Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Midlothian?
- 2 Does the City of Midlothian Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Midlothian?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Midlothian?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Midlothian?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Midlothian?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Midlothian?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Midlothian?
There are many landscape attractions to enjoy when it comes to Midlothian as long as you don’t mind the weather being wet more often than not, the summers really hot, and the winters rather cold. Fortunately, our native trees in popular parks like Mid-Lothian Mines Park, Robious Landing Park, Canopy Adventure Park, and your own backyards are well accustomed to this diverse climate.
For this reason, residents need to be mindful of what they’re planting in their landscapes, as native trees are the ones that are more likely to survive the mix of cold, hot, and wet weather. In fact, iNaturalist recommends planting trees like the Eastern Redbud, Honey Locust, Longleaf Pine, Loblolly Pine, Red Spruce, and, of course, our Virginia state tree — the Flowering Dogwood.
With that in mind, even our strongest trees are susceptible to common tree issues that also thrive in Midlothian, VA, climate.
Powdery Mildew is a common tree disease in Midlothian because its spores germinate in wet and humid conditions — and we all know Midlothian is good for that. The fungal disease presents a threat to vegetables, fruit trees, ornaments, and forest trees, often attacking buds, flowers, and shoots.
Common signs and symptoms to look out for in your landscapes include yellow leaf spotting, ‘white powdery’ spots in leaves, stems, and shoots, prematurely ripened fruits, and weakened health.
Prevention measures begin with planting resistant plants like Flowering Dogwood (our state tree!), Stellar Pink, Cherokee Brave, Milky Way Select, etc. Then you can also ensure trees are accurately spaced for good air movement, applying fungicides to species that are infected (the earlier, the better), and making routine checks to ensure your trees aren’t showing signs of the fungal disease.
Virginia Tree Pests
Tree pests are a common problem that can often be identified by insect sightings, holes, obvious signs of decline, and more depending on the insect that is attacking. The problem is that these insects weaken their hosts to the point of vulnerability by feeding and burrowing into them. According to APHIS, the following insects are common to Virginia landscapes:
- Asian Gypsy Moth — feeds on pests like North American tree and shrub species.
- Asian Longhorned Beetle — feeds on pests like hardwood trees and national forests.
- Emerald Ash Borer Beetle — feeds on pests like ash trees.
- European Cherry Fruit Fly — feeds on pests like sweet and tart cherries and other environmental hosts such as honeysuckle and dogwood.
- Spotted Lanternfly — feeds on pests like fruit, ornamental, and woody trees.
- Federally Quarantined Tree Pests:
- European Gypsy Moth — feeds on pests like trees and shrubs.
- Imported Fire Ant — feeds on pests like buds and fruits of crop plants.
Does the City of Midlothian Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
The City of Midlothian does not provide any tree removal assistance to private property owners. This is because you own the trees on your landscapes and can address any problems with those trees via professional tree services. On the other hand, the City of Midlothian does take over responsibility for all public trees (i.e., parks, alleys, street trees, etc.).
In fact, Virginia’s Tree Ordinance Database (VTOD) states that “The City Manager shall be responsible for the planting, trimming, removal, and care of all trees, shrubs, plants, and other vegetation on City-owned property.” And if you notice any problems with a public tree, you should address those concerns with the City manager — and should not take care of the problem yourself.
Who Is Responsible for Fallen Tree Removal in Midlothian?
While you would think there is nothing more stressful than dealing with a fallen tree in your or your neighbor’s yard, the actual headache comes when determining who is responsible for that fallen tree and its removal. A few factors determine that responsibility in Midlothian, and they’re broken down in the following sections.
If you’re a homeowner?
As a homeowner, you’re inherently responsible for any trees that originated and fell onto your property, including its removal. There are some scenarios where that responsibility may be changed or shared, though. For instance, if your tree was healthy and fell due to natural causes, landing on multiple properties — you are responsible for the portion up to your property line, and the same is said for other property owners. This does include the City if a portion lands on public property.
More scenarios are discussed in the ‘neighbor’ section.
If you’re a renter?
