Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Blaine?
- 2 Does the City of Blaine Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Blaine?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Blaine?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Blaine?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Blaine?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Blaine?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Blaine?
Blaine is a border town between Washington and Canada. It is in Whatcom County and has a history that can be traced back to the mid-19th century when pioneers settled the town as a seaport. It was officially incorporated in 1890 and named for James G. Blaine, a U.S. senator from Maine.
As you look back through history, nature has played a huge role in how Blaine got its start. From being home to the world’s largest salmon cannery to the sawmills that once operated on Blaine’s waterfront. It is “Where America Begins” and the “Gateway to the Pacific Northwest.”
No matter what you call it, we are proud to be one of the more than 5,000 residents who call it home. We love its small-town feel and the wildlife that surrounds it, from the distant mountain tops to the trees that grow in abundance all around.
Unfortunately, Washington’s trees face certain health issues. Most are not deadly, but they do discolor the tree’s leaves and limbs. The most common tree issues in Blaine are currently:
- Drought: Drought can affect many plants and trees. The Western Hemlock will show that it is stressed by turning yellow to brown.
- Tip Dieback: This mostly affects Douglas fir trees, and causes the top of them to become red and die. It may develop a fungus canker.
- Annosus Root Disease: This can affect primarily Hemlocks, but other trees may get it. This disease threatens the tree’s ability to soak up rain from the soil, further increasing the risk of yellowing leaves and other damages.
There are numerous other diseases that trees in Washington may develop. Most will be treatable, especially in the early stages. Others may rot the tree from the inside out, making it hard to catch until it is too late for your tree.
If that isn’t bad enough, there are insects that commonly attack the trees. Some of them are:
- Gypsy Moths
- Woolly Adelgid
In the forests of Washington, mountain pine beetles have killed more than 2,000,000 lodgepole pines. This was in a 2017 report, so estimates could be much higher than that today.
Does the City of Blaine Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
Blaine, nor the county of Whatcom, offer tree removal assistance programs. However, Whatcom County Code indicates that some trees are protected from removal and require a permit if you are considering their removal. This is done mostly in critical areas near lakes and watersheds. You are urged to not remove many trees if you are clearing the land.
There are exceptions, though. If you have a tree that poses an immediate threat to your property, you should not have to wait on approval reviews. If it is not posing an obvious threat, it may need to be looked at through a tree risk assessment.
Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Blaine?
The responsibility of a tree will ultimately fall on whoever owns it. However, tree ownership and responsibility are still questionable in any given circumstances. Therefore, you should know the rules as they apply to your trees and property.
If You’re a Homeowner?
As a homeowner, you have several responsibilities in Blaine. You have the responsibility to take care of your trees and your property, but you need to preserve what you can. You should never remove more than two trees that are greater than 8-inches around in a single year. However, if they pose a threat to structures, power lines, traffic, etc., then you may remove more than two.
Homeowners are not professional arborists and therefore are not expected to recognize every tree issue. However, if there are trees on your property that are diseased, infested, or dead, you should be able to recognize that they are sick. If it is leaning, decaying, has dead limbs, or lost leaves that are uncommon, you need to get our specialists to look at it. If the tree needs removing, you should take care of it. Otherwise, when it falls, you could be held liable for damages if it falls into your neighbor’s yard.
If You’re a Renter?
Renters in Washington can do some things with the rental property, provided they first give notice of the action that they will take. Then it is up to the landlord. If you tell your landlord about a problem that you see with the property, and you did not do anything to cause the problem, they will have a certain timeframe to check it out and/or make repairs. Life-threatening issues should be dealt with in 24 hours.
If you have a tree that you feel will fall, you should write your landlord a letter, explaining the issues, hand-deliver or send it certified mail, give them 10 days to respond. At this point, if they haven’t dealt with it, you can inform them of an intention to repair it. The professional service you hire will be paid for by you, and you can subtract that total from your rent money owed.
A tree that falls by natural circumstances is the property owner’s responsibility. If it lands on the home, your landlord will need to repair it. If it falls on your car, you will need to cover your car’s repairs. Contrarily, if the tree is diseased or dead, and you have notified your landlord of the problem in writing, you can get them to repair damages to the home and your car.
