Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in La Crosse?
- 2 Does the City of La Crosse Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in La Crosse?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in La Crosse?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in La Crosse?
- 6 What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in La Crosse?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in La Crosse?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in La Crosse?
With the rich ecosystem surrounding us here in southwestern Wisconsin, our trees thrive so do the pests and diseases that can prey on them. We see all sorts of tree issues around here, but one, in particular, does stand out as more serious to watch out for.
Emerald ash borers are an invasive species that has been detected previously here in La Crosse. The beetle that is native to China has developed a taste for our native ash trees and can infest a group of trees quickly. Call us if you discover these, as removal will be tricky. They often migrate from tree to tree during removal, or when a tree is processed and moved for firewood.
Another pest that threaten the trees of La Crosse are Japanese Beetles. These grow up to ½ an inch as adults and are a shiny, metallic green color. They thrive in La Crosse because of the uniform amount of precipitation throughout the year. They nourish themselves on over 300 kinds of plants, including native tree species such as the American Linden, feeding on the upper portion of the foliage, leaving a lace-like skeleton. Most of the damage can be found on the upper canopy of the trees and trees that have an infestation become partially defoliated and turn brown.
Oak Wilt is widespread in La Crosse and other cities in Wisconsin. It is caused by the fungus, Bretziella fagacearum, which infests the tree’s water conducting system, causing the tree to wilt and die. It is especially a problem for red oak types of trees which are common in La Crosse. Once the symptoms of oak wilt become apparent in a red oak tree, you’ll notice that it will lose most of its leaves and die within a month.
Does the City of La Crosse Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
Unfortunately, the City of La Crosse doesn’t offer any assistance with tree removal problems on private property. The city has a very active urban forestry program and has been designated a Tree City USA since 1989, but their expertise on trees unfortunately is limited to the diverse collection on public property throughout the city.
Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in La Crosse?
According to Wisconsin law, whoever owns the tree is responsible for its removal. This means that no matter where a tree ends up when it falls, it’s the obligation of the property owner of the land the tree grew on to pay for its removal. While this means it is still likely your responsibility to remove a tree that falls across property lines onto another’s property, it’s likely that any damage caused by a falling tree is not your responsibility to pay.
Most insurance policies consider falling trees a no-fault accident, in which case neither party should be responsible for any of the damages. It’s worth noting, however, that if you have received a notice that a tree is in ill health and in danger of falling from a neighbor or the city, the insurance company could say you are at fault due to negligence. In this case, you would be responsible for the damages that were caused by the fallen tree.
If you’re a homeowner?
If you’re a homeowner here in La Crosse, the trees on your property are an important feature that literally grows the value of your investment with only sunshine, soil, and water. Your trees on your property give you numerous benefits, but also come with responsibilities to care for and maintain them. Failure to remove fallen trees from your property could cause you to run afoul of nuisance law with the city of La Crosse. Leaving fallen trees to rot can have numerous ill effects on the other trees on your property, such as attracting pests and diseases that could cause their health to suffer as well.
If you’re a renter?
If you’re a tenant at a rental property here in La Crosse, chances are the responsibility to remove fallen trees is your landlord’s and not yours. Your lease agreement may stipulate that you are responsible for routine maintenance and upkeep such as lawn care, but trees are a permanent fixture of the property, and, like building maintenance, are often the property owner’s responsibility according to Wisconsin rental code.
If you’re a landlord?
If you own a rental property here in La Crosse, it’s likely that the responsibility of removing fallen trees still falls to you unless it says otherwise specifically in your lease agreement. While caring for your trees and when necessary, removing fallen trees may cause you a little inconvenience, you wouldn’t want your tenants caring for your trees.
The trees on your property can significantly affect the value of your investment. Allowing your tenants to make decisions about tree care, maintenance, or removal is potentially putting your future in the hands of someone with no vested interest in the value of your property. Keep tree issues under your control and promptly act to maintain trees or remove fallen trees to prevent the likelihood of tenants taking matters into their own hands.
If you’re a neighbor?
