Cedar Rapids could see more derecho-related tree losses


(Cedar Rapids, IA) -- Cedar Rapids is beginning an inventory of trees, to look for additional damage caused by last month's derecho. Arborist Todd Fagen says crews will be looking for damage and marking trees that need to be trimmed or removed. Fagen says damage may be hidden now, but could become more obvious later. He notes damaged trees could be more susceptible to disease, insects, and extreme weather conditions.

Crews have removed nearly half of the tree debris caused by the derecho, or abut 150-thousand tons.

Fagen says the process has taken weeks, due to the fact there was tree damage to every quadrant of the city. Marion, Hiawatha, and other surrounding towns were also impacted by the storms.

He also says people are starting to talk about planting new trees. Fagen says the situation presents an opportunity to create a more diverse tree canopy. He says it's also an opportunity to make sure trees are planted in good locations, away from power lines. He says it's going to be a long-term problem, which will pay off in decades to come.

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