Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Newport News?
- 2 Does the City of Newport News Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Newport News?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Newport News?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Newport News?
- 6 What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Newport News?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Newport News?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Newport News?
Here in Newport News, our coastal, humid subtropical climate provides a great ecosystem for the development of a wide variety of trees and other plant life. This same climate also creates the perfect environment for pests and diseases that prey on trees to thrive. There are a lot of native pests and diseases that prey on trees here, but a few of the most serious and common ones are:
- Sudden Oak Death
- Powdery Mildew
- Beech Bark Disease
- Oak Wilt
- Thousand Cankers
Does the City of Newport News Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
Unfortunately, Newport News doesn’t offer any assistance with tree removal on private property. The city’s Bulk Waste Program, however, can help with the removal of waste from tree trimming and removal. Waste workers in the city will pick up neatly piled yard waste to take to the city’s compost pile. They can pick up fairly large waste, but won’t deal with any wood scrap longer than six feet, nor will they pick up any branches or trunks of trees wider than six inches in diameter.
Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Newport News?
As an independent city, Newport News isn’t governed by any individual county, but instead only by city ordinances and the laws of The Commonwealth of Virginia. Virginia law holds the owner of the tree accountable for its maintenance and eventual removal when necessary, regardless of whether the tree falls off of their property or not. This means that if a tree grows on your property, it’s your responsibility to remove it once fallen.
City ordinances do have some stipulations for tree removal though. In an effort to protect trees from indiscriminate clearing, Newport News law states that any large tree that needs to be removed for development will first require the city to approve the removal of trees. Any development that can proceed without the removal of large and protected trees will require that these trees be left standing.
If you’re a homeowner?
If you’re a homeowner, the trees on your land are your responsibility, even once they’ve fallen. The trees on your property add to the beauty and value of your investment, but also carry maintenance responsibilities. Just as it’s your responsibility to maintain your trees to avoid public nuisance, it’s also your responsibility to promptly remove any fallen trees.
If a tree falls off of your property, it’s still your tree. This may mean that you either need to remove a fallen tree from a neighbor’s property, or potentially compensate them for the removal. Especially in situations like this where your fallen trees affect another property owner, it’s important to remove them promptly to avoid running afoul of Newport News Code Enforcement or getting into problematic disputes with your neighbor.
If you’re a renter?
If you rent a home in Newport News, the responsibility to deal with fallen trees on the property will likely fall on the landlord who owns it. Lawn care is often a responsibility assigned to a tenant in a lease agreement, but it’s incredibly unlikely that a lease specifies a tenant is responsible for tree care and removal. Trees can be a significant part of land value to a property owner, and assigning the care of their trees to a tenant would be assigning an extraordinary amount of control over the value of their investment to a tenant.
Just as with building repairs, often your responsibility as a tenant regarding fallen trees is to simply alert your landlord. Your landlord may want you to take care of the removal and compensate you, or they may want to call us themselves. Do not take liberties with land you rent though without first consulting your landlord and communicating with them about how to proceed.
If you’re a landlord?
If you own a rental property in Newport News, you’ll want to keep close control of your trees. Healthy trees can add to the value of your property in a major way, and surrendering control over the maintenance of your trees to tenants could lead to them making choices you otherwise would not with trees on your property.
Your tenants are often responsible for lawn care, but the grass isn’t as permanent as trees, and issues with lawn care can be rectified quickly and deducted from security deposits if necessary. A tenant making a choice to remove a tree you don’t want to go, or failing to maintain your trees and possibly causing you serious liability when a dangerous tree falls is something to avoid entirely. Just like you maintain the other permanent features and infrastructure of your property, the benefit of your trees for your property is worth the effort of maintenance and, occasionally, removal.
If you’re a neighbor?
If your neighbor has a fallen tree that needs to be removed in Newport News, it’s their responsibility to deal with the tree, even if it falls across property lines into your yard. The Newport News Office of Code Compliance has standards for property maintenance, so if your neighbor fails to remove the tree or compensate you for doing so, reach out to the city and see what steps you can take to solve the situation.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Newport News?
