“Dead Tree Advice”

dead tree

“Dear PoPville,

I have lived in my house on Corcoran St. for 16(!) years and have had a holly tree for the duration of that time. 2 weeks ago after returning from a week long trip it was completely dead. Before I have it removed I thought I would ask if anyone has any thoughts on possible causes and if this seems normal to die so quickly.

10 Comment

  • As with any tree question, the answer is always “Call Casey Trees.”

    • +1 I came to say the same thing.

    • You may want to try your ward arborist first.

      This case may be OK because you are just looking for some information about why it died but Casey Trees generally does not give advice on the health and safety of trees they did not plant. It makes sense because they don’t want to open themselves up to any liability. They will, however, point you to a list of certified arborists who can help but usually for a fee.

      Just wanted to throw that out there to the POPville community to save themselves an extra phone call.

  • I don’t know if the tree in the picture is your tree, or how they’d measure a multi-trunked tree, but you should know that there’s a permit required to remove “special trees,” meaning those with a large circumference located between the back of the sidewalk and the building. If the tree is really dead it doesn’t cost anything, but you can be fined if you don’t have the permit. You should contact DDOT’s Urban Forestry Administration–I have found the folks who work there (at least those assigned to Ward 6) to be very friendly and smart.

    • +1. Our condo association replaced several trees which were in bad shape–one lost a major branch a few years previously, fortunately not hitting anyone. The permits cost us several hundred dollars per replaced tree, since they were beyond the minimal circumference. The tree must be dead, not just dying. My guess would be that, in the absence of a permit, you’d be retroactively charged the amount and fined.

  • The City has an arborist for each ward. Try contacting 311 to see if you can get the attention of the arborist for your ward.

    About a year ago we went this route to have an elm tree inspected. The arborist came out within a week, and it was a surprisingly easy interaction with DC Government.

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