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Caution urged as Iowans cleanup damaged trees

  • 8/13/2020 4:14:00 PM
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State forestry experts are encouraging Iowans to proceed with caution as they begin cleaning up the extensive tree damage from Monday’s historic storm.

“Hopefully the power will be back on but checking for downed power lines is a must,” said Emma Hanigan, urban forestry coordinator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “Be careful when working with trees and limbs that are snapped off, twisted and tangled together. The trunk or tree limbs may bind against the chainsaw.”

Hanigan suggested that homeowners planning to do their own tree cleanup should wear safety equipment, including hand, foot, leg, eye, face, hearing and head protection, while using a chainsaw. “And be sure not to wear loose-fitting clothes,” she said.

After cleanup is complete, homeowners wanting to have their trees inspected should contact a professional, insured arborist.

The arborist can examine trees for cracks or other issues that might have been overlooked. In the case of oak trees, any pruning will need to be painted to prevent oak wilt.  

Hanigan said younger wind thrown trees can occasionally be saved by planting and staking, but larger trees are less likely to recover.

When the time is right, homeowners who have lost trees are encouraged to replant.

The Iowa DNR has information and links to help homeowners identify and select a licensed arborist, safety, inspect trees, pruning and tree care and replanting online at