Old Town Tree & Landscaping
Storm Damage and Emergency Services Winchester, VA
Assessing Trees, Preventative Work And Utilizing Free Estimates
Old Town Tree and Landscaping provides immediate response to storm damage and emergency tree work. We offer 24/7 emergency service. Emergency work is an unfortunate part of the tree care industry. It is also a serious matter and deserves it's own page. In no way shape or form are we trying to scare anyone into removing a tree. The goal of this page is to help explain the process and hopefully make this situation easier if it ever happens.
Also to potentially prevent needing this type of service. The best way to combat this situation is to have a tree care professional asses tree health regularly. This will not completely eradicate this problem but hopefully put homeowners at ease knowing they have done all the can to prevent this occurrence. Most tree services offer free estimates and assessments. The reason being that is is very difficult to give an estimate without visually seeing a tree and the many variables involved. Size of tree, type of tree, location of tree, proximity of tree to structure/lines/obstacles, distance from worksite to equipment and access to tree are some factors. So take advantage of this. Old Town Tree looks at this as an opportunity to meet new potential customers and further educate people on proper tree care and maintenance. About 10% of the estimates we do result in zero dollar transactions as a result of nothing needed to be done. Sometimes the best solution is to let the tree grow and develop as nature intended it to. Again TOPPING TREES IS NEVER THE SOLUTION! This may seem contradictory from a business stand point. In reality people seem to appreciate the honesty and low pressure approach. Those situations often turn into referrals and further generate the type of reputation we strive for.
Causes of Storm Damage
Storm damage can occur for many reasons. Often improper and excessive cutting can lead to weakening a trees structural integrity. It takes energy to address any cut/wound. This energy is drawn from the rest of the tree. This processes causes stress that can weaken the whole tree and specifically where the cut was made. That is why it is important to hire a professional Arborist to perform proper tree care. Trees compartmentalize wounds and close off cell by cell. If a cut is too large the tree cannot heal before permanent rot sets in. Rot is an easy opening for bug/beetle infestation and diseases. Also, if too many cuts are made the tree may not have enough energy to properly seal and maintain normal functions.
Some other causes of storm damage are high winds, ice build up, over saturation of soil, already dead/dying trees and root damage. Trees bend and sway naturally but cannot always handle extreme high winds. When ice builds up 1/4-1/2 inch; it can add too much weight to branches and trees as a whole. Trees are strong, some species more than others, but generally strong. With enough added weight even the strongest tree can fall. Proper pruning can reduce overall tree weight and thin the canopy so wind can pass more freely through. That is not to say that proper pruning will prevent these issues completely, but in some cases it may help. Every scenario is different. We pledge to not sell you on unnecessary work with minimal result. Again sometimes the best solution is to let the tree grow naturally and requires very little attention.
When it rains an abnormal amount the ground gets over saturated. the soil is loosened and cannot always support the root system and tree. This is especially true with shallow rooted trees like Pines. Proper drainage and grading can help prevent this but unfortunately in many cases there is nothing that can be done to prevent this natural occurrence. If a tree is already dead or dying it is obviously in a weakened state to begin with. That is why it is important to identify and deal with these trees before they become dangerous. Another benefit to prompt removal of dying trees is that the cost will be lower. When trees have been dead for an extended period of time they become more dangerous and problematic to remove safely. This can explain a higher cost in the tree removal process. A trees root system is very important and often goes unnoticed. Tree roots often get damaged during construction and digging. Even compacting soil over root systems can have an adverse affect. When the soil gets compacted it can affect water shed and the trees ability to absorb and cycle nutrients properly. It is always important to be mindful of what is under the ground before starting projects.
Insurance Claims And Clean Up
It can be very frustrating to deal with storm damage. Insurance companies are usually very helpful in these times. First thing is pictures of the damage and overall situation should be taken for documentation. If there is no property damage usually insurance will not be a factor. Most insurance companies will ask for multiple quotes. If there is widespread damage spanning over a large distances(i.e. hurricane, ice storm, etc.) they will be less likely to press this. That will also mean that tree companies will be busy. It is our belief that this work should not cost an extraordinary amount. It can be performed safely and in a timely manner. The only extra costs would occur if the situation is more dangerous or if unusual hours are involved.
In my experience this work can be less involved due to the tree being already down or partially downed. It is more about cleaning up messes, clearing roads or areas to restore power. Often times cities and counties are very helpful with disposal of the debris, which also helps keep cost low. Working in tandem with local workers is even better. Shared equipment and experience is always a plus. It is important to call and schedule this work promptly. This Does not mean you have to go with the lowest bid. As a customer you can hire whomever you want. Always make sure you feel comfortable with who you hire. Check for references and ask for proper insurance. A lot of people try and capitalize during emergency work but that does not mean they specialize in it. That being said not all emergency work requires specialized workers. It just depends on the situation.
Responsibility And Property lines
If a tree falls onto your property from another property it is your responsibility to clean and maintain your property. Same thing applies if a tree falls from your property onto another property, it is that property owners responsibility. Often time neighbors will split cost accordingly. To me it does not make sense to hire two separate tree companies to do one job. If a tree has fallen on a power line you should call the power company. They might be busy restoring power but will come address the situation at no charge. Sometimes they do not always do a proper clean up but still take care of the bulk of skilled work. Any time a tree is near a power line feel free to call your power company.
You already pay them so they will not charge you to attend to trees. They may choose to not deal with the issue unless it is greatly affecting the lines or completely dead. It is still worth calling instead of potentially paying out of pocket. If a tree falls in a public state maintained area you should call your local utility services and report it. As far as payment goes from insurance jobs there are multiple ways to go about it. Old Town Tree will communicate with the insurance company and requires no out of pocket cost from customers. Again Insurance companies will usually only get involved when property damage occurs. They will pay a certain amount to remove anything causing the damage or touching a structure. Past that they usually have a set amount that they will pay for clean up. This number is usually set around $300.00- $500.00 for just clean up. They also want contracts worded a certain way Hopefully this has shed some light and helped guide customers through storm damage situations. Please feel free to contact us for more details, a free tree assessments, or for a referral. This is not legal advice and property disputes should be handled through proper channels.
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