The most common soil in Virginia is called Pamunkey soil and is characterized by a sandy composition in deep and well-drained deposits. This soil that fills a lot of area in The Piedmont and the coastal plains of Virginia is largely sand along with small amounts of silt and clay. These soils contain a lot of decaying organic matter, making them great at providing nutrition for trees but that doesn’t mean it isn’t without its challenges.
Our soil here tends to be deep before you reach bedrock. This, combined with the large abundance of sand in the soil, could mean that decaying plant matter and changing moisture in the weather could cause the earth to shift over time. This can disrupt the structural stability of trees, particularly old and top-heavy large specimens. Shifting soil can often leave roots exposed as well, which opens up trees to increased assault from pests and diseases.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Newport News?
Here along the Atlantic Ocean, the weather can have a lot of unexpected effects on every aspect of life, including trees. While Newport News isn’t as subject to major storms as some other places on the East Coast, we can still suffer serious flooding and winds from tropical storms that can wreak havoc on trees. Hurricane Isabelle in 2013 caused a storm surge that raised water levels by over eight feet, leading to massive flooding in the area which, along with high winds and torrential rain, caused serious damage to trees.
Periods of excessive rain during the summer can commonly cause problems with trees around here. The old-growth oaks in the area are a precious resource, but as these old giants age, they can develop weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Experts have regularly linked the die-off of our large oaks to periods of plentiful rain, which can exacerbate health problems in trees and make them much more vulnerable to pests and diseases.
What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Newport News?
Here in Newport News, Dominion Energy will regularly trim trees or remove trees that encroach on the right-of-way of their power lines. They typically send out notices 30 days before routine line clearing and their arborists will come to clear out any limbs and trees that threaten power lines. For dead trees, this often means they will remove the entire tree if it’s at risk of falling onto power lines.
While Dominion will trim and cut down problem trees for power lines at no cost to you, they will only remove smaller, more manageable brush and trimmings from your property. Any full trees taken down will be left for you to deal with and remove yourself, which we can easily help with if you need.
If dead trees threaten your power lines, it can be a significant safety risk to attempt to trim them yourself. Not only do transmission lines carry large amounts of electricity that can be potentially fatal, but trees falling in unexpected ways and crossing power lines could result in massive and difficult to maintain fires. When in doubt about whether a tree is a risk to powerlines, call Dominion Energy and let one of their trained technicians take a look.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Newport News?
Tree removal in Newport News can be quite affordable, often costing as little as $200-$300 for basic and routine removals. Still, no two trees are alike, and some jobs can exceed $2,000. A few different variables can influence the cost of tree removal significantly around here.
This one should be a no-brainer to most folks – more trees equals more work to remove. It’s not only that larger trees take more manpower, more tools, and more time for our teams to process and remove the waste, but also the difficulty posed by the logistical challenges of large trees. Very large trees aren’t only potentially a big risk for our arborists, but can also be extremely dangerous to the surrounding trees and buildings. A lot of organization and planning has to be done for these big trees to ensure efficient and safe removal.
Health of Tree
Even if a tree that needs to be removed is dead, how healthy its trunk and branches are will still have a big influence on how easy it is for us to remove. Trees with rotted or weak trunk and branches may fall in unexpected ways, meaning more safety redundancies will need to be planned for. Extra care will also have to be given to diseased trees so that they don’t infect other healthy trees in the area as they are being removed. These issues can complicate removal significantly, and will often result in higher costs.
A tree all by itself in an open field with easy road access may make for easy removal, but that’s not how all trees grow. Trees that are growing near others in a grove or are growing close to structures may pose a significant problem for our arborists to get to for removal. Even after surmounting this access barrier, these crowded trees will pose more danger of falling on nearby structures and trees, which means more planning ahead and precautions will be necessary. Even after a tree has fallen, removal can be challenging logistically when there isn’t road access in the vicinity of the tree, which may mean far more work is required to haul away the waste. These situations all potentially complicate tree removal and increase the work that our arborists need to do, which could increase the cost of your tree removal service.