Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Charlottesville?
- 2 Does the City of Charlottesville Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Charlottesville?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Charlottesville?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Charlottesville?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Charlottesville?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Charlottesville?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Charlottesville?
Trees are a celebrated and preserved resource in Charlottesville. Annually, the city provides one tree for planting to every resident, to increase tree cover in the city. Nevertheless, these efforts aren’t without their share of challenges and issues, such as:
A study revealed that invasive species of fauna cost the US more than $120 billion annually. Not only are invasive species an economic challenge, but they pose various challenges to local plant life as well, such as:
- Difficulty to control and contain
- Able to thrive and overtake undisturbed natural communities
- Negative impacts on rare or vulnerable ecosystems
- Easily dispersed to new areas via numerous means such as birds, water, wind, or humans
- Local tree species are outmatched due to the alien dominance, hence receive less natural resources and minerals necessary for growth and development
Some of these invasive tree species in Charlottesville include tree-of-Heaven, kudzu, wavy leaf grass, among others.
Pests and Diseases
The most notable disease affecting and infecting numerous species of trees in Charlottesville is sudden oak death. This deadly disease of unknown origin is caused by a water mold pathogen called Phytophthora ramorum. Unfortunately, experts have yet to develop a cure, but this fatal disease certainly affects other tree species such as rhododendron and camellia. However, the University of Cambridge is conducting studies on sudden oak death, like identifying new strategies to control future epidemics.
According to the Virginia Department of Health or VDH, the state and its cities are prone to natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and storms.
The state has put in place disaster awareness, preparedness and response. Although there are mechanisms to predict when a disaster will strike, there’s no telling the amount of damage mother nature will cause. These natural disasters uproot, down, and break full-grown trees and move them across long distances. So, in the event of a natural disaster, watch out for any loose trees and follow all disaster preparedness protocols in place.
Right Tree, Wrong Place
While the city of Charlottesville prioritizes tree conservation, you won’t fail to spot trees growing in mismatching places. For instance, you’ll spot 60-ft tall trees growing near power lines or even tall enough to touch them, posing public safety issues and power blackouts. You might also be able to spot broad trees growing near boundaries or buildings, which can result in disputes. To ensure you plant the right tree at the right place, follow these tree planting protocols provided.
These tree issues are delicate and could pose hazards to the city of Charlottesville. If you spot any of the above problems, especially pests and diseases, contact our experts at once for eradication and containment.
Does the City of Charlottesville Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
Charlottesville has a strict tree preservation policy that states no healthy tree should be removed, whether in public or private property, not unless under certain circumstances.
Similarly, Charlottesville ordinances mandate the homeowners to preserve and maintain healthy trees at all times.
However, the city can provide tree removal assistance in the following situations:
- If a tree is threatening public health and safety
- If a tree is deemed hazardous, such as when its infested with pests and diseases, or it’s classified as alien, and the hazardous condition cannot be rectified via measures such as pruning or trimming
- When a dead, dying, or fallen tree is in a public space such as a public park, streets, recreation centers, or any other area owned by the city of Charlottesville
- When the tree is blocking access to public amenities, including roads, streets, and street walks
- If the tree risks damaging public service lines such as power lines, and public water, gas, and sewer mains
- After a natural disaster such as hurricanes, floods, or tornadoes
The city of Charlottesville doesn’t offer any tree assistance to private homeowners.
Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Charlottesville?
Despite the measures you take to keep your tree healthy and safe, a tree can fall due to natural or human causes and cause property damage. Fallen tree laws in Virginia solve the following scenarios:
If you’re a homeowner?
Charlottesville tree ordinance states it’s your responsibility as the homeowner to take care of and maintain healthy trees. It’s also your responsibility to remove any fallen tree from your private property and cover the cost of damages. However, if you have homeowners insurance, your insurer will cover the cost of tree removal and pay for the damages as well.
If you’re a renter?
A renter in Charlottesville is someone who’s occupying another person’s property through a lease or tenancy agreement. In this case, the property owner is responsible for removing any fallen tree and covering the costs of any damages caused.
If you’re a landlord?
A landlord in Charlottesville is someone who rents out or leases their property to a renter. Therefore, a landlord is the property owner, and as such, it’s your responsibility to remove any fallen trees and cover any damages caused.
