Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Richmond?
- 2 Does the City of Richmond Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Richmond?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Richmond?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Richmond?
- 6 What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Richmond?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Richmond?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Richmond?
Richmond, Virginia is an area in which the history of the birth of our nation runs very deeply. As much history as there is and as many historical sites there are to explore, it would be rather hard for anyone visiting this beautiful city to realize that the area of Richmond is a host to some rather deadly diseases that affect the urban canopy. The term ‘urban canopy’ is just another way of saying the trees of the city, and Richmond has a number of them that are constantly under the gun from disease, such as ‘Sudden Oak Death’ to ‘Thousand Canker Disease’. In fact, here is a list of the five most common tree diseases that affect our ‘urban canopy’ here in Richmond.
- Sudden Oak Death – This disease has only recently been detected in the City of Richmond. However, as the name implies, it is a fast-acting disease that has no cure. By the time it has been detected, the best course of action is to schedule a tree removal as quickly as possible, so it does not affect trees that are nearby.
- Anthracnose – This is a common fungal disease that is sometimes called blight or leaf blight because of the splotches that appear on the leaves of the tree. These splotches resemble scorch marks as if the tree has been exposed to an open flame. This disease primarily affects sycamore, dogwoods, maple, and oak hardwood trees.
- Rust – This is another fungal disease that affects the cottonwood, willows, poplars, ash, and birch trees, all Richmond native trees. The main symptom of rustis just as the name implies, rust spots will begin to appear on the leaves of the tree, and the death of yet another hardwood isn’t far behind.
- Powdery Mildew – This disease can affect plants and shrubs as well as trees. It appears as a powdery, white substance on the leaves that resembles talcum powder.
- Thousand Canker Disease – This disease will attack any tree that has suffered a limb loss. A limb that was cut too close to the trunk may develop one of these cancerous-like wounds on the surface of the tree that will eventually spread all the way around the trunk and cause a blister-looking ring to form. This blister will eventually cause the tree to die.
Other than these common diseases, the trees in the greater Richmond area are constantly threatened by weather patterns. Being this close to the eastern seaboard, Richmond receives threats from hurricane-force winds that can wreck a tree population very quickly. The aging trees of this historical town are also beginning to take a toll on the tree population. Some trees in the greater Richmond area are approaching 200 years old, and those years are starting to show on some of our trees.
Whether you are a native of Richmond or you have recently moved to the area, having a dedicated team of professional tree experts like the ones here at Tree Triage is an essential element of Richmond life.
Does the City of Richmond Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
The tree ordinance for the City of Richmond is a 17-page document that lays out every contingency for tree health, pruning, removal, replanting, and any other activity that may, or may not otherwise interfere with the urban tree population. It is one of those types of documents in which there exists a lot of ‘lawyer jargon’ pertaining to the trees of Richmond.
Within the first couple of paragraphs, you will immediately realize that the City of Richmond cares a great deal about the health and welfare of its trees. This document also states that the Tree Committee for the City of Richmond has the right to approach any tree on private property that is dead or dying or poses a hazardous threat to any human or animal. In essence, you could just sit back and let the City come to you with your own private tree issues.
Yes, the City of Richmond will assist you with any tree that you need to be removed from natural causes such as storm damage, floods, fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc. The City of Richmond also makes a tidy sum from the sale of tree removal permit applications and the tree removal permit itself. That’s right, in Richmond you have to apply for a permit, and if granted, then purchase the permit. Both the application and the actual permit will cost you $30 each, payable to The Director of Recreation and Parks. The Director of Recreation and Parks will then refer the order for the permit to the City of Richmond Shade Tree Commission. Yes, that is the title of the office that enforces the local tree ordinance for the City of Richmond. We couldn’t make that up.
Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Richmond?
In 2007, the Supreme Court of the State of Virginia heard a case, Fancher v. Fagella, which dealt with the very issue of, ‘Who in the heck is responsible for this tree?’ Yes, you read that right, the Supreme Court of Virginia ruled on a tree case. In that case, the high court of the land set forth a monumental amount of legislation as to the rights and responsibilities of tree ownership in the State of Virginia. The Supreme Court of Virginia made its ruling, so it would be in everybody’s best interest to follow their lead and refer to that court case when faced with the issue of tree ownership and/or damages caused by said tree.
Otherwise, you can simply agree to tackle the issue on your own accord and settle it like an adult and let the high court handle the more serious issues that tend to happen other than tree problems. Basically, the laws are just like they are in most places, whoever owns the land where the root system of the tree is located is the responsible party. No courts. No court dates. Just common sense carried out at the adult level!
If you’re a homeowner?
If you own the home, chances are you own the property, too. Next case.
If you’re a renter?
