Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Williamsburg?
- 2 Does the City of Williamsburg Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Williamsburg?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Williamsburg?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Williamsburg?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Williamsburg?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Williamsburg?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Williamsburg?
With hot and humid summers and cool to mild winters (although we can all agree it feels frigid compared to the rest of the year), Williamsburg is not an ideal environment for all trees. However, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its share of natives thriving under the conditions. As long as those trees can survive a significant amount of rainfall (average of 47 inches versus the U.S. average of 38 inches per year) and get through mild winters (average of 7 inches of snow per year versus the U.S. average of 28 inches), they’ll stand a chance in Williamsburg.
Native trees in the area include (but aren’t limited to):
- Native Redbud
- American Sycamore
- Monkey Cigar
For the ones that don’t survive, the following issues are usually the culprit. After all, several life forms can survive in these conditions — including diseases, insects, and fungi that weaken/kill our beloved trees to survive themselves.
Beech Bark Disease
Insects that pierce and suck cause tree disease, which creates wounds into the tree and allows the fungi to enter through those open wounds (this fungus wouldn’t be a problem without the help of these insects). The ideal victims of this fatal (causing significant defect at the least) disease are American Beech, resulting in white tufts, yellow/white eggs, and red clusters.
Right now, the only cure for such an issue is to either cut it down or, if you notice early enough — cut out the infected parts.
A Thousand Cankers Disease
Appearing on Williamsburg tree knots in a collection of black cankers with tunnels visible in the wood, the Thousand Cankers Disease kills trees quickly, and if you see signs — it’s already too late. Relatively new to the Virginia area (only about a decade old), the Thousand Canker Disease once only attacked Walnut trees but has since been found in other tree species.
Outcomes only ever lead to tree removal in these cases.
Sudden Oak Death
A water mold pathogen that attacks the trunk of your tree on some species and leaves and twigs causes SOD. Either way, there will be yellowing/browning of leaves, gradual loss of leaves, wilting, and a range of life from 4 to 6 months after becoming infected.
The only way to know for sure if this is your tree’s issue is to have it sent off for lab testing. Unfortunately, there’s no known cure for Sudden Oak Death if it comes back positive, and tree removal is the only option.
Standard preventative practices include keeping trees about 60 feet apart to reduce their spread and similar fungi diseases.
Much like its name suggests, Oak Wilt signs include wilting, browning, and sap discoloration. It is a fungi disease that is all too easily transmissible — making its way from oak to oak (and few other species) through rain splashes, insects, unsanitized gardening tools, and more. However, it is not fatal, as long as signs are noticed early enough.
Treatment requires the removal of infected parts and soil treatments from a professional. If it’s too late, tree removal is the next option to save the other oaks and landscape around it.
Powdery Mildew Disease
Insects, like aphids, spread Powdery Mildew Disease, like Oak Wilt (i.e., rain, unsanitized gardening tools, etc.), giving off a white/gray mildew color and spore patterns. The fungus grows along the tree’s root and prefers to attack already weakened trees that have previously succumbed to wounds or other diseases.
Typically, this disease is best for full sunlight, which isn’t a year-round promise in Williamsburg — nonetheless, there are still quite a few sunny days that can make your tree vulnerable.
Does the City of Williamsburg Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
The City of Williamsburg’s Landscape Division is happy to provide tree removal assistance if a fallen tree has made its way onto public property or right-of-ways, but they do not assist with any fallen trees on private property. However, after storms, property owners are expected to take care of low-hanging branches that block sidewalks or any grass/shrubbery up to the curb on all sides of their property.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where one tree is on both public and private property, the City of Williamsburg handles the portion on their end. It expects the property owner to get rid of the other portion leading up to their property line.
Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Williamsburg?
While the city takes responsibility for tree removal when it is on public property or right-of-ways, it is up to private parties to take care of trees on their property. With that being said, permission from the Tree Warden via a tree removal permit is required if you plan to remove any public trees and are subject to a hearing if it’s greater than one and one-half inches in diameter. Private property removals can otherwise be done without a permit.
