Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Madison?
- 2 Does the City of Madison Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for a Fallen Tree Removal in Madison?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Madison?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Madison?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Madison?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Madison?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Madison?
Trees are important to residents of Madison, Wisconsin. That’s because some of their trees have been around for decades, including oak trees nearly 200 years old. These are old remnants of oak savannas once permeating the area back in the 19th century.
Oak trees are treasures to Madison residents, with restoration projects continuing year-round. These trees don’t look alike either, thanks to the different species ranging from burr oak to regal prince oak.
Some other popular trees seen in Madison include:
- Norway Maple
- Green Ash
- Littleleaf Linden
- White Ash
- American Basswood
- Linden Redmond
- Crab Apple
All of these species are susceptible to disease, insects, and nature. Every year, Madison loses trees due to things seemingly impossible to control. One of the most significant in recent years is the ash borer insect, officially known as the emerald ash borer (EAB). The Department of Natural Resources tries to keep the populace of Madison informed about how to identify these insidious, wood-boring beetles.
Ash borers decimate ash trees, which began in 2008 and continues to this day. However, it’s not the only insect or disease afflicting trees in Madison.
Other diseases affecting trees here are oak wilt and Dutch elm disease (DED). The two-lined chestnut borer is another insect that feeds on oak trees. With oak trees so beloved in Madison, the DNR is always on the lookout for the chestnut borer. Unfortunately, this insect feeds on stressed, drought-stricken trees.
A few other things affecting Madison’s trees:
Another typical problem in the city is tree blight, caused by bacterial or fungal infestations that discolor trees, turning many of the leaves yellow or brown.
Taking care of this problem has to involve a professional tree care specialist for a diagnosis. Far too many people let tree blight continue, and that usually leads to tree removal.
Everyone who lives in Wisconsin knows the weather can always fluctuate between seasons. From extreme freezes to hot summers, anything can happen to affect trees. We’ll explore more details later on how weather affects trees in Madison.
One of the biggest disrupters of trees is construction crews damaging tree roots. Many construction companies don’t realize that digging up ground as much as 20 feet away from a large tree can harm a tree’s root system.
When roots are disturbed, it leads to slow tree death.
Does the City of Madison Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
Removing a tree in Madison is not taken lightly. Strong considerations are taken before any tree is removed. It only happens when a tree is undeniably dying in a public or residential area.
The City of Madison is responsible for removing these dead trees when on city property. After a tree is removed, a forestry specialist comes out to inspect whether a new tree can be safely planted in the same spot.
You’ll also notice that once a tree is removed, they often leave the stump in place for a period of time. More analysis is required before a stump is removed off a Madison street. Stump grubbing first requires an inspection by Diggers Hotline, to mark where underground utilities are, in conjunction with the stump.
Once analysis is completed, another city representative comes out to calculate how far down utility lines are, in the same spot where the tree was. Eventually, the City of Madison comes out to remove the stump.
Officials note that it does take time to remove tree stumps on city property lines.
Who Is Responsible for a Fallen Tree Removal in Madison?
The circumstances behind a fallen tree are sometimes complicated when it comes to who is responsible for removal. If you’re a homeowner, you’ll likely have different responsibilities if the tree isn’t on city property.
When you’re a renter or landlord, other responsibilities may apply. A tree from a neighbor’s yard is also going to bring other potential complications, perhaps even legal ones.
If you’re a Homeowner?
Any tree that falls on your property is going to become your responsibility in Madison, even if property lines might pose confusion. Like many cities, Madison plants right-of-way trees in front of residential properties. If they fall on your property, then Urban Forestry is responsible for removal. When the tree is in a park, it’ll be the responsibility of the Parks Division.
If a tree falls on your property and causes damage, you should turn to your homeowners insurance policy if you have one. They’ll pay for damages caused by the fallen tree. They also may pay for the service to clean up the fallen tree debris.
If you’re a renter?
Those of you who rent may not be responsible for a fallen tree, as long as your landlord explicitly states this in the leasing contract. Landlords are the ones generally responsible for damages and the cleanup.
Any exception would be if you planted the tree that fell. Your landlord may stipulate that if you plant the tree, you’re responsible if it falls. However, carefully read your lease contract to make sure your landlord is truly the one who has to clean up the mess.
