Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Chesapeake?
- 2 Does the City of Chesapeake Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Chesapeake?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Chesapeake?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health In Chesapeake?
- 6 What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Chesapeake?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Chesapeake?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Chesapeake?
Such a vast landmass means Chesapeake has the potential for ample tree coverage. However, while trees grow and thrive in Chesapeake, they have their fair share of challenges, including:
Floods are the most common and extensive natural disasters in Chesapeake. They are most common after spring rains, thunderstorms, or when the snow starts to thaw.
Slow-moving floods are capable of downing dead, dying, and weak trees, while fast-moving floods have the strength and momentum to down multiple tall and sturdy trees, as well as power lines. Floods carry a lot of debris, and it’s common to see trees from the highlands carried away and deposited in the lowlands. Therefore, always steer clear of floods and be conversant with Chesapeake’s information and resources center regarding floods.
No, we aren’t talking about Martians, but invasive flora and fauna species from outside the country that either find their way or are introduced to Chesapeake. Unfortunately, these invasive species have adapted to Chesapeake’s climatic conditions and soil structure, wreaking havoc on the local tree population. Plants such as Kudzu, Japanese Stilt Grass, and Common Reed dominate an area, robbing the local trees of natural resources and nutrients critical to grow and thrive and resulting in weak and sickly trees.
Chesapeake’s trees are no stranger to disease-causing pathogens.
Of these pathogens, those that stand out include Phytophthora ramorum, a water pathogen responsible for killing millions of oaks, Rhododendron, and Camellia trees. Fortunately, resources have been allocated towards researching the deadly sudden oak death—for instance, the Pacific Southwest Research Station driven by the USDA.
Additionally, pests, such as the invasive Emerald Ash Borer, have eradicated hundreds of thousands of ash trees all over Chesapeake.
If you spot or suspect your tree is infested with pests and pathogens, contact the authorities for containment and quarantine. If left unattended, the infestation could spread, causing considerable damage to other trees.
Does the City of Chesapeake Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
The city of Chesapeake values every tree, as the code of ordinance clearly shows. Section 19 – 600-602, Chesapeake Landscape Ordinance, protects, preserves, and enhances the ecological and aesthetic ecosystem of the city of Chesapeake by way of the urban forest.
On the other hand, there exists the city of Chesapeake Tree Removal Policy that outlines the conditions that warrant tree removal in both public and private spaces. However, both the code of ordinance and the tree removal policy confirm it’s the homeowner’s responsibility to maintain and conserve any tree on private property.
According to the policy, the city of Chesapeake provides tree removal assistance under the following circumstances:
- Broken tree limbs overhanging the city’s right-of-way
- All portions from privately owned trees from the city’s right of way
- Parts of trees on private property but are within the city’s easement that are obstructing drainage
- Any tree that’s dead, diseased, dangerously leaning, or determined to be removed by a certified arborist like Tree Triage
- Any city-owned tree that’s fallen either on the city’s right of way or private property
Notably, while the city removes trees from private property, the following scenarios are exempt:
- The tree is entirely within the boundaries of private property
- City-owned trees with overgrown branches and limbs overhanging private property
- Portions of a downed privately owned tree that remains after the city has removed any drainage obstructing portions
- Portions of a downed privately owned tree that remains after the city removed the part that’s in the city’s right of way
Additionally, the city of Chesapeake doesn’t recover any damages caused by fallen trees as a result of an act of God, such as storms or natural disasters.
Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Chesapeake?
It’s a property owner’s responsibility in Chesapeake to maintain and conserve healthy trees. So, if a tree falls and causes any damages, it’s the homeowner’s responsibility to remove the tree. But, that isn’t always the case, and disputes can arise from finger-pointing when the tree falls.
The good news is, such disputes can be doused by referencing Virginia’s Property Line and Fence Laws. These laws can settle the following scenarios:
If You’re a Homeowner?
According to the city of Chesapeake code of ordinance, it’s your responsibility as the homeowner to remove any fallen tree on your private property and recover any damage the tree might have caused. Fortunately, your homeowners’ insurance policy will cover most of the costs involved in tree removal and damage recovery.
Additionally, check and confirm if Chesapeake’s tree removal policy applies in your case. If it does, apply for a tree removal request from the city. However, the city will only remove the tree but will not recover the damages caused on your private property.
If You’re a Renter?
Naturally, if you are renting in Chesapeake, then you are living in someone else’s property. As such, when a tree falls, the property owner is responsible for removing the fallen tree. Luckily, if they have homeowners’ insurance, their insurer will shoulder the cost of tree removal and damage recovery.
Just make sure the tree didn’t fall due to your actions, either directly or indirectly. If you did, and the property owner can prove it without the shadow of a doubt, then you’ll be responsible for the tree removal and damage recovery.
