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Arborists Begin to Assess and Mark Right-of-Way Trees

Arborists Begin to Assess and Mark Right-of-Way Trees

September 15, 2020

Contracted certified arborists have begun to assess and mark public right-of-way trees for necessary trimming and removal based on damage that occurred as a result of the derecho. The work is being performed under a contract with Jamey Flannery Trucking, LLC, with monitoring firm DebrisTech documenting the work. Arborists are working with City staff to set guidelines for pruning and removal and to update the condition of each tree on the City’s tree inventory. Assessments are anticipated to take one month.

A colored tag will be stapled to assessed trees indicating what, if any, work will be performed. Residents are asked not to remove them. The tags help insure the correct work is done to each tree and that the City of Cedar Rapids will be eligible for FEMA assistance. Arborists will also mark the trees with paint. Timelines for tree pruning and removal per area will vary depending on the damage. The contractor will be placing no parking signs in the areas where they need access to work.

Crews will cut down trees that meet FEMA guidelines for removal. In some cases, the tree may appear healthy but have structural damage that affects its ability to survive long-term. The safety and protection of people and property weighs heavily in the decision to remove the tree. “We understand that residents may be concerned about the viability of the street tree in front of their home. It is our intent to save every tree that does not have structural damage, but we must determine whether the trauma from the storm will cause the tree to ultimately fail,” said Todd Fagan, City Arborist.

Crews will work on pruning and tree removals as assessments in sections of the city are completed. Residents may view a map showing where assessments and public tree work is pending or underway. Direct questions about removals to  forestry@cedar-rapids.org

For trees being removed, the contractor will cut the stump as low to the ground as they can. The stump will be removed at a later date. Tree debris will be placed curbside to be picked up during the next debris sweep of each street.

The City is currently working on a long term plan to replace trees that were lost due to the storm. Questions about the process should be directed to constructioneng@cedar-rapids.org

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