If you’re a neighbor?
Disputes between neighbors in Charlottesville over fallen trees can get heated. Luckily, Fancher v. Fagella provides the way forward.
If you are a neighbor and a tree falls on your property through an act of God, then you are responsible for removing the tree and covering any damage that might have occurred.
On the other hand, a homeowner has neglected to maintain a healthy tree, as per the Charlottesville code of ordinance, and you notify them of the impending damage but fail to act. If the tree falls on your property, causing damage, then the homeowner is responsible for removing the tree and damage recovery.
If any tree has fallen on your property, it’s best to remove it, lest it blocks access to your home or delays other essential activities.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Charlottesville?
The majority of locales with a humid subtropical climate, such as Charlottesville, have high acidic soils characterized by low phosphorus and increased aluminum levels. While these soils don’t support agriculture, they are perfect for tree growth, especially for the tree species found in Charlottesville. So, how does this soil affect trees?
- Acidic soils lack the nutrients necessary for the proper growth and development of trees, such as phosphorus. The absence of these nutrients can cause a shutdown of essential processes, such as photosynthesis and reproduction, resulting in stunted growth and chlorosis.
- Soils in Charlottesville are poorly drained and have plenty of excess water, which leads to erosion. Soil erosion depletes the soil’s top and fertile layers, resulting in poor and infertile soils, weakening trees.
- Acidic soils are poorly drained, and the excess water presents perfect breeding grounds for water-borne pathogens such as the Phytophthora ramorum, which responsible for sudden oak death.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Charlottesville?
Charlottesville experiences various weather patterns throughout the year, which are notably hot summers, mild temperatures, moderate snow, and average rainfall. However, Charlottesville is also prone to natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes.
Due to the poorly drained soils and excess water, the trees develop horizontal roots to tap nutrients in the soil’s top layers. Horizontal roots result in strong and sturdy trees that can stand strong winds during stormy weather.
High temperatures cause the tree to shut down vital biochemical processes as they dissipate more water than they can absorb, resulting in weak and sickly trees.
If the weather is too cold, the tree roots freeze and are unable to absorb nutrients and water from the soil, resulting in ill health.
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Charlottesville?
Fallen or dead trees near power lines pose a public health and safety hazard in Charlottesville and should be removed immediately. Also, there’s a high risk of fire if the tree comes into contact with the power lines. Therefore, if you spot a dead or fallen tree near power lines, do not touch or make any attempts to remove it. Otherwise, you risk electrocution or cause further damage.
NESC mandates that power utility companies remove any dead or fallen trees near power lines for the sake of public safety. Power utility company technicians are trained, skilled, and insured to undertake such dangerous activities as tree removal near power lines. The process of tree removal commences by cordoning off the zone and creating a safe zone. The power utility company cuts, prunes, or trims the trees or branches and leaves tree removal to Tree Triage.
So, if you have a tree near power lines, contact the Charlottesville power utility company.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Charlottesville?
Tree removal prices in Charlottesville vary from one tree to another. For instance, the charge to remove a typical 30-ft tree is around $500, while smaller trees may be as little as $200 and larger ones may reach up to around $2,000. The final cost of tree removal is determined by:
Proximity to Service Lines
If the tree is near service lines, such as power, water, or gas lines, expect to pay more. Such trees require extra precaution to avoid further damage, such as electrocution and fires. In short, you’ll be charged more to remove trees in high danger zones. For instance, while you’ll be charged around $450 to remove a 25-ft tree in an open space, you might end up paying $900 for that same tree if it’s under power lines.
The Charlottesville tree ordinance doesn’t prohibit homeowners from removing trees on their property. However, they should maintain and conserve the trees. Furthermore, prohibitions and permits are required if the city council has designated a tree as either a heritage, memorial, specimen, or street tree. Removing such trees will require permits, hence a higher tree removal cost.
Obviously, the larger the tree, the higher the removal cost. For instance, trees in Charlottesville can get as high as 80 feet, attracting a fee of over $2,000, against a 30-foot tree that’ll cost you about $500.
On the other hand, a tree can also be short but have a wider trunk that’ll cost you more than a tall tree with a less wide trunk.