OYO: Dealing with storm damaged trees

Published: Sep. 18, 2019 at 8:02 AM CDT
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If you lost trees or at least some branches after the severe storms and tornadoes of September 11th, you are not alone. Is this week's Owning Your Outdoors our yard and garden expert, Doug Schroeder from Lewis, has advice on how to deal with storm damaged trees.

Doug says the first thing you should do is decide if your tree can be saved. If more than 50 percent of your tree has been damaged or if it's leaning more than 15 degrees, it should probably be removed. If your tree is leaning 15 degrees or less, it can be saved. If it's a larger tree, it would be best to get help from a professional.

If your tree has broken branches that are still in the tree, it's important to get those pruned immediately - especially if it’s near a sidewalk or other high traffic area. If broken branches are not removed, they could break loose and fall to the ground causing injury to anyone below.

For more information on tree cleanup in Sioux Falls, visit the Sioux Falls City Website:

Storm Damaged Tree Q & A with Doug Schroeder

What are some of the things to consider if a tree should be taken down?
What is the value of the species of the tree? If 50% damage to the tree it should come down. Trees have sentimental value but we need to look at where it was planted and “what” was planted.

Where can debris be taken?
The city has great information on their website. Click here.

What are some of the dangers with dealing with damaged trees?
Hanging limbs called widow makers. Powerlines and being close to structures. Chain saws, pruners and ladders can be intimidating. There are volunteers that can help. Call the Helpline Center at 2-1-1 of you need help. It is important to get limbs out of trees. People can be injured if they come out of the tree later.

I noticed a lot of softer maples were brought down in this storm. What are some trees that you recommend for replacement?
My recommendations for replacements are Oak, Elm and Linden. The cities approved boulevard list is a great place to start. We need to reduce the population of Maples in our area.

What about boulevard trees that were damaged in the storm?
I suggest if you have an ash tree with significant damage that you remove it. Especially in boulevards. If a tree is in the boulevard, the city will remove it. Here’s a graphic from the city that shows how they will handle tree removal.