If you have a neighbor who needs fallen trees removed in La Crosse, they have a responsibility to remove them. We have city ordinances forbidding nuisances like fallen trees from piling up and causing clutter here in La Crosse, and fallen trees left in your neighbor’s yard not only cause an annoying eyesore for you but could potentially attract disease and pests that could damage the health of your property.
When dealing with neighbors, it’s always a good idea to try to communicate and resolve disputes between yourselves first. If you’re unable to get your neighbor to remove fallen trees on their property, however, you may want to contact La Crosse Code Enforcement to see if they can help remedy the situation.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in La Crosse?
Our location on a broad alluvial plain on the banks of the Mississippi leaves us with pretty amazing soil for trees. Our soil around here tends to mostly be very fine-grain sandy loam. Loam soils are composed of silt, natural clays, organic nutrients, and sand. Loam tends to be well-drained, which means that water can easily get deep into the soil to reach the deepest roots.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in La Crosse?
Our weather here definitely experiences some extremes in the summer and winter, but should still provide a great environment for trees to thrive. Our winters regularly have days that won’t peak above freezing, but our winters rarely offer the harsh colds that can harm some of our northern neighbor’s trees. Our summers will regularly see temperatures rise into the 90s and occasionally even over 100. Typically, the heat around here isn’t enough to harm strong trees and even the worst of our heat tends to let up in the evening.
Rain and snow may, however, pose some problems for trees around here. Right on the banks of the Mississippi, we get a lot of rain here. We may get 4-6 inches of rain per month on average through the summer, but it doesn’t let up much in the winter either. While plenty of places out there experience more rain than this, the problem can come when rain falls on cold days. This can lead to ice build-up on trees that adds weight and tests the strength of trees. During these ice storms, it’s not uncommon for branches or even whole trees to give way and do serious damage. Properly trimming trees before the winter months is essential to avoid this risk.
Snow can also weigh down trees and potentially damage them. In January alone, we historically average almost a full foot of snow during the month, and the other months of winter aren’t that much lower. Snow buildup with no melt the next day can weigh down trees and put a strain on the trunk as the snow makes the tree more top-heavy.
What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in La Crosse?
Trees growing near power lines can be a serious hazard and trees should always be trimmed and placed to ensure that if any part of them falls, it can’t cause any harm to power lines. If you have dead trees close to power lines, it’s probably too late for warnings. Trimming or moving trees near power lines, can cause a significant risk of electric shock, interruption of electric service to potentially thousands of neighbors, or even dangerous fires and your first call needs to be to the power utility company.
If dead trees need to be removed near power lines, you will need to contact your power company for assistance. Utility technicians are specially equipped and trained to deal with the hazards of electric lines and are the only people who should trim or remove trees near them.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in La Crosse?
Tree removal here in La Crosse can be quite affordable ranging between $577 to $783. La Crosse residents pay an average of $680 – well below the national average. That having been said, there are several factors that greatly influence the cost of removal of any particular tree.
Obviously, a bigger tree means a bigger job and that means more time invested, more tools required, and more safety precautions. Big trees can pose significant logistical challenges during removal and it will take extra planning to ensure that arborists, like us, are safe while working to remove your tree and that any surrounding structures aren’t damaged during removal.
Each tree is unique and each tree grows in its own unique ways. Trees that are growing near other healthy trees will be difficult to remove without damaging the nearby trees. Likewise, trees that grew near your home or other structures on your property may pose real challenges to removal while ensuring the safety of the building. Removing trees from tight spaces also might call for the use of additional tools or extra safety precautions. While we’ve removed some trees from some tight fits, difficult jobs that take longer often affect the cost of the removal.
Even if the tree you need to be removed is dead, its health before it died will still affect how easy the removal is. Trees that died from diseases or pests could still carry an infestation or harmful pathogens that could infect nearby trees. If the danger to the other trees on your property is significant enough, extra precautions may need to be taken to quarantine the removed tree.
Trees that have been dead a long time will often have begun to rot as water seeps in. Removing rotted trees can pose unique challenges, as rotten limbs, branches, and even trunks can splinter and break in unpredictable ways. This could pose a significant safety risk to arborists, like us, during removal, but will also require additional planning to ensure that tree removal goes exactly as intended.