Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Spotsylvania?
- 2 Does the City of Spotsylvania Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Spotsylvania?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Spotsylvania?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Spotsylvania?
- 6 What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Spotsylvania?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Spotsylvania?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Spotsylvania?
Virginia’s lush forests and residential gardens are sometimes fraught with tree problems, and various types of fungi are high on our list.
A typical tree challenge for property owners in Spotsylvania is known as Chestnut Blight. It affects both American chestnut trees and imported Asian chestnut trees, though the Asian chestnuts are more generally more resistant to the disease.
Chestnut trees are known as durable, late-flowering, productive trees that are unaffected by seasonal frosts. They are a reliable food source for many species of Spotsylvania wildlife including squirrels, birds, and even bears! Historically, Virginia’s rural communities depended upon the annual nut harvest as a cash crop, and the chestnut lumber industry was a significant sector of local economies.
“The blight”, which came to Virginia on Asian chestnut trees, is a fungus. It spreads via spores that can travel through the air in raindrops or on animals. Chestnut blight is a wound pathogen. That means it enters a tree through a fresh injury on a tree’s bark. From there, it spreads farther in the bark and into the underlying vascular cambium and wood and kills those tissues. The flow of nutrients is eventually choked, and the tree will likely die.
Flowering dogwoods are the state tree of Virginia, so they’re quite popular in yards and gardens around residential areas of Spotsylvania. These delicate, beautiful trees are affected by Discula destructiva, another fungus, which causes dogwood anthracnose.
Per Cornell University, Discula destructiva was probably introduced to the US in Connecticut and Washington State simultaneously during the 1970s. Even though the fungus entered the nation at both coasts, genetic analysis suggests the organism is the same. Interestingly, the origin of this fungus is still unknown. It hasn’t been identified on any Dogwood trees outside this country.
Signs of dogwood anthracnose are spots of various shapes and sizes on new leaves. These spots usually appear in late spring or early summer, just after the fresh leaves have unfurled. You’ll know it’s an instance of anthracnose if the spots have a tan center and a purple or red margin. Drooping gray leaves are often the first symptoms noticed during cooler, wet weather.
Dogwood anthracnose will eventually spread into the trunk, main branches, and shoots. It will cause sunken brown areas called cankers that will girdle (encircle) and kill branches and twigs. If multiple cankers encircle the main trunk, they will eventually kill the tree.
Healthy dogwoods are more likely to resist this fungal infection. Keep them well-trimmed, mulched, and watered. Remove infected leaves from the tree and the surrounding grounds.
Does the City of Spotsylvania Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
Unfortunately, no. At the time of writing, there are no county or local resources in Spotsylvania that assist in tree removal for homeowners. You can always check the Spotsylvania County Services web page for updates, but you’ll likely need to contact a professional tree removal company like Tree Triage.
Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Spotsylvania?
Spotsylvania is a friendly county. And, it’s always a good idea to be a great neighbor. Still, tree removal in Spotsylvania can quickly become expensive. It’s vital to know where the responsibility lies when a tree falls. We’ve put together this list describing the duty of tree removal from the perspective of Spotsylvania homeowners, renters, and landlords.
If you’re a homeowner?
As a homeowner, you are responsible for pruning and caring for all the trees on your property. Sometimes, disasters strike, and that’s why homeowner’s insurance is so valuable.
If lightning strikes a tree in your yard, and it comes crashing down on your property, homeowner’s insurance will usually cover the cost to remove it and repair any damage it causes. As the homeowner, you’ll still be responsible for paying a deductible.
If you’re a renter?
Renters aren’t usually responsible for tree removal. If a storm strikes Spotsylvania and drops a tree in your rented yard, it is on the landlord or property management company to handle tree removal.
If the tree damages your personal belongings—say it falls onto the wall, breaks a window, and causes water damage to your living room furniture—your landlord’s insurance should cover the damage. Some landlords request that tenants carry renter’s insurance, too. That would also pay for your damaged belongings.
If you’re a landlord?
