IOWA DERECHO 2020

Ask a Master Gardener: Your trees are damaged. Now what?

A damaged tree in front of the also damaged Performing Arts Center at Kennedy High School in northeast Cedar Rapids on A
A damaged tree in front of the also damaged Performing Arts Center at Kennedy High School in northeast Cedar Rapids on Aug. 11. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

By Linn County Master Gardener

We all have damaged trees and aren’t sure where to turn for information. Here are some ways to get started.

First of all: Master Gardeners cannot come to your home and evaluate your tree damage. That is beyond the scope of what we can do.

Can it be saved?

If you have a damaged tree and you’d like it assessed to see if it can be saved, you need to have a certified arborist evaluate the tree. Some tree removal companies have a certified arborist on staff, but not all do.

To find a certified arborist, go to the International Society of Arboriculture and click “Find an Arborist”: treesaregood.org/findanarborist. Enter your ZIP code and set the search radius as wide as possible, to get the most results.

You can also send an email to Mark Vitosh, the District Forester for Region 12, at mark.vitosh@dnr.iowa.gov. He cannot make service calls or determine if your tree is at risk, but if you have care or general questions, you can send him an email with pictures attached. He can try to help you if he can.

If it has to be removed

If you need to find a tree removal service, be prepared for a long wait. They are all quite busy. A list of local companies is at medcoiowa.org/forms/disaster-recovery. Master Gardeners also has a list of tree services in the Cedar Rapids area, which we can email to you — request one by emailing jsavel@iastate.edu with TREE INFO in the subject line, or pick one up at our office, 383 Collins Rd. NE, Cedar Rapids.

Before hiring anyone,·verify that the contractor is insured, get a written estimate before work begins, and don’t pay upfront for work and don’t pay unless you’re satisfied with the work.

All that debris

For those who live within Cedar Rapids city limits, find details on debris removal at cedar-rapids.org. The city will be picking up debris curbside.

The City of Marion has information at cityofmarion.org/about-us/storm-response.

For those in unincorporated Linn County, see linncounty.org/1454/Storm-Damage-Response for more details, including information about debris pickup. It will be picked up by the county, but it may take up to four months for removal, or you can take your debris to specific locations.

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See this ISU publication for other details on managing storm-damaged trees: http://store.extension.iastate.edu/product/6192

Do you have a plant you can’t identify or a plant problem you can’t describe? Email pictures to the Master Gardeners at linncountymastergardener@gmail.com and someone will contact you with ideas. Or call (319) 447-0647 for help. We can’t make house calls to diagnose problems, but we’ll do what we can via email or phone.

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We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.