Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Tri-Cities?
- 2 Do the Cities of Tri-Cities Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Tri-Cities?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Tri-Cities?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Tri-Cities?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Tri-Cities?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Tri-Cities?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Tri-Cities?
Here in Tri-Cities, magnificent large trees are tall, sturdy, and familiar. Sometimes homeowners take them for granted. These giants outlive us, and some exist across several human generations. But our trees aren’t immortal, and they’re susceptible to certain diseases and pests. One particular pest is both bizarre and common in Tri-Cities.
Of all the tree-pests in the Tri-Cities, none are stranger than scale insects. These odd little creatures are unlike other insects with which you’re familiar. So they’re difficult to spot unless you know exactly what to look for.
Scale insects are common across the entire Pacific Northwest. They’re found on many ornamental trees and shrubs used in residential landscaping. The adult female “scales” live under a shell-like covering that might resemble barnacles, tiny volcanoes, cotton puffs, or oysters. Just to make things tricky, they can also appear flat, soft, or naked, and come in every dull color imaginable.
- On an infested tree, you’ll find “scales” attached to twigs and branches, leaves, needles, and fruit.
- Most scale insects are tiny, less than 1/4 inch long.
They have piercing-sucking mouthparts which they inject into a tree to feed on it. Large populations of scale can devitalize trees and slow their growth and discolor foliage and underlying tissues.
- In many cases, scales will excrete a sticky substance called “honeydew” that makes leaves and fruit shiny and sticky.
- Honeydew is troublesome to homeowners, as it collects on vehicles, decks, outdoor furniture, and landscaping.
- Sooty mold fungus may thrive on the honeydew, so your landscaping will have a filthy, sooty appearance.
Property owners should regularly inspect trees for scale insects. Pay close attention to sickly-looking trees. Know that the scale crawler stage is most susceptible to treatment with chemical pesticides. But crawlers are tiny and best seen with a magnifying glass.
Do the Cities of Tri-Cities Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
As mentioned earlier, 4 cities are involved in the Tri-Cities Area – Pasco, Richland, West Richland, and Kennewick.
There are no resources for homeowners in these cities that suggest any municipal assistance for tree removal.
If a tree falls on a road in Pasco, you can notify the Pasco Public Works department and remove it. Call the PPW Field Division at (509) 545-3463 to report it.
Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Tri-Cities?
When a tree falls in Tri-Cities, it is up to the property owner to call us to arrange for tree removal. Let’s examine who is responsible for tree removal in Tri-Cities from the perspective of homeowners, renters, and landlords.
If you’re a homeowner?
When a tree falls on your property, it’s your responsibility to have it removed. You can contact your homeowner’s insurance company. They may cover the tree removal (less a deductible, of course).
Sometimes the cost of tree removal is less than, or nearly equal to, the cost of your deductible. In those cases, it might be wise to pay for the tree removal yourself simply. That way, you don’t create an unneeded claims history with your insurer. As you know, the more claims you make, the more your insurance will cost over time. So sometimes it’s best to call us first and leave the insurance company out of it.
If you’re a renter?
Renters don’t have any responsibility for fallen trees in the Tri-Cities. That cost will fall to the landlord or property management company. Don’t worry. They have insurance to cover these issues.
If a fallen tree does damage to your belongings, like falling on your car or crushing your motorcycle, your landlord’s insurance will cover it. If your landlord is reluctant to help, contact your own insurance company. They will go through a process called subrogation to pay for the damage. If your landlord doesn’t have any insurance and refuses to help, it’s time to contact an attorney.
If you’re a landlord?
Here in Tri-Cities, landlords are responsible for tree removals at their residential rental properties. Occasional exclusions might exist at large farm leases or commercial property. Those details should all be laid out in your lease terms. Remember, here in Washington state, leases are designed to protect the lessee – the party who pays rent. So if your lease agreement doesn’t specifically name the tenant responsible for tree removal, then it’s the landlord’s responsibility.
If you’re a neighbor?
Trees always seem to fall at the most inopportune time and in the most inconvenient ways. If your neighbor’s tree falls on your property, it is your responsibility to remove it. It doesn’t matter where the roots are, where the stump is, or who paid to install an expensive mature tree. If it’s on your land, it’s your problem.
The Tri-Cities is home to some monstrously mature trees. Sometimes they can fall across multiple property lines. In those cases, try to have a conversation with all the neighbors involved. Maybe you can all pitch in for tree removal.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Tri-Cities?
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) published this 58-page soil survey of the Tri-Cities region. Real estate developers, homeowners, and aspiring farmers can use it to look at the details of the soil at a specific street address.
For now, know that most soils in Tri-Cities are considered well-draining, easy to irrigate, and of moderate depth.
Per the City of Richmond, the Tri-Cities is an ideal place to plant utility-friendly species like:
- Eastern Redbud
- Flowering Dogwood
- Star Magnolia
- Flowering Cherry
- Flowering Plum
- Rocky Mountain Juniper
- Bristlecone Pine
- Globe Norway Maple
- Amur Maple
- Paperbark Maple
These varieties are easy to maintain and won’t infringe much on nearby power lines.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Tri-Cities?
Absolutely! Weather can affect tree health everywhere.
In the Tri-Cities, summers are short, hot, and mostly dry. It’s rarely humid. So homeowners may need to pay extra attention to watering their landscaping during the hot months. Young saplings of any species are most susceptible to overly dry soil, so be sure to check on them several times a week.
Winters are frigid and often cloudy. Winters often include a mix of rain, snow, and ice, and the cold, wet season is about seven months long.
The Pacific Northwest experiences rare but ferocious windstorms from time to time. You might remember the 2006 “Hannukah Eve Storm” or the 1993 Inaugural Day Storm, for instance.
The good news is that your homeowner’s insurance policy or commercial real estate property policy will usually cover tree removal after a weather event.
When brutal windstorms strike a region, they can cause fatal damage to trees. Our tree removal specialists find themselves working overtime, weekends, and holidays to remove fallen and damaged trees. Those trees and their limbs can fall on power lines and cause more carnage.
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Tri-Cities?
Dead trees and fallen branches near power lines are extremely dangerous. They can catch fire, cause forest fires and structural fires, lead to power outages that impede traffic, and more. If you see a dead tree on or near a utility line, call the power company ASAP.
Some local power providers include Benton PUD in Kennewick, Franklin PUD in Pasco, and the City of Richland.
If you’re unsure which company is responsible for the power lines, contact law enforcement or visit the City Hall and report the dead trees. Again, we cannot stress this enough, stay far away from dead trees on or near power lines.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Tri-Cities?
The short answer is that a tree can cost anywhere from $200 to $2,500 to remove in the Tri-Cities region. A variety of factors influence the cost of tree removal: the size of a tree, its condition, and location are all key factors.
A young sapling might only cost a few hundred dollars to remove, while a 125-foot giant might cost around $2,000 or more. This makes sense because larger trees require more resources and labor from our team.
Know that healthy trees are almost always easier to remove. They are less likely to break apart during the removal process and less likely to damage nearby homes or belongings.
Furthermore, diseased trees must be carefully disposed of once removed. Our equipment may need to be cleaned. So unwell trees can be more expensive to remove than a healthy tree of the same size.
Nearby homes, vehicles, roadways, and waterways all make it difficult to remove a tree safely. The area around a tree can play a role, too; a flat field far from real estate or expensive landscaping is ideal for tree removal. A sloping, gravelly, decorative yard creates a more complicated removal. If we need to bring tall cranes and grabber trucks to a removal job, the price will go up.