Before removing a healthy and standing tree, Heritage Trees come highly adored and hold historical value in the City of Williamsburg. Therefore, it is recommended to be protected, maintained, and preserved when at all possible.
No matter the tree or its significance, it isn’t always possible to save a dying tree. When this is the case, responsibility is given to the following, depending on the situation.
If you’re a homeowner?
If you are the homeowner and your tree has fallen on your property, then sole removal costs and other responsibilities are left up to you. If the tree in question is on more the one property, each property owner (including the City) is responsible for their portion of the tree leading up to and ending at their property line.
If you’re a renter?
The wonderful thing about being a renter is that the landlord bears the sole responsibility of costly maintenance, repair, and removal; unless it says otherwise in the signed renter’s contract (it shouldn’t).
If you’re a landlord?
Just as a homeowner would be responsible for trees on the property they own, so would a landlord who owns one or more properties. In this case, the difference is that the landlord is more susceptible to costs related to the safety of their renters.
If you’re a neighbor?
If the tree is on your property line, both you and your neighbor split the costs of tree removal and any other damages/expenses related to it falling.
Suppose a tree that was originally in your neighbor’s yard falls onto your property due to a storm or natural cause; the tree removal becomes your responsibility (and vice versa). However, if the tree fell onto your property (from your neighbor’s property) as a result of not being properly taken care of, then you are not responsible for costs — they are. They are also liable to pay off any damages on your property that happened due to the tree falling.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Williamsburg?
Williamsburg’s silt loam soils are typically very deep and well-drained soils formed in loess or silty alluvium. These soils can be excellent for vegetation like trees because they’re considered the perfect mix of clay, sand, and silt. This combination supports the majority (nearly all) forms of plant life and provides an abundance of needed nutrients.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Williamsburg?
Like with any other city or state, the weather always plays a part in tree health because it is frequently unpredictable, and/or even the predictable weather can be destructive. Not only does its heavy rainfall throughout the year contribute to tree falls year-round, but Williamsburg is also susceptible to frequent tornadoes and occasional hurricanes.
Hurricanes are much less likely than tornadoes but always a risk nonetheless. On the other hand, tornadoes are prominent in the area. While Williamsburg’s tornado index is lower than the U.S. average of 136.45, sitting at 113.76 — it is significantly higher than the Virginia average of 88.66, making tornado damage more likely in Williamsburg than most other Virginia cities.
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Williamsburg?
According to Williamsburg’s Dominion Energy, the electric company will take care of debris and brush related to their maintenance activities, but storm-related tree debris is the responsibility of the property owner. When they cut diseased or dead trees and limbs near power lines, they will take care of smaller limbs and debris, but larger items are the property owner’s responsibility.
As for dead or diseased trees near a power line, owners can request assistance, and the electrical company will remove or prepare a tree for removal per the VA High Voltage Safety Act but will not take care of the resulting clean-up.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Williamsburg?
Keeping in mind that the estimated price can be influenced in either direction of the pay scale by the following cost factors, the average cost of tree removal in Williamsburg is about $528, with the minimum cost reach $447 and the maximum going as high as $609.
Depending on how complex the removal job is, we may need to bring in bucket trucks or other special machines or equipment to remove the tree safely. This type of removal will cost more.
Land and Lot Clearing
Land and lot clearing can always be done by the property owner after — if they’re interested in saving some money. However, if you’re looking to our experts for the extra help, you can expect to pay on average $1,971.52 per acre or somewhere between $1,296.34 and $2,646.70.
Still Standing or Fallen Over
Another important cost factor to consider for tree removal is whether the tree you’re removing is still standing or has already fallen over. If it is still standing, you can expect to pay on average $467.03 or between $401.99 and $532.06. However, if it has fallen already, pricing averages about $200 or ranges from $125 to $275.