Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Whatcom County?
- 2 Does the City of Whatcom County Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Whatcom County?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Whatcom County?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Whatcom County?
- 6 What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Whatcom County?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Whatcom County?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Whatcom County?
There are several tree diseases and insect pests common in this area. The Asian gypsy moth has recently been detected in Washington State and has the capability to cause an enormous problem for large sections of forest. Female moths can lay up to 500 eggs that hatch into caterpillars and infest and defoliate trees. Female Asian gypsy moths can fly for long distances, spreading this problem over large areas.
These moths like to lay their eggs on many species of tree, including alder, apple, poplar, oak, elm, willow, linden, and more. You should look out for their large egg masses on tree trunks, or other outdoor objects as well as caterpillars feeding on tree and shrub leaves. Defoliated trees are another key sign. If you notice any of these symptoms of an infestation, it is critical that you call in an expert like Tree Triage right away before the situation worsens and spreads.
Another common issue throughout this area is fruit tree fungal diseases. Due to Whatcom County’s cool climate and mild winter months, many types of fungal tree diseases are common. Bull’s eye rot, also known as perennial canker, is frequently seen among apple and pear trees in the area. The fungus causes a circular lesion that is brown in color with a lighter center resembling a bull’s eye. These cankers can become large enough to kill tree limbs and can even be seen on the fruit itself. This issue can be controlled with fungicide spray and by limiting fungal spread through choosing irrigation methods other than overhead.
If you’re noticing any unusual colors on your tree’s leaves or fruit, it could be a sign of several fungal issues. It’s always a good idea to call in our experts to take a look right away.
Does the City of Whatcom County Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
Whatcom County municipal code regulates tree removal in certain areas of the county, such as along shorelines. Additionally, a permit is required to remove significant trees. The only exception where a permit is not required is if the tree poses an immediate threat to people or property. If you’re not sure how significant a threat a tree poses, you can have our professionals complete a tree risk assessment, which can then be submitted with your removal application.
Whatcom County residents who have been trimming or pruning their trees might be wondering the best method of disposing of this debris. The county allows for the disposal of residential yard waste along with your regular garbage and recycling service. All you have to do is contact your service company and arrange this with them in advance.
Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Whatcom County?
No one likes to have arguments with their neighbors, and unfortunately, disputes about tree removal responsibilities can be common. Trees frequently fall into public right-of-way areas, or across property lines, so it’s important to understand who is responsible in these situations. Whatcom County is home to many cities, and some of them, such as Bellingham, have their own separate laws regarding tree maintenance.
For example, Bellingham residents have certain street trees listed on a city maintenance responsibility list and are maintained by the Parks Department. Other than the streets on this list, all other street trees must be maintained by the abutting property owner. If one of these trees needs to be removed, a permit must be obtained in advance from the city of Bellingham.
Other areas in Whatcom County follow Washington State laws regarding tree removal. Let’s take a closer look at who is responsible for fallen tree removal in different situations.
If you’re a homeowner?
Homeowners in Whatcom County are responsible for the maintenance and removal costs associated with trees located on their properties. If one of your trees has fallen as the result of a storm, it’s worth taking a look at your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if removal costs are covered under these instances. Some insurance companies have a storm damage policy that can be added to your plan for a small additional cost. If you have lots of trees on your property, it might be worth considering this.
If you’re a renter?
Renters are not responsible for the costs of removing fallen trees, as they do not own the property they are renting. Landlords must pay for these costs. The only exception to note is that cutting down healthy trees without a permit or causing injury to a tree is a violation of Washington State law and even renters can be held accountable for damage to trees that they cause.
If you’re a landlord?
As the property owner, landlords must pay for the cost of tree removal for trees located on their property and cannot pass this cost on to their tenants. If you have a large number of trees to maintain and are concerned about potential costs, it’s worth looking into your insurance policy and seeing if tree removal coverage can be added.
If you’re a neighbor?
Neighbors are allowed to trim tree branches that are within their property line. If your neighbor has a tree that stretches across your fence, you are allowed to trim your portion of it. Of course, it’s always a good idea to notify your neighbor in advance of doing so. If your neighbor’s tree has fallen onto your property, you are not responsible for its removal. Whoever owns the property that the trunk of the tree grows on must pay for removal.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Whatcom County?
The soil in Whatcom County is typically well-draining, fine loam, although several soil types can be present in a large area like this. Throughout the county, soil varies between gravelly ashy loam and gravelly sandy loam. Loam soils are nutrient-dense and hold moisture well. They are also well-draining in comparison to other soil types, such as clay soil. Many types of trees grow well in this soil type, especially fruit trees such as cherry.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Whatcom County?
Throughout Whatcom County, the Cascade Mountains act as a barrier against extreme temperatures, resulting in cool summers and mild winters. This area experiences a cool maritime climate that allows certain fungal and bacterial tree diseases to thrive, as well as several insect pests. The lack of harsh extreme winter weather conditions allows certain pests to flourish year-round, so residents should be sure to check for disease or changes on their trees.
Additionally, Whatcom County occasionally experiences wind storms that can cause trees to fall. Diseased trees that have been infested with pests or fungal bacteria present a significant risk of falling due to a storm. This is because most insects and other diseases target the tree’s nutrient distribution systems within the trunk and branches, slowly weakening its structure from the inside out. A tree that might appear sturdy could actually fall quite easily under poor weather conditions.
What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Whatcom County?
The most important thing to note is that it is never safe to trim trees that are within 10 feet of power lines. If you notice a dead or fallen tree near power lines, you should contact your local utility company. Puget Sound Energy is the utility company for Bellingham and other areas throughout Whatcom County. They recommend emailing them if you notice a tree near utility lines so that they can send out an arborist to investigate it at no cost to you. After you contact them, an arborist should arrive within a few days, and if their recommendation is trimming or removal, PSE will send a crew out to perform this work within two to four weeks.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Whatcom County?
Tree removal costs fluctuate across the country due to many reasons. In Whatcom County, they typically range between $197 and $2,100, with $702 being the average cost. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most significant factors that influence these prices in Whatcom County.
Larger trees with thicker trunks cost more to remove than small trees. In fact, a small tree with a particularly thick trunk can actually cost more to remove than a larger but narrower one. This is due to the fact that tree trunks can be difficult for our experts to cut through, and this results in a larger amount of material to dispose of. Tree size will be the first thing our experts look at when determining removal costs.
The more buildings and objects surrounding the tree that need to be removed, the more expensive the service will be. If there are other healthy trees nearby, they too will have to be carefully avoided. This can mean we need to use specialized equipment and can cause the removal process to be more time-consuming.
It might come as a surprise, but tree stump removal is typically charged as an extra fee, as is grinding the removed stump so that it can be disposed of. Both of these services can be pretty costly as they are difficult to perform. Usually, a portion of the roots must also be removed in order to totally clear the stump. If you are responsible for removing a street tree near your property, you will also have to have the stump removed according to county law.