If You’re a Landlord?
Like a homeowner, any activity revolving around tree maintenance and conservations in Chesapeake, including removal, falls under your jurisdiction.
However, the city can help in removing the tree if it meets the conditions as stated under the city’s tree removal policy.
If You’re a Neighbor?
Now, this is the delicate part and has a higher dispute rate if not handled correctly.
The law requires property owners to take care of their trees by ensuring they are healthy and well-groomed. As such, if the tree falls on your property due to an act of God, such as a natural disaster, then you are responsible for removing the tree and any damages caused.
The situation changes if the homeowner failed to maintain a healthy tree and you notified them about it, but they failed to rectify it. If the tree falls on your property, causing damage, then the property owner will remove the tree and any damages generated. However, your legal counsel must prove the property owner was negligent, leading to the tree falling.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Chesapeake?
A USDA soil survey concluded that the city of Chesapeake has ultisols, taxonomically classified as typic hapludults. Ultisols are common in humid subtropical climates and are characterized by high acidity levels, moderately to poorly drained, low nutrients, and organic matter.
So, how does this affect trees?
Certain nutrients, such as aluminum, leach faster in ultisols, making them toxic to the trees, while others become unavailable.
Poor drainage can lead to pathogen infestation as the excess water encourages water-borne pathogens, such as Phytophthora ramorum.
On the other hand, the trees in ultisols have roots that grow horizontally in multiple directions providing a natural anchor. The trees are sturdy and robust such that the tree cannot easily fall during high or stormy winds.
Also, over the years, the trees have adapted to the acidic conditions giving them better chances to grow abundantly and thrive.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health In Chesapeake?
The Köppen Climate Classification System classifies Chesapeake under a humid subtropical climatic zone with four seasons. The change in weather patterns and elements presents a plethora of issues to the trees.
High temperatures, such as drought, can cause trees to transpire more than they absorb, resulting in a shutdown of vital tree systems. Also, the high temperature leads to excess moisture evaporation from the soil, leaving little for the trees to absorb, resulting in weak trees.
Water is invaluable to the trees in Chesapeake, but excess precipitation or floods after snow thaw is unhealthy to the trees. Excess water can result in loss of nutrients in the soil, an environment for water-borne pathogens such as Oomycetes, and loosen the soil, resulting in unhealthy trees.
While cold weather reduces transpiration, the cold can freeze up the tree roots resulting in less water and mineral absorption rates, leading to sickly trees.
This shows how much weather is a vital contributor to the overall health of trees in Chesapeake.
What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Chesapeake?
Power interruptions, power outages, the risk of electrocution, and fires are some of the public’s risks in Chesapeake if a tree falls on power lines.
Therefore, for the sake of your health and safety and others, don’t attempt to remove any fallen trees on power lines. Instead, contact the Chesapeake power utility company, such as Dominion Energy, as outlined by NESC.
Tree removal on power lines requires a trained and insured crew who’ll get the job done while minimizing the risks involved and ensuring personal and public safety. But, their power utility job ends after removing the tree near the power lines, after which the tree removers haul the tree away for proper disposal.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Chesapeake?
To answer this question, tree removal in Chesapeake can be expensive. If you require our tree removal services, have a minimum budget of $500 and a maximum of around $2,000, with most homeowners in Chesapeake paying between $700 – $1,000. Understandably, $1,000 sounds expensive to remove an old dead Maple tree, but the cost could be considerably higher if the dead Oak fell on your property, or worse, your neighbor’s. However, most costs are usually estimates, and the following factors determine the final cost:
If a tree in Chesapeake has grown near high hazard areas, such as power or gas lines, then the cost automatically increases. There are many risks involved in such sites, and we’ll need to contact the power utility companies before the tree removal begins.
Also, removing trees near public spaces, such as buildings, street walks, or amenities, requires extra precautions. In some cases, you’ll require permits from the city and extra equipment to get the job appropriately done for public safety.
The Size Of The Tree
Naturally, the larger the tree in Chesapeake, the higher the cost of removal. For instance:
Small 30 ft. tree – $ 400
Medium 50 ft. tree – $ 700
Tall 80 ft. tree – $1,200 or more
Additionally, the trunk’s circumference can also determine the cost of removing the tree. A short tree with a wide trunk will cost you more than a tall tree with a narrow trunk because removing the more expansive tree will consume more of our resources.
Condition Of The Tree
Various events can result in a dead tree in Chesapeake, such as pests and diseases requiring immediate removal. A dead tree is cheaper to remove since it weighs less. Also, a dead tree doesn’t require pruning or trimming before removal, hence a lower cost.