If you’re a landlord?
Again, it depends on the rental contract you give your tenants. Preventative maintenance is usually an automatic part of rental agreements, though not always.
Maintaining trees with yearly pruning is important, to ensure a tree doesn’t become a hazard to your tenants or others. Perhaps you’d prefer adding a lease addendum where your tenants are responsible for yard upkeep.
If you’re a neighbor?
A neighbor can prune any overhanging branches without incident if their neighbor’s tree hangs over their property line. You have to pay for the pruning if your neighbor’s tree branches are becoming a nuisance over your yard. Keep in mind that if a large branch from a neighbor’s tree falls in your yard, you’re responsible for cleaning it up. If the branch is still attached to the tree, the neighbor is the one who takes action.
Things get more complicated if your neighbor’s tree goes entirely over your property. If you warned them about their diseased tree and it fell over on your side, they’ll be responsible. Sometimes this means a lawsuit if the tree caused damage to your home.
A living tree falling on your property from a neighbor’s property means the owner isn’t responsible. You’ll have to take care of any damages and the cleaning up of debris.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Madison?
Soil is very much responsible for tree health in Madison. Did you know that Madison has an official state soil? It’s called Antigo silt loam, which can easily be vulnerable to water and dryness.
The sandy part of this soil came from glaciers that permeated the area thousands of years ago. All the sand and gravel in the soil came when the glaciers melted thousands of years later.
Clay and silt eventually blew into the area and settled in, over the sand. As a result, today’s soil in Madison is a combination of sand, silt, and clay. Those of you who know about clay soil know it can easily expand when exposed to moisture and then shrink during dry periods.
Madison has wild extremes in temperatures during the year. In the winter, heavy snows permeate clay soil with moisture. Summers are sometimes very hot, leading to clay shrinkage.
Without using some mulch from time to time, all of that is going to stress your trees over time. Additionally, the sand in Antigo silt loam makes it harder to grow trees without some careful soil planning first.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Madison?
Weather is one of the worst things to happen to trees in Wisconsin. Madison is known for its tornadoes, floods, snowstorms, and windstorms. As recently as the mid-2010s, Madison experienced all four of these, wreaking havoc on trees in the area.
Everyone knows windstorms make weak trees sitting ducks. All it takes is a 60-mph blast to knock over an old Madison oak tree. Tornadoes are the same and can wipe out trees in mere minutes.
Snowstorms do the same when Madison gets major freezes during some winters. When ice storms hit, they can decimate a tree trunk. Too many people forget just how devastating ice is on trees due to the excessive weight of the icicles.
Flooding causes much of the same damage. Excessive water uproots trees and knocks them over if already diseased.
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Madison?
Windstorms have a direct effect on how trees in Madison go over power lines. The wind isn’t always a factor, however, as you already read with weakened tree roots.
What happens if a tree falls on power lines near your property? First, never attempt to clean up tree debris when you see it over power lines. Your potential for getting electrocuted goes way up, especially if you have little to no experience cleaning up a fallen tree.
Trees on power lines are usually the responsibility of the power company. This is more likely if the tree was on city property. Plus, your power company could bill you if you had a diseased tree falling on their power lines.
Either way, it’s best to let professionals handle this, even if it caused the power to go out.
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Madison?
Tree removal in Madison generally falls between $270 and $1,250, but the price you pay to have a tree removed in Madison is going to vary based on the situations involved.
Types of Weather Events
Madison’s potential to get nasty weather can lead to messy work when trees fall. After a major storm, tree removal may be a long and arduous job. Chances are, the work could take several days, sometimes even requiring waiting until the weather calms.
If this happens, costs can go up for labor time.
Size of the Tree
Older trees in Madison can be very difficult to remove because of their trunk size and the amount of foliage. When adding in stump removal, expect to pay up to $100 more.
Overly thick stumps like those of trees over a hundred years old may take a full day to remove.
The Price of the Tree Service
All tree services are going to have different pricing tiers. Most of them have average pricing categories, with the average range in Madison being between $270 to $1,250. Those prices vary based on how many trees need removing.