As a landlord, you’re wholly responsible for the landscaping and trees at your commercial real estate in Spotsylvania. You should have our arborists regularly prune your trees, examine them for sickness and infestation, and treat them with fertilizers or pesticides as needed. If a tree falls at your property, your insurance will probably take care of the cleanup, less a deductible, of course.
Having said all that, know that you don’t need to report a fallen tree to your insurer if it was harmless. If no one was hurt and no property was damaged, sometimes, it would make more sense to pay for tree removal out of pocket without involving the insurance company. Otherwise, you risk creating a claims history. And, as you’re probably already aware, the more claims an insurance company pays, the higher your premiums become.
If you’re a neighbor?
Regardless of the tree’s roots, if it falls on your property, it is your responsibility. Sometimes, trees fall across two or three property lines. If possible, it’s best if the neighbors can all work together to pay for tree removal. Another option is to call in a claim to your homeowner’s insurance. Again, you will need to pay a deductible up front, but it’s a small expense compared to the immediate cost of tree removal.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Spotsylvania?
Virginia is divided into a few physiographic provinces based on geologic history and soil type. Most of Spotsylvania lies west of the “fall line”, which separates the Piedmont Plateau from the Coastal Plain. In other words, eastern Spotsylvania soil will be finer and more sandy than the soil in western Spotsylvania.
Overall though, Spotsylvania soil is primarily rich, well-draining, deep, and semi-moist. One could say the soil here is nutritious for trees and drains well. It doesn’t get too swampy nor too dry. That’s why this part of Virginia is home to a stunning mix of gorgeous hardwood trees, delicate flowering dogwoods, and evergreens.
- The US Department of Agriculture published a 185-page soil survey detailing Spotsylvania County.
- Homeowners and real estate developers can find their street addresses on the maps to discover details about the soil at their property.
Next, let’s think about how weather affects the health of our trees.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Spotsylvania?
Absolutely. The weather has a considerable effect on any tree’s health. The good news is that Spotsylvania weather is ideal for both coniferous pines and deciduous hardwoods, meaning homeowners can plant whichever types suit their aesthetics.
That said, homeowners will usually get the best results in planting native species. Virginia weather is prone to frosts ranging from mild to severe, and the Coastal Plane, especially, can feel the impact of hurricanes and other massive storms coming in from the ocean. Hard rains, lightning storms, and flash flooding will all be faced in a tree’s lifetime, so plant your trees with that in mind.
Per the National Park Service, native tree species that should thrive in Spotsylvania include:
- Red maple
- And yellow poplar
Other good choices include sub-canopy trees like red cedar, tupelo, mountain laurel, and sassafras. Common native shrubs include blackberries and American hazelnut.
What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Spotsylvania?
Here in Spotsylvania, local utility companies are responsible for maintaining the trees around power lines. Dominion Energy, for instance, handles vegetation management every three years or so. They usually trim back vegetation, remove hazardous trees, and apply pesticides.
If you see dead trees near power lines, contact the utility provider. If you’re unsure who owns the power lines, contact your local law enforcement or visit the historic Spotsylvania Courthouse on Courthouse Road. Forest fires aren’t as prolific in Virginia as in some other states, but a dead tree on a power line can still catch fire, cause outages, and lead to dangerous situations.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Spotsylvania?
Every tree removal job is unique, and the costs can vary based on the size of the tree, its location, and its condition. Homeowners and landlords can expect to pay at least $1,000 to remove a mature tree that falls on their property, but there are so many factors at play that we are reluctant to commit to any hard number!
A tiny sapling is much easier to remove than a 90-foot oak with a 120-foot crown. The former may cost just $150, while the latter can total in excess of $2,000. Property owners should understand that and expect to pay accordingly for tree removal in Sylvania.
Steep hills, waterways, ditches, and expensive landscaping can all play a role in the cost of tree removal, too. Contact us to get a quote for tree removal on your specific property. We will send a representative to provide you a quote in person after viewing the site. Note that it will cost more to remove a tree that has fallen onto a structure than a tree that fell out in the field.
The Condition of the Tree
Hazardous trees cost more to remove; the job is riskier and requires a crane. Healthy trees are generally cheaper to remove, but again, every job is unique.