s severe storms can blow trees into power lines with some frequency, causing power outages and the potential for life-threatening injury. Should you see dead trees on or near power lines, the best thing to do is to contact EPB. They have skilled arborists who know how to properly trim or remove trees that are in danger of interfering with power lines. This is certainly not a task that you would want to undertake yourself.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Chattanooga?
As with many costs associated with homeownership, tree removal can be pricey. In Chattanooga, the average cost to remove a tree is around $700, although of course, many factors can make this either more or less expensive. A typical range for tree removal cost in Chattanooga is anywhere from $260 to $1140. While this may seem like more than you’d like to pay, the alternative could be even worse. Dying trees have the potential to fall on your home or someone else’s, and in the worst cases could end up injuring other people. In these cases, you could be on the hook for much greater, more unpleasant costs. It’s always best to deal with such problems before they create larger ones.
If a contractor needs to spend extra time or use extra technology to reach the tree in question, it will of course end up costing the customer more. After all, time is money! If a tree that you want to be removed is already on the ground in an easily accessible spot (near the road, for example), you are much more likely to end up with a lower bill than if your tree is up a steep hill behind your home, or if the arborist has to work around many other trees in trying to remove the one you’ve called about.
In the case of tree removal, it’s not necessarily true that bigger is better. The more work it is to remove a tree, the more it is going to cost the homeowner. A breakdown of the price ranges you can expect in Chattanooga based on tree size is as follows:
- Cost to remove a 20-foot tree: $180 to $320
- Cost to remove a 40-foot tree: $360 to $640
- Cost to remove a 60-foot tree: $540 to $960
- Cost to remove an 80-foot tree: $720 to $1280
Some other factors that may contribute to increased costs include:
- Active power lines around the tree
- You have made an emergency, after-hours request
- Heavy equipment is required
Now here are some things that might decrease the price:
- The tree turns out to be smaller than anticipated
- You have provided a good deal of advanced notice to the contractor
- The tree is easy to access
- No heavy equipment is required