This can work two ways. If you rent a home, and for whatever reason, this tree has come down, the responsibility falls on the landowner. Now, if this tree comes down as a result of a storm or from high wind or other natural causes, the City of Richmond will come and clear it away. If you just want the tree removed from the property you are renting because you just don’t like it, you better check with the landowner before taking matters into your own hands. If you remove an otherwise healthy tree without asking permission, those above Supreme Court Rulings kick in, and you could be facing jail time if the landowner wishes to pursue the issue. Oh, and then you would also be fined by the City of Richmond for removal of a tree without a permit. Check with the landowner, if all parties agree, purchase a permit and call Tree Triage for the removal. See how easy that was?
If you’re a landlord?
Again, if you are the landlord you are most likely the landowner. Contact the city and have the City of Richmond’s arborist come out and evaluate the situation. If the tree is dead or dying, the city will gladly assist you in the removal. Also, in all of these instances if you are the land/homeowner, check with your homeowners’ insurance carrier as there may be a provision for tree removal, and don’t forget to purchase your permit(s) and applications.
If you’re a neighbor?
Fancher v. Fagella, circa 2007 by The Supreme Court of The State of Virginia. That’s all we have to say on that issue. If it is good enough for the supreme court, it is good enough for the rest of the state. Be an adult and do what is right.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Richmond?
Soil plays a very important role in the health and well-being of a tree, and the City of Richmond is blessed with trees, but not so much with soil. The location of the City of Richmond is close enough to the east coast that there is still a lot of sand in the soil. This creates expansive soil which expands and contracts with the water that is available, and since there is so much sand, the water doesn’t drain well and large root systems can weaken.
The Shade Tree Commission started adding certain minerals and other additives in and around Richmond to strengthen the soil. If you add pH robbing additives to the soil system, the soil will in turn gain strength in its ability to sustain healthy root systems. The City of Richmond began to add these components to the soil around the city in inconspicuous places back in 1998. Since then, the number of trees lost as a direct result of the soil has dropped 60% of what was reported in the span of ten years from 1998 to 2008. The City of Richmond still analyzes the soil of the city on a semi-annual basis and adjusts the additives accordingly. We do love our trees here in Richmond.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Richmond?
The weather systems that run through the greater Richmond area play a vital role in the number of trees that come down every year. Being close to the east coast and in the direct path of southern states that produce tornado activity, it is probably a wonder that there aren’t more trees lost to weather than there actually are.
These weather systems bring them down, and the City of Richmond not only cleans them up, but for every tree lost to a storm in the city, the City of Richmond tries to plant two trees in their place. It is actually listed in the tree ordinance for the City of Richmond that they are to do this.
What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Richmond?
Dominion Energy serves the state of Virginia as their primary electrical utility company. If you want to report a tree that has either come down on a power line or has lost limbs that are lodged on the power line, the best thing to do is to report the problem immediately. The Tree Department of Dominion Energy can be reached at 866-366-4357. There is also their online tool for reporting damaged or downed trees.
Dominion Energy also maintains its right of way that is in direct line with the power lines in and around the greater Richmond area. The Tree Division of Dominion Energy follows a tree trimming schedule, and every tree along the power line grid is inspected, trimmed, pruned, or removed according to the health of the tree that is in the area on their schedule for any given day. If you have an issue with a tree that poses a threat to the power supply in Richmond, you can contact the Tree Division and have them come and evaluate the situation free of charge. If the tree is indeed labeled as a threat, it will be promptly addressed by the Division.
The page of FAQs on the Dominion Energy website can probably answer the questions that you may have regarding tree/power line issues.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Richmond?
The last Richmond Tree Issue we are going to take a look at is the financial end of the tree removal project. The way we are going to present this information is by giving you a set of ‘averages’ for tree removal in Richmond. Let’s take a look at the average low, high, and overall cost of a Richmond tree removal project.
- Average low cost for a tree removal in Richmond, VA – $446
- Average high cost for a tree removal in Richmond, VA – $608
- Average price paid for a tree removal in Richmond, VA – $527
Those figures are just a starting point of what your tree removal could be. Those figures include things like:
- Average labor costs for Richmond, VA
- Any extra equipment rental fees
- Project fees for site-prep and clean-up
Those figures do not include any of the following:
- Permit(s) required by Richmond
- Material taxes State level
- Material taxes Richmond City level
- General Contractor fees could add around $60 to $80 to the final cost of your Richmond tree removal
Now, let’s take a look at some contributing factors that can make your overall tree removal cost to increase, or in some cases, decrease.
How Big is the Tree?
Those averages above were for a medium-sized tree. The City of Richmond has on their tree ordinance webpage what they consider to be small, medium, or large trees. Given the additional work required to remove larger trees, we will charge more for those behemoths that need to be taken down.
Where Is the Tree?
Is the tree in question in an easily accessed place? If not, there may be additional charges to handle extra manpower or equipment needed to reach the tree for removal.
Is the Tree Already on the Ground?
If the tree has already come down on its own, there may be fewer labor charges than originally quoted. On the other hand, if the tree is still standing and is over 60 feet tall in areas that are hard to reach, the cost will be significantly higher.