Great news if you’re a renter! Fortunately, there is no scenario where you are at fault for a tree that has fallen — no matter what condition it is in. This is because the responsibility is actually on your landlord’s shoulders. However, we do recommend keeping a close eye out on nearby trees since you live on the property and are more likely to notice any problems. Discuss these concerns with your landlord to ensure your family’s safety and your neighbors.
If you’re a landlord?
If you’re a landlord, then you have the same responsibilities as a homeowner since you own the property and the home(s) on it. This means that you are also responsible for the care and removal of trees that originate and also fall on your property. You are also responsible for the renters living on your property, and therefore, should take proper maintenance and care precautions to ensure their safety.
If you’re a neighbor?
Determining who is responsible for a fallen tree between neighbors depends solely on where the tree originated and its health. For instance, if the tree originated on your neighbor’s property, fell onto your property, and showed signs of being dead, dying, or damaged, then it is your neighbor’s responsibility to take care of the problem. On the other hand, if the tree originated on your neighbor’s property, fell onto your property, and was completely healthy, then it is your responsibility to take care of its removal.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Midlothian?
Midlothian’s soil is extremely important to our trees because it is where they’re rooted and how they obtain the water and nutrients they require to survive. Depending on the area, soils are often different. These variations attract different types of tree species depending on whether they prefer soil that is wetter, drier, etc. A soil test is the best way to ensure your landscape is planted with only trees accustomed to its soil, but it is helpful to know more about the state soil.
The official Virginia state soil is The Pamunkey. Soils 4 Teachers describe this soil series as “very deep and well-drained,” which means that they are less likely to cause water runoff and more likely to retain water and nutrients for our trees. They also say that it has high fertility, making our soils great for farming, pastures, and forests.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Midlothian?
Believe it or not, weather plays a significant role in the health of your trees in Midlothian landscapes. This is because even our most acclimated trees are vulnerable to extreme weather conditions. For instance, rain is common to Midlothian, but heavy rain can make healthy trees lose much of their stems and leaves in extreme cases.
Other weather problems can include natural disasters that are common to Virginia. This includes severe storms, tropical storms, floods, wildfires, winter storms, tornadoes, landslides, and even extreme heat and droughts — many of which lead to the fatality of our trees by oversaturating, freezing, and pulling their roots out of the ground.
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Midlothian?
You must never take it upon yourself to address any live or dead trees near power lines in Midlothian. This is because it is dangerous for anyone who is not trained for the job and can also lead to major outages in the area. Even some professional tree services cannot address a tree near a power line unless they have the additional training to do so. You should always call your electric utility company instead.
One company, in particular, Dominion Energy, urges that Virginia residents call 866-366-4357 with any tree issue concerns. As for dead trees specifically, Dominion adds, “Dead trees present a significant threat to our power lines. That’s why it’s necessary to remove the portion of the tree that may hit the line, which can sometimes mean taking the entire tree down. Any debris resulting from the partial or full takedown of a dead tree is the property owner’s responsibility.”
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Midlothian?
On average, Midlothian residents report spending anywhere from $200 to$1300 on their tree removal service. However, how much you can expect to pay for your service depends on the following factors that will influence it.
The height of your tree makes a big difference in what your final costs will be — larger trees that are generally taller than the standard 30-feet will cost more to remove than those under 30-feet. This is because a larger tree takes more workers, equipment, and time to take down carefully and safely than one much closer to the ground. The same can be said for a still-standing tree and fallen tree since one that is still standing can cost as much as 50% more than one that has fallen because it requires much more.
Hourly rates are another factor to consider, especially since they often vary from company to company and professional to professional. This is because a professional has substantially more years in the field than one who is new to the industry. However, it is important to know that no matter how many years in the field or how much a professional charges you — they must be trained and licensed to do the job for you.
To ensure that your professional is licensed in the area and qualified for the job, do a quick and easy License Search on the Virginia state online portal.
You should also consider any additional services you might be interested in since they will also add to your final cost. A popular choice is Land and Lot Clearing — which can add a little more than a thousand more to your bill — because it consists of the professionals taking care of all the yard waste on your property and disposing of it according to local laws and regulations.