Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Renton?
- 2 Does the City of Renton Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal In Renton?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Renton?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Renton?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Renton?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Renton?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Renton?
There isn’t a doubt the Pacific Northwest has some of the most beautiful trees in the U.S. Residents of Renton, Washington have a chance to enjoy this beauty everywhere they go, even if numerous natural elements can make trees vulnerable.
Typical tree species seen here include the Douglas Fir, Ponderosa Pine, Western Hemlock, and Sitka Spruce to name just a few. All of these are susceptible to insects and other insidious forms of nature.
Tree insects common to Renton are Aphids, Fall Webworms, Leaf Rollers, and Tent Caterpillars. Each one of these insects typically feeds on tree bark and gradually causes the tree to die, usually over several years. As much as our arborists try to stop these insects, it doesn’t always prevent them from infiltrating our trees every season.
The same can be said of various tree diseases ranging from Dothistroma Needle Blight to root diseases like Black Stain Root Disease. Many of these continue to plague our area, despite Washington always being called the Evergreen State.
While nature often wreaks havoc here in Renton, humans all too often create just as many tree problems. All it takes is a utility company digging a large hole near an old tree to disrupt its root systems. Also, a large truck or car driving too fast could plow into a tree trunk.
Does the City of Renton Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
Renton notes on their website for tree regulations that city trees are valuable community assets. When one of those trees has to be removed, it’s always carefully considered before any action is taken.
A permit needs to be granted before the tree is officially removed, followed by replanting a new tree. All regulations for the removal process involve a plan review, spacing guidelines for replanting, plus hazardous tree mitigation.
For years, Renton’s city trees were never properly maintained, hence the formulation of these new rules to get the process done right. In the years since, it’s prevented many trees from becoming public dangers to property and life.
The Urban Forestry Program has helped this process improve, including a more thoughtful procedure involved in choosing new trees to plant.
This process is reserved strictly for the city’s trees. When trees exist on private property, the responsibility of taking care of a fallen tree sometimes differs if bringing potential legal challenges.
Who is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal In Renton?
Few want to take responsibility for a tree when it falls, no matter the circumstances. After all, it does cost money to clean up, plus takes a lot of time and disruption.
Property owners still have to pay for cleaning up tree debris, whether a private homeowner or a landlord. Take a look at what this means based on who lives where.
If you’re a homeowner?
All private property owners in Renton are required to have a minimum amount of trees. When one of those trees falls, all homeowners are responsible for their own cleanup.
If a tree is diseased and needs to be removed, some exceptions apply in getting a permit from the city. For instance, if the lot size is 10,000 sq. ft or less, a homeowner can remove up to 2 trees per year without a permit. Any lot up to 20,000 sq. ft means the homeowner can remove 3 trees without a permit in a year. Lots over 20,001 sq. ft can remove up to 6 trees annually without permission.
All homeowners should take the preventive maintenance idea to heart and check their trees to make sure they don’t pose a danger to others. Also, trees should be checked to make sure they’re really on private property and not on someone’s else’s property line or the city’s.
If you’re a renter?
All renters need to check their rental agreements with their landlords to see who’s responsible for fallen trees. In most cases, the landlord is considered a homeowner, so the same rules apply as above.
Sometimes a renter might be responsible for the tree removal on their own if they planted the tree that fell. This could work under a yard maintenance plan where the renter does regular yard upkeep.
If you’re a landlord?
All landlords have to operate like a homeowner and check their trees for risks. Not paying attention to diseased or dead trees on the property could mean the tree falling and causing injury or property damage. During those times, things can get complicated legally.
Most landlords don’t force tenants to take care of things like this unless the tenant doesn’t mind taking care of trees they perhaps planted.
If you’re a neighbor?
As in most states, any neighbor here in Renton not taking care of a dangerous tree could face legal consequences if the tree falls on another neighbor’s property. Only a healthy tree falling through uncontrollable forces of nature is the exception. In the natural scenario, the neighbor whose property the tree fell on is responsible for all the cleanup.
Otherwise, a neighbor warning another neighbor about a dangerous tree needs to be heeded. A lawsuit could occur otherwise, leading to a prolonged court case on who pays for damages.
Keep in mind HOA neighborhoods need to follow all HOA rules regarding tree removal.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Renton?
We frequently encounter residents in Renton who don’t know much about their property soil in aiding tree health. This is understandable since it’s a topic with a lot to learn.
Still, it’s worth taking the time to learn a little about soil types here in Renton and why it matters in extending the life of trees. The state soil here is Tokul Soil, known for having a unique volcanic ash cap. Soil like this is one of the best on the planet thanks to having high water holding capacity.
Most Renton soils, though, are a dark grayish brown silt loam. A silt or sandy loam type of soil is very good for trees, even if prone to erosion when there’s a lack of water.
Renton does have occasional long, hot summers, making it necessary to keep this soil irrigated as much as possible to avoid dryness.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Renton?
Rain and wind are some of the most typical types of inclement weather Renton sees during the winter. Throw in occasional bad snow and ice storms, and you can see our winters aren’t always pretty here for the sake of trees.
During rainstorms alone, flooding could easily occur, leading to vulnerable trees being uprooted. Even a moderate windstorm with gusts to 50 mph could bring down weakened trees, leading to a messy cleanup for days.
Other weather/natural risks that could happen include wildfires and earthquakes. With wildfires increasing of late in this region of the northwest, it can potentially wipe out an entire forest of trees in hours. Earthquakes may also soon increase, leading to weak trees toppling over after a major temblor.
No matter how much Renton prepares for these events, it doesn’t always stop tree disasters from happening. Nevertheless, proper tree care can help strengthen trees to overcome some weather concerns, especially wind.
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Renton?
Renton’s main power utility (typically Puget Sound Energy) can easily become overwhelmed when a major wind storm hits and trees go down. Many similar situations have occurred here over the years, sometimes taking several days for everything to get back to normal.
Trees falling on power lines is a very dangerous situation no one should attempt to fix on their own. Understandably, residents get impatient when the power goes out for long periods. Without electrical experience, it’s a risky job to do alone without professionals involved.
Our tree team is there to help in many of these cases. We frequently team up with Puget Sound Energy to help get fallen tree debris removed efficiently from power lines.
It’s worth remembering that after major storms, a lot of people are going to need trees removed from precarious places. Always allow at least 48 hours for our crews and the power companies to bring safe removal. Doing so means ensuring the power is turned off first.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Renton?
A lot goes into removing a tree, so the final cost of the work is going to vary tremendously based on more than just nature. Weather can certainly make a difference in labor time.
On average, expect to pay about $709, with the lowest being $203. Some more complicated jobs could cost as much as $2,016 here, usually with older trees.
Consider other factors as well, most of which are impossible to control:
Some trees grow larger than others, especially those with more complex branch systems. Pine trees are known for being more apt to grow this way, making them far more complicated to remove.
Since a lot of pines trees are in the Renton area, expect the removal of these to take extra time. Thinner trees might also require extra time since it requires more equipment to reach the top.
The diameter of a tree trunk also makes a difference in the length of time it takes to get it removed. All trees with thick trunks need to be cut down into numerous pieces after falling.
Jobs like this could take more than one day if having to work on more than one thick tree. Older trees here are typically this way, including many valued pine trees.
Chipping the Debris
Where does all that trunk debris go after cutting up a fallen tree? It usually costs extra for chipping since it’s not always included in the initial cost. Chipping may be a little less if you ask us to cut the trunk down into useful firewood logs.