If You’re a Landlord?
Landlords have multiple responsibilities when it comes to upkeep on the rental property. You are the property owner and should maintain it as you would while living there, without living there. You have a responsibility to your tenants that pay rent monthly for the permission to live in that home.
If they have a tree fall, you will need to repair damages done to the home that they live in, and they will have to cover the cost to their possessions. However, if they have told you that the tree needs to be taken care of because it poses a threat, you need to take it seriously. Otherwise, if it falls, you could end up paying for all damages.
In the event, you are unable to deal with the tree, and they have notified you of a potential issue, you can allow them to hire a professional like us to take care of it. Then you will miss out on rent payments until that total is paid off.
If You’re a Neighbor?
If your neighbor has a tree that is branching out of their yard and into yours, you have certain rights. First, you may prune the tree branches or the roots back to the property line. You are not allowed to go beyond your property line without permission from your neighbor.
However, if you cause damage to the tree, then you may owe your neighbor money. For instance, you trim back the tree limbs, and soon after it becomes infested with insects that killed the tree. You owe your neighbor for damages to their tree. You are better off speaking with your neighbor, get their permission, and help to remove the tree limbs, etc. Then, no one will be “at fault” because you both agree on the action. The same is true for a tree that is on the fence line. You both own the tree and need to agree on its care. If it falls, you are both mutually responsible.
If the tree falls because of disease or infestations, the tree owner may be responsible for damages and repairs. A tree that falls due to severe weather or other acts of nature, you will be responsible for damages to your property, even though it wasn’t your tree that fell.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Blaine?
Washington State is filled with soil that is commonly known as “Tokul Soil“. Not surprisingly, it is made of volcanic ash and glacier till. For forests and farmers, this is awesome soil to have. It is very productive and can support forests of trees and plants, not limited to:
- Douglas Fir
- Vine Maple
Primarily in Whatcom County, you will find:
- Clayey till which includes Whatcom and Squalicum soils
- Gravelly drift, a soil type known as Knicerville soils
- Alderwood soils, which are generally in the same area as Squalicum soils
Schnorbush and Heisler soils are the least usable and may not work for agricultural needs. However, they are only present in higher mountain valleys.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Blaine?
Whatcom County is on the lookout for natural weather conditions that may make things unsafe for the residents. The Risk Assessment shows that there is a risk of:
Considering there are already droughts, the most prominent risk today is likely wildfires, which can negatively impact residents and the trees. In fact, any of these risks are likely to cause massive damage if they were to ever really happen.
Beyond those risks, there are risks of warm summers and cold during the winter months. However, the location near the coast does prevent some heavy accumulations of snow. These generally do not generally affect trees that are native to the area.
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Blaine?
You have a few options when it comes to reporting a tree near your power lines. However, first, you should keep in mind that you should never attempt to remove it yourself. Power lines are extremely dangerous, and a tree can conduct electricity if it touches the line. A dead tree is quite dangerous because they tend to be unstable.
Your first option should be to contact Public Works. There is an emergency number if you need help on weekends, holidays, or after-hours. If you feel that you, your family, or others are in immediate danger, you can contact 911 or the sheriff’s office to get some help on the scene quickly.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Blaine?
The average tree removal cost in Whatcom County is going to be between $190.00 and $1,800.00 with most homeowners paying an average of $700.00. The average price that it may cost you to remove a tree on your property may go up or down depending on several factors.
As with any other service, you will have labor cost involved with tree removal. We can tell you an average before we start, but until we see the job, we cannot predict how long it will take or how many of our crew members will be necessary for the removal.
The size of a tree matters because of the root ball and height combined. A large tree’s roots will go deeper and spread out more over the property than a small tree. When talking about the height, some trees have to be brought down in sections. Cranes and other things may be needed to help bring down the tree safely.
Gravity is an unforgiving force. Once the final cut is made, trees will fall where gravity takes them. As a professional, we can guide the tree, but structures, power lines, and other risks may require more effort. We have to consider whether the tree is dead or healthy. Dead trees will be riskier to remove, even though it is a necessary part of having trees around.
Other considerations may include the number of trees you want to be removed, the permit costs, etc., and each of these factors can impact the price you will spend.