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Derecho in Iowa 2020


       A Derecho spanning 700+ miles and packing 140mph winds came through Iowa unexpectedly on August 10th, 2020. The devastation left behind was in the form of hundreds of thousands of trees destroyed (Tree Failure of upwards of 60% in some areas), countless homes smashed in, power lines knocked down at every turn, street closures, loss of life and much more. 

       The Derecho in Iowa 2020 was the worst thunderstorm to ever hit the United States and is requiring a community effort. Olson Tree Care in Des Moines, Iowa wanted to provide a little information as to the Arborist viewpoint of the devastation. 

Derecho Power Failure

Power Failure

Power Failures after the Derecho in Iowa 2020.

How to repair a Storm Damaged Tree.


       After the Derecho of Iowa 2020 many were still awaiting help while a few begin to think recovery. Recovery of this storm will take years as removal of trees on houses and power lines will not be the end of the natural disaster. Countless tree owners are asking one question......

 “can I keep the rest of my tree?” 

       How to repair a Storm Damaged Tree is a tough question, Expert Tree Risk Assessment by an ISA Certified Arboriculturist will be required more than ever in Iowa. Here are a few simple rules of thumb from our Des Moines Arborist that may tree owner repair a storm damaged tree. 

       1. For a tree crack outside of the fork, cut right below the fracture point and leave a headed stub. (translocation of resources) 

       2. If a branch broke at the fork do not cut more than is needed to remove the fallen branch. Future cutting should be done by an ISA Certified Arborist in Des Moines

       3. Broken branches or tree halves that cracked into the trunk of the tree (which is most common) will need Tree Risk Assessment. If there is a high value target below, removal is warranted. If there is no target there is no risk. 

       4. If a tree tipped partially, removal may be required. The lean could be caused by structural failure in the root system. 

“TIME HEALS ALL WOUNDS” they say. Our community and trees in Iowa will need this healing time to recover from the